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Between God and Rome: the Byzantine Empire 307-1453

The Colonial Gaze: Western Perceptions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 1600-1960

Bioarchaeology

The Renaissance in Italy and Europe: From the Black Death to the Reformations

Divided Unity: France since 1870

Latin Set Book - Cicero

Greek Set Book - Aristophanes’ Wasps

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Between God and Rome: the Byzantine Empire 307-1453

From the rise of Constantine I in 307 to the fall of Constantine XI in 1453, the eastern Roman Empire, which we call ‘Byzantine’, ruled in the eastern Mediterranean from its capital in Constantinople, a vital component of the medieval world and a continuing link to the classical tradition. The empire was predominantly Christian and its belief in itself as the ‘empire of God’, a creation on earth of the heavenly court, shaped its social and political systems. It was also the Roman Empire and its historians and emperors situated themselves in a direct line from the classical Roman past. ‘In the image of God, in the image of Rome' explores the more than thousand-year trajectory of this empire, examining themes across time to see how its systems of government, religious beliefs, literary traditions and relations with outsiders changed over the centuries but also maintained crucial continuities. How did the tensions between being an empire of God and an empire of the Romans affect ordinary lives and imperial decisions? How did being an imperial subject in Constantinople compare to life lived in the provinces as these grew and shrank over the centuries? How did the lives of men and women fit into ideals about what it meant to be ‘Byzantine’? This course will give you an overview of Byzantine history with a clear emphasis on understanding its changing face over time, as well as providing an opportunity to explore specific people, moments and facets of its existence in depth.

Preliminary Reading

A. Andrea (1997) The capture of Constantinople : the Hystoria Constantinopolitana of Gunther of Pairis, Philadelphia.

T. Barnes (2011) Constantine : dynasty, religion and power in the later Roman Empire, Chichester.

L. Brubaker and J. Haldon (2011) Byzantium in the iconoclast era, c. 680-850: a history, Cambridge.

A. Cameron (1985) Procopius and the sixth century, London.

S. Franklin and J. Shepard (eds) (1992) Byzantine diplomacy : papers from the twenty-fourth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, Cambridge, March 1990, Aldershot.

R. Grant (1980) Eusebius as church historian, Oxford.

J. Haldon (ed.) (2009) The social history of Byzantium, Oxford.

M. Hendy (1985) Studies in the Byzantine monetary economy, Cambridge.

J. Herrin (2001) Women in purple : rulers of Medieval Byzantium, London.

C. Hilsdale (2014) Byzantine Art and Diplomacy in an Age of Decline, Cambridge.

A. Kaldellis (2015) The Byzantine Republic : people and power in New Rome, Cambridge MA.

A. Kaldellis (2008) Hellenism in Byzantium : The Transformations of Greek Identity and the Reception of the Classical Tradition, Cambridge.

C. Mango (1980) The Empire of New Rome, London.

V. Marinis (2013) Architecture and Ritual in the Churches of Constantinople : Ninth to Fifteenth Centuries, Cambridge.

S. Papaioannou (2013) Michael Psellos : Rhetoric and Authorship in Byzantium, Cambridge.

A. van Millingen (1899) Byzantine Constantinople : The Walls of the City and Adjoining Historical Sites, Cambridge.

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The Colonial Gaze: Western Perceptions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 1600-1960

This course will examine, through intensive study of primary materials and specialist works of scholarship, the history of Western (to include western Europe and North America) perceptions of China, Japan, South Asia, Africa and the Middle East from the seventeenth century to the present. It will consider political, cultural, economic, social, religious and ideological encounters between the West and the non-Western world over the past four centuries, setting this ambivalent and often troubled relationship within a broader historical context. The course will progress chronologically through the period under study, beginning with the conflicts and challenges of perception produced by the ‘expansion of Europe’ and ending with discussion of the ways in which decolonization transformed, complicated or entrenched pre-existing perceptions, misperceptions and distortions of the non-Western world. Each week’s seminar will also be organized around a specific theme (such as travellers, trade, war, religions) and focus on a specific region (although comparisons with other regions will be encouraged, where relevant and feasible). Topics to be covered will include the Jesuit experience in China and Japan, early trade missions and the conceptions of China and Japan that these enterprises generated, the impact of accounts of Pacific exploration, Atlantic and Indian Ocean slavery, the ‘Scramble for Africa’, perceptions of race (including the ‘Yellow’ and ‘Black Perils), Indian nationalism and decolonisation in Africa.

