Barbarians In The Mediterranean: Italy And Spain C450-C.750 (Ma(Hons)) HIST4046
- Academic Session: 2014-15
- School: School of Humanities
- Credits: 20
- Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
- Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
- Available to Visiting Students: Yes
This course will focus on the transformation of late Roman culture and identity in its Mediterranean heartlands under the impact of barbarian and Arabic 'invasion'. It is concerned not with political history as such, but with investigating questions of ethnicity and cultural identity at a time of great upheaval. It will explore the problematic nature of ethnic identity, the concept of 'barbarian' (using a range of evidence from Gothic myths to modern films including Gladiator) and the fate of imperial cities such as Rome and Ravenna.
Students will also have the chance to recreate the trial of a Roman senator at the court of a Gothic king in a specially devised seminar.
At least two hours per week. This is one of the honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.
Requirements of Entry
Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.
Coursework - class essay (2,000 words) (20%)
Coursework - seminar presentation (6%) seminar contribution (4%)
Examination - 120 minutes duration (70%)
Main Assessment In: April/May
The aims common to all History Honours 20 credit courses are as follows:
1. To prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.
Students' research capacity will be enriched by their introduction to diverse source materials and their oral and written communication skills enhanced in ways designed to address employers' expectations for highly literate and highly articulate graduates who are fully cognisant of a range of research tools.
2. To show students how a professional historian works.
By supporting students in the production of their essay and seminar presentation, students will gain first hand experience of the scoping and shaping of research projects and the challenges faced by historians in the pursuit of advances in knowledge.
3. To familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide-range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).
The critical interpretation of key historiographical and theoretical debates relating to this subject will inform the close reading of sources. Provenance, perspective, context, intent and audience will be core considerations in students' interpretation of sources.
4. To ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised. The seminars aim to encourage student-led learning and the facilitation of rigorous and informed debate.
5. To encourage students to develop imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research or in any sphere or employment where these qualities are valuable.
Students will be encouraged to reflect on the range of generic research and communication skills they are developing over the course of this course in order to align their academic and professional aspirations and competencies and encourage reflective practice.
Intended Learning Outcomes of Course
By the end of this course students will be able to:
■ the capacity to grasp the complex patterns of historical change that can be observed in the long process of the Transformation of the Western Roman Empire into barbarian successor-states in its Mediterranean provinces;
■ the capacity to understand and explore the concepts of ethnic identity and ethnogenesis with particular reference to the Gothic peoples;
■ the ability to evaluate and review some of the ways in which 'barbarian' identity has been defined and constructed in a series of narratives and representations from the early Middle Ages to the modern era.