Literature of the Ancient Near East ADED1069E

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course (which can be taken online) introduces students to the wider Near Eastern world through three sets of case study texts comparing Mesopotamian literature and its themes with more familiar Egyptian material. Students will use these primary sources as evidence for reconstructing life in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and as a basis for exploring cultural differences. Texts include The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Laws of Hammurabi, The Dispute of a Man with his Soul and The Tale of Sinuhe.

Timetable

Block 3

2 hours per week for 10 weeks

Wednesdays, 19.00-21.00

Requirements of Entry

None

Excluded Courses

None

Assessment

Assessment is entirely by coursework submitted during the semester in the form of three worksheets to be completed in Weeks 4, 7 and 10 (20% each) and a final essay of no more than 1200 words to be submitted at the end of the course (40%).

Course Aims

This course aims to introduce students to the wider Near Eastern world with three case studies of texts that can be compared with more familiar Egyptian material. Students will learn to:

■ Use primary sources as evidence for reconstructing life in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, while also considering their potential biases

■ Compare and contrast similar primary sources as a basis for exploring cultural differences

■ React to primary source material in translation, and to critically assess the differences across available translations

■ Analyse and respond to the arguments presented in secondary sources.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the completion of the course, students will be able to:

■ Explain how cultural attitudes can be reconstructed from ancient texts, with an awareness of the agendas of individual texts

■ Define and interpret key cultural attitudes and practices in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

■ Critique the merits of various translations of the texts they have studied

■ Compare and contrast dominant themes found within the ancient material studied and reflect upon their relevance and importance in today's society.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.