The course will explore how important themes in the cultural history of perception can be usefully applied to modern Western interactions with these different regions. To this end, students will discuss general theoretical perspectives on the historical relationship between the ‘West’ and the ‘East’, through reading texts such as Said’s Orientalism, and the scholarly controversies they have provoked. The course will also offer rigorous methodological training in the use of diverse and contrasting primary materials for historical research. A wide range of primary sources will be covered including diaries, memoirs, travel writings, novels, newspapers, journals and films, as well as other forms of visual materials and material culture (including maps, cartoons and posters). The course will sharpen students’ ability to analyse rigorously the particular types of insight and meaning that different cultural forms (textual, literary, cartographic, cinematic and so on) can offer. The option will therefore hone students’ technical capabilities to assess and engage critically with a variety of sources.

The course will build on knowledge and skills acquired in Group 1 and Group 2 courses in modern European, African, Asian and Middle Eastern history, British imperial history and North American history, providing BA students with a new opportunity to study in depth the history of encounters between the Western and non-Western worlds in the colonial and postcolonial eras.

Preliminary Reading

Sugata Bose, Modern South Asia (2011)

John Darwin, After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400-2000 (2007)

J. Iliffe. Africa. History of a Continent

Richard J. Reid A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present, 2nd Edition (2011)

Jonathan Spence, The Search for Modern China

Hugh Tinker, South Asia: A Short History (1966)

Conrad Totman, A History of Japan

W.H. Worger et al, Africa and the West: a Documentary History (2010) vols 1 and 2

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Bioarchaeology

N.B. This module will be assessed as follows:

Essay 1 12.5% 2,000 words

Essay 2 12.5% 2,000 words

Bone Report 25% 2,500 words

Exam 50% 3 hours

Bioarchaeology is the academic study of past populations through analysis of their skeletal and dental remains. Bioarchaeology is also the most accurate way of finding out about ancient human populations. Just as you are unlikely to be accurately represented by the contents of your kitchen or bathroom, should these find their way into the archaeological record, ancient pots and bits and pieces can only tell us so much about the life, death, hardship, success and drama of ancient human groups. Human remains, on the other hand, are direct evidence of all of these aspects and many more besides. It is a form of ancient forensics. Given a good understanding of bones and teeth, you will be able to 'read' information that is simply not available in any other way.

The course addresses:

Types of human remains found archaeologically

Cranial and dental anatomy of humans and human ancestors

Anatomy of the axial (thorax) skeleton

Anatomy of the shoulders, hips, arms and legs

Assessing age and sex from skeletal remains

What we can interpret from human remains

The ways in which the bones develop and change through life and in accordance with human behaviour will also be addressed. The intention of this module is to ensure that you will be able to immediately identify any human bone you see, and to also be able to distinguish them from animal bones and other materials. In addition, this course addresses ethics and issues within the field, paleopathology, paleodemography, and advanced methods of assessing age and sex. At the end of the course, all students will be able to complete a full analysis of a human skeleton and compare it to other skeletons from the same site and period.

Preliminary reading

Aufderheide, A.C., & Rodriguez-Martin, C. 1998 The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Paleopathology. New York, Cambridge University Press.

Boddington, A., Garland, A.N., & Janaway, R.C. (eds).1989 Death, decay and Reconstruction: Approaches to Archaeology and Forensic Science. Manchester, Manchester University Press.

Brickley, M.B., & McKinley, J.I. (eds). 2004 Guidelines to the Standards for Recording Human Remains. IfA Paper No. 7

Brothwell, D. R. 1981 Digging Up Bones. London, British Museum (Natural History).

Buikstra, J.E, & Beck, L.A., (eds). 2006 Bioarchaeology: The contextual analysis of human remains. London, Academic Press.

Buikstra, J.E. & Ubelaker, D. 1994 Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal Remains. Arkansas Archaeological Survey Research Series No. 44

Cox, M. & Mays, S. 2000 Human Osteology in Archaeology and Forensic Science. Greenwich Medical Media.

Gowland, R., & Thompson,T. 2013 Human Identity and Identification. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Larsen, C.S. 2015 Bioarchaeology: Interpreting behaviour from the human skeleton. Cambridge studies in Biological Anthropology 21, New York, Cambridge University Press.

Lewis, M.E. 2009 The Bioarchaeology of Children. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Mays, S. 2010 The Archaeology of Human Bones. (2nd ed.) London, Routledge.

