Postgraduate taught 

Classics & Ancient History MSc

Democracy and Governance: Classical Political Thought CLASSIC5062

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The ancient world not only introduced the major forms of political government (representative and participatory democracy, republicanism, empire), but also its foundational political texts. This course provides the opportunity to study the roots of modern politics and consider the insights that ancient theorists and practitioners can afford us today


Ten two-hour seminars




One seminar presentation 30% and one 3,000 word essay 70%.

Course Aims

This course provides the opportunity to:

■ explore a range of different kinds of ancient political writing, including historiography and oratory

■ examine the variety of ancient constitutions and political practices

■ investigate the relationship between political theory and political practice

■ compare politics within different cultures, from archaic and Classical Greece to Republican and Imperial Rome

■ understand political texts in their historical and literary contexts

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

■ demonstrate familiarity with the principal strands of ancient political theory;

■ demonstrate familiarity with the main outline of historical development within the periods studied;

■ relate their knowledge of ancient political systems to historical events, and show how political writing does and does not play a dynamic role;

■ relate the concerns of historiography and oratory to their personal, generic, and cultural concerns

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.