Greek MA

The Other Greeks: Sparta, Crete, Thessaly CLASSIC4080

  • 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

Sparta, Crete and Thessaly fascinated the ancient Greeks' imagination. They were proverbial for their oligarchic governments, their disciplined, ordered or, in the case of Thessaly, extremely disordered way of life. The course looks at what we can actually say about these societies, and explores the relationship between idealized worldviews and messy realities.


10x1 hour lectures; 10x1 hour seminars 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





Exam (90 minutes) - 50%

Essay (3,000 words) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course will provide an opportunity:

■ to study the variety of Greek culture by looking at 3 case studies all famous for their oligarchic governments

■ to engage closely with a variety of primary material (literary, epigraphic and archaeological) and explore its potentials and limitations in reconstructing ancient societies

■ to explore through comparison the complex relationship between institutional structures, world-view and everyday life

■ to reflect on the nature, dangers, and importance of stereotypes

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Describe the main political institutions and characteristics of the social organization of Sparta, Crete and Thessaly

■ Analyse and combine a variety of primary sources

■ Summarize, evaluate and criticize modern scholarly works on Sparta, Crete and Thessaly

■ Produce sustained arguments based on their own interpretation of the primary and secondary sources

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.