Course syllabus



CLASSICS 270: Art and Society in Ancient Greece

SEMESTER 2, 2018

15 points

 Course Convenor:  Anne Mackay -

Class Representative:  Holly Hegan -

Course delivery format:

One double-period lecture and one single-period discussion class.

(Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)

Prescribed Text: Richard Neer (2012). Art and Archaeology of the Greek World c. 2500-c.150 BC. London: Thames & Hudson. Please note that it is important that you have ready and constant access to a copy of this book.

Summary of Course Description:              

Download the Course Schedule with recommended readings HERE. The visual culture of ancient Greece has had a continuing and profound influence over the artistic development and visual expression of Western culture, which makes its study an important basis for understanding our own cumulative visual imagery. Furthermore, the Greeks (like us) were a keenly visual society, in which societal ideas and norms were affirmed through artistic means: sculpture, painting, mosaic and architecture. The artistic record of ancient Greece provides us with a rich and plentiful source of cultural information that complements the textual documentation that is often incomplete, especially for the earlier periods when literacy was not widespread.

In this course, you will study selected examples of every major art form, some characteristic of a type, others unique. A broadly chronological sequence will be followed, but special emphases will be placed on artefacts and production techniques of particular interest or significance. You will develop a critical awareness of visual culture, and a methodology for identifying what is important in an example, why it is important and what can be learned from analysing it.

The course objectives are:

  • To advance students’ awareness of the need for holistic study of a culture, so as to obtain an understanding that is both balanced and comprehensive
  • To advance students’ critical awareness of subtle distinctions, even when there seem to be parallels in the manifestations of our own society
  • To help students to develop a methodology for critical analysis of ancient artefacts and works of art
  • To advance students’ ability to select and make best use of scholarly publications about ancient art and artefacts

 Course outcomes:

In line with the Bachelor of Arts Graduate Profile, to a differentiated extent in either the second-year or third-year enrolment-level, expected learning outcomes of this course include advancing the ability:

  • To exhibit knowledge and understanding of essential aspects of ancient culture with supporting reference to appropriate examples
  • To evaluate and draw upon relevant scholarly opinions and theories
  • To understand that some information sources are inappropriate for academic study, and to exclude them
  • To evaluate information and ideas from multiple sources and, while taking account of diverse perspectives, to develop a rigorous analytical methodology
  • To produce well-structured arguments that are based on appropriate selection of evidence and appropriate consultation of a range of scholarship leading to well-articulated conclusions

 Assessment Summary:

30% essay, recommended length 2000 words. Due 1:00 pm Monday 10th September. There is no second topic.

15% test in class on 22nd August.

55% final exam, 2 hours.

You will be advised well before the test about the nature of the content, the expectations, and how best to prepare for it.

Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you should apply if possible before the assignment is due, and you will be required to provide supporting documentation. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension will be penalised by loss of marks: –5% per weekday.


Course summary:

Date Details