Roberts, C.A. & Manchester, K. 2010 The Archaeology of Disease. (3rd ed.). Alan Sutton.

Sofaer, J. 2006 The body as material culture: a theoretical osteoarchaeology. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Ubelaker, D. 1989 Human Skeletal Remains: Excavation, Analysis,Interpretation. (2nd ed.). Taraxacum Press.

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The Renaissance in Italy and Europe: From the Black Death to the Reformations

The Renaissance has long been regarded as a central feature in the development of western European culture and society. It saw the creation of pictures and sculptures, which have achieved an iconic status, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Michelangelo’s statue David. It also led to major literary works, such as Niccolò Macchiavelli’s infamous political treatise, The Prince, and Thomas More’s Utopia. While this course will acknowledge the importance of the artistic achievements of the Renaissance, our main aim is to examine the social, political and religious background which led to this extraordinary movement. Indeed over the past decades there has been a major reassessment of this field as new research has explicated and also complicated our perception of the period. The themes of each term move from ‘Power and Ideas’ to ‘Society and Religion’, and will seek to provide a fairly comprehensive picture of the period. While the main focus will be on Italy, many classes will compare developments in northern Europe, and particularly in England in the same period. We shall also constantly ask questions about the circulation of ideas, art, culture both from Italy to Europe and from Europe to Italy. And drawing from the most recent scholarship, we will ask how the European Renaissance connected with developments taking place in distant parts of the world, from the conquest of the Americas to the encounter with Asian civilizations.
The year will begin by providing a general introduction to the themes and developments in the period, from a reconsideration of the concept of the Renaissance to the geography of politics in the Italian peninsula, which provide the context to help us to understand major movements in political thought such as civic humanism, the relationship between elite and popular culture. We shall also consider how ideas were communicated within Italian society and will show the importance of their influence across Europe, on writers such as More and Erasmus and patrons such as Henry VII and Henry VIII in England, an influence which can be seen as crucial in the analysis of religious texts which served to provide fuel to the challenge mounted by the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. These ideas and concepts travelled further as they were carried by explorers overseas giving the Renaissance a global reach, but in the process were subtly changed and challenged, as new types of societies and countries were discovered.
The focus of the second term will shift to society and religion, beginning with a consideration of the development of the economy in this period, crucial not just to help us understand the financial underpinnings of the Renaissance. Classes on the family and gender will show how society functioned at the individual level and how patronage networks were just as important for arranging marriages as they were in the political and artistic context. The course is not only about the elite, but will also enable us to examine the lower levels of society, in a period characterised by popular revolts, such as the Ciompi in Florence and the Peasants’ Revolt in England. It will also provide an opportunity to examine the impact of religion across society in a period characterised by an increase in lay devotion, taking one away from the traditional idea of the secularisation of the Renaissance. We shall finally examine the structures put into place by society to help governments to deal with both endemic and epidemic sickness from the plague of the Black Death to the new French Disease of syphilis.

No knowledge of languages other than English is required.

Preliminary Reading

Marta Ajmar-Wollheim and Flora Dennis, At Home in Renaissance Italy (London, 2006).

Jerry Brotton, The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to Michelangelo (Oxford, 2002).

J.C. Brown and R.C. Davis, eds, Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy, (Harlow, 1998).

Peter Burke, The European Renaissance: Centres and Peripheries (Oxford, 1998).

Peter Burke, The Italian Renaissance (Cambridge, 2014, new ed.).

William Caferro, Contesting the Renaissance (Oxford, 2011).

Paula Findlen, ed., The Italian Renaissance: The Essential Readings (Oxford, 2002).

Paula Findlen, Michelle Fontaine and Duane J. Osheim, eds., Beyond Florence: the contours of medieval and early modern Italy (Stanford, 2003).

Andrea Gamberini and Isabella Lazzarini, eds., The Italian Renaissance State (Cambridge, 2012).

R.A. Goldthwaite, The Economy of Renaissance Florence (Baltimore, 2009).

Jack Goody, Renaissances: The one or the many? (Cambridge, 2010).

D. Herlihy and C.Klapisch-Zuber, Tuscans and their Families (Newhaven, Conn., 1985).

L. Jardine and J. Brotton, Global interests: renaissance art between east and west (London, 2000).

Margaret L. King, The Renaissance in Europe (London, 2003).

C. Klapisch-Zuber, Women, Family and Ritual in Renaissance Italy (Chicago, 1985)

Richard Mackenney, Renaissances: the cultures of Italy, c. 1300-c. 1600 (Basingstoke 2005).

