Religion in Ancient Greece (PGT) CLASSIC5080

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The course focusses  mostly on the literary and epigraphic evidence for Greek religion, covering a variety of key topics, such as the relationship between myth and ritual, the centrality of sacrifice, interpretations of festivals, attitudes to afterlife, the nature of religious authority, and different ways of understanding the Greek gods.


10x 1 hour lectures, 10x1 hour seminars over 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses

Religion in Ancient Greece (Honours)




Annotated bibliography (1500 words) - 30 %

Essay (3500 words) -70 %

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ engage closely with a large variety of written sources, such as Greek cosmogonies, sacred laws, and curse tablets

■ engage critically with important theoretical approaches to the subject, such as the Cambridge ritualists, structuralism, and cognitive theory

■ reflect on the relationship between religious and civic authority in ancient Greece

■ reflect on the similarities and differences between an ancient polytheistic system and modern monotheistic world religions

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

■ analyse main institutions and rituals of Greek religion situating them in their particular historical context

■ analyse key concepts in the scholarship of Greek religion using a variety of primary sources

■ identify and evaluate different scholarly approaches to Greek religion

■ produce sustained arguments that compare and criticize modern interpretations of particular phenomena in Greek religion

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.