The Invention of History: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon (PG) CLASSIC5086
- Academic Session: 2020-21
- 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
- Available to Erasmus Students: No
The idea of writing down the events of the past first occurred to the ancient Greeks. Through a reading of the three earliest surviving works of historiography (Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon) this course investigates the motivations, preoccupations, ambitions, and techniques driving the invention of History, as discipline and as narrative form.
2x1hr seminars per week over 10 weeks, with the occasional short lecture element
Requirements of Entry
Standard entry to Masters at College Level
CLASSIC4056, The Invention of History: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon
Essay (4,000 words) - 70%
Oral Presentation (10 minutes) - 30%
Main Assessment In: April/May
This course aims to:
■ Enable students the opportunity to study in depth the three Classical Greek authors who invented the discipline of history and the genre of historiography: Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon.
■ Allow the students to engage with different concepts of history and the recording of the past, ancient and modern.
■ Provide students the opportunity and the tools to reflect critically on the challenges of recording the past and the uses of history and historiography.
Intended Learning Outcomes of Course
By the end of this course students will be able to:
■ Analyse each of the three primary texts both as an individual instance of historiography and as part of a literary and intellectual tradition.
■ Engage critically with the main scholarly debates about the three texts and about Classical Greek historiography more generally.
■ Engage critically with selected ancient and modern theories of history and the recording of the past.
■ Present their arguments lucidly in writing with due regard for scholarly literature and the formalities of the discipline of Classics.
■ Present their arguments clearly and engagingly in an oral presentation in front of an audience of their peers and answer questions lucidly and civilly.
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.