Greek MA

Literature in Fragments CLASSIC4087

  • 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

In Classics, it is common to focus on reading the best-preserved works from antiquity, the ones that are extent in full or at least substantially. However, we know of thousands of names of ancient authors whose works were once popular and influential, but are now lost. This course deals with the fragments of some of these works. 'Fragments' in this context rarely means papyrus fragments, but more often refers to quotations of and references to earlier works by later authors who still had access to them. This course focuses on the methodology of working with such fragments in order to uncover how far they can give us an impression of the lost works and to what extent they have been manipulated by the authors who preserve them. The teaching will be largely student-led with much of the weekly preparation taking place in groups, who will be expected to present their findings to the class in seminars.


5 * 1 hour lectures and 15 * 1 hour seminar over ten weeks as scheduled on MyCampus 

Excluded Courses





Oral presentation (as part of a pair/group, 10 min.): 20%

Scholarship review (1500 words): 20%

Essay (3500 words): 60%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will 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 aims to:

■ Enable students to engage critically with fragments of ancient historiography as well as other genres, a body of text not usually covered in Classics courses;

■ Familiarise students with the standard collections of and commentaries on ancient fragments, both in book form and online;

■ Develop a sound methodology for working with fragments, in dialogue with both traditional and very recent scholarship.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Confidently navigate and use the standard collections of and commentaries on fragments, both in book form and online;

■ Analyse fragments of ancient literature to determine their value as testimonia of the original work as well as integrated elements of their later covertexts;

■ Use and engage critically with different methodologies presented by the scholarship;

■ Develop their own analysis both in groups and individually;

■ Formulate their own analyses and arguments lucidly both orally and in writing, with due regard for scholarship.

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.