Classics (Classical Civilisation) MA/MA(SocSci)

The Novel In Antiquity: Impotent Heroes And Damsels In Distress CLASSIC4044

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

Short Description

The course contextualises major texts of Greek and Roman fictional writing within their social background and as literary products of their cultural environment.


Two one-hour lectures per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the honours options in Classics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on mycampus.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,500 words) - 30%

Examination (90 minute duration) - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ study major texts of Greek and Roman fictional writing within their social context and as literary products of their cultural environment

■ examine (i) how and why the authors of these texts use literary tradition, (ii) what these stories tell us about the moral ideologies of their eras, and (iii) how our understanding of these texts can be aided by modern critical theories on the ancient novel.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to

■ situate the Greek and Roman novels within their literary, cultural, and social context

■ identify how concepts such as intertextuality, cultural identity, humour, religious propaganda, social class, and gender enhance our understanding of the novels studied in the course

■ evaluate modern scholarly approaches on the texts studied during the course and apply knowledge of secondary literature to their interpretation

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.