John A. Marino, ed., Early Modern Italy, 1550-1796 (Oxford, 2002).

John Martin, ed., The Renaissance: Italy and Abroad (London and New York, 2003).

J.N. Najemy, A History of Florence, 1200-1575 (Oxford, 2006)

John M. Najemy, ed., Italy in the age of the Renaissance: 1300-1550 (Oxford, 2004).

Guido Ruggiero, ed., A Companion to the Worlds of the Renaissance (Oxford, 2002).

N.G. Siraisi, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine. An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice (Chicago and London, 1990).

Jonathan Woolfson, ed., Renaissance Historiography (Basingstoke and New York, 2005).

Evelyn Welch, Art and Society in Italy, 1350-1500 (Oxford, 1997).

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Divided Unity: France since 1870

The course examines France's history since the elaboration of a Republican settlement in the late-nineteenth century. For some historians, France has been in a virtual state of civil war ever since. Integrating social, cultural and economic perspectives with political analysis, the course considers France's divisions, together with the elements that mean the French Republic has largely endured its myriad disharmonies and challenges.
Combining chronological and thematic approaches, we will explore the most troubled periods of modern French history, through two world wars, occupation and collaboration, decolonisation, street protest and political corruption. The course pays particular attention to debates around religion, race, gender, political ideology, discourses of national degeneracy, urban/ rural divisions, Americanisation and the politics of memory. We also consider the extent to which specific symbols remain important in bringing the French together and the ways that historical sites and monuments have healed divisions and memories of national trauma.
The course engages with the controversies associated with the writing of French history and the new approaches and methodologies with which historians have approached France's past. Students will have the chance to compare and contrast the ways that France's recent past has been represented in various primary sources including political speeches, images, memoirs, novels and films.
Preliminary Reading

Roderick Kedward, La vie en bleu. France and the French since 1900 (2006).
Charles Sowerwine, France since 1870 (2000).
Richard Vinen, France 1934-1970 (1996).
James McMillan, Modern France,1880-2002 (2003).
Robert Tombs, France 1814-1914 (1996).
Julian Jackson, France. The Dark Years, 1940-1944 (2001).
J-M Mayeur and M. Reberioux, The Third Republic from its origins to the Great War (1987).
P. Bernard and P.Dubief, The decline of the third Republic, 1914-1938 (1986).
Jean-Pierre Rioux, The Fourth Republic, 1944-1959 (1987).
Serge Berstein, The Fifth Republic, 1958-1969 (2006).
Pierre Nora, Realms of Memory (1997).
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Latin Set Book - Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE), writer, orator and statesman, was a central figure in the political and social life of his time. He has been considered one of the greatest speakers of his or any generation; he was consul in 63 BCE and a senior figure in the senate thereafter; he lived through and played his part in key events such as the career of Pompey, the civil war between Pompey and Julius Caesar, the assassination of Caesar and the rise of Octavian. It is through Cicero’s writings, in the form of letters, speeches and treatises, that we gain much of our source material for the first century BCE.

In this module we will read two texts by Cicero.  In the autumn term, we will study Cicero’s philosophical treatise, Laelius de Amicitia. This treatise was written in 44 BCE, as Cicero and his allies were coming to terms with Caesar’s grip on power. The subject is how to maintain friendships in the face of both grief and political intrigue. In the spring term we will study what remains of Cicero’s fragmentary speech In Pisonem, given in 57 BCE. Cicero presents a tour-de-force of invective against Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, Caesar’s father-in-law, aiming to discredit him and force a Caesarian divorce. Though unsuccessful in the latter aim, the result makes for entertaining reading.

Set Editions:

Autumn Term: Gould, H. E. & J. L. Whiteley (eds.), Cicero: De Amicitia (Bloomsbury, 1983).

Spring Term: Nisbet, R. G. M. (ed.), M. Tulli Ciceronis In L. Calpurnium Pisonem Oratio (Oxford, 1961)

I am aware the latter is nowadays quite difficult to find, and will digitise the relevant text (though possibly not the commentary).

Format of the classes:

You will be asked to prepare approximately 10-12 sections of the text for reading and discussion in the next class.  The classes will be interactive and will be based around close reading and discussion; but there will also be time spent on wider discussion of themes, style, contexts etc.

A full schedule and bibliography for the second semester will be given out shortly.  These will be the prescriptions for the first semester:

Week 1 Friday 14 October De Amicitia 1-5

Week 2 Friday 21 October Am. 6-16

Week 3 Friday 28 October Am. 17-28

Week 4 Friday 4 November Am. 29-39

Week 5 Friday 11 November Am. 40-51

Week 6 Friday 18 November Am. 52-64

Week 7 Friday 25 November Am. 65-76

Week 8 Friday 2 December Am. 76-85

Week 9 Friday 9 December Am. 86-96

Week 10 Friday 16 December Am. 97-104 (the end)

 

It is unlikely that we will be able to go over in class all of the text allocated for each week; you will therefore need to make sure you have covered the rest in your own time, although there will of course be opportunities to go over any questions or problems you may have.

 

You will be given an additional module booklet for the spring term at the end of this term.

There will be 22 scheduled classes over the year: 10 in the Autumn and 10 in the Spring terms, with 2 following in the Summer term.  A reading week will be scheduled for one week in the Spring semester, where there will be no class.

In addition, two extra sessions are available for scheduling flexibly as e.g. revision sessions, opportunity for individual student meetings (e.g. for discussion of essay feedback on marked and returned essays), or a combination of the above.

MA students are encouraged to schedule meetings with their supervisor to discuss the progress of their work.  It is strongly advised that you aim to have a rough title and essay plan in place by early 2015, to allow you plenty of time to start writing and editing.

 

Assessment:

BA degree (final exam + coursework)

Final examination (70% of the course mark)

Two 2,500-word essays (each 15% of the course mark).

 

MA degree (coursework)

One essay of between 5,500 – 6000 words.

MA students: You should give careful thought to devising an interesting and appropriate essay topic in due course.  I am happy to discuss your ideas; your title/topic will need to be approved by the MA programme director, before you begin writing.

Introductory Bibliography:

An alternative commentary (with a crib)

Powell, J. G. F. (ed.) 1990. Cicero: Laelius, On Friendship & The Dream of Scipio (Somnium Scipionis). Warminster

 

On Am. specifically

Citroni Marchetti, S. 2009. ‘Words and Silence: Atticus as the Dedicatee of de Amicitia’, Classical World 103: 93-99.

Fogel, J. 2009. ‘Can Girls Be Friends? Talking about Gender in Cicero’s de Amicitia’, Classical World 103: 77-87.

Gruber-Miller, J. 2009. ‘Exploring Relationships: Amicitia and Familia in Cicero’s de Amicitia’, Classical World 103: 88-92.

Leach, E. W. 1993. ‘Absence and Desire in Cicero’s de Amicitia’, Classical World 87: 3-20.

 

On friendship generally

Brunt, P. A. 1965. ‘Amicitia in the Roman Republic’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 11: 1-20. [reprinted in Brunt, Fall of the Roman Republic, Oxford 1988]

Fitzgerald, J. T. (ed.) 1997. Greco-Roman Perspectives on Friendship. Atlanta.

Konstan, D. 1997. Friendship in the Classical World. Cambridge.

Rawson, B. 1978. The Politics of Friendship: Pompey and Cicero. Sydney.

Taylor, L. R. 1949. Party Politics in the Age of Caesar. Berkeley. [ch. 1]

Williams, C. A. 2012. Reading Roman Friendship. Cambridge.

 

On Ciceronian philosophy

Baraz, Y. 2012. A Written Republic: Cicero’s Philosophical Politics. Princeton.

Blyth, D. 2010. ‘Cicero and Philosophy as Text’, Classical Journal 106: 71-98.

Buckley, M. J. 1970. ‘Philosophic Method in Cicero’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 8: 143-154.

Douglas, A. E. 1965. ‘Cicero the Philosopher’, in T. A. Dorey (ed.), Cicero. London, 135-170. [see also Balsdon in the same volume]

Erskine, A. 2003. ‘Cicero and the Shaping of Hellenistic Philosophy’, Hermathena 175: 5-15.

Ferguson, J. 1962. ‘Cicero's Contribution to Philosophy’, in Studies in Cicero. Rome, 99-111.

MacKendrick, P. (ed.) 1989. The Philosophical Books of Cicero. London.

Powell, J. G. F. (ed.) 1995. Cicero the Philosopher. Oxford.

_______. 2007. ‘Cicero’, in R. W. Sharples & R. Sorabji, Greek and Roman Philosophy 100 B.C.-200 A.D. Vol. II. London.

Radford, R. T. 2002. Cicero. A Study in the Origins of Republican Philosophy. Amsterdam.

Schenkeveld, D. M. 2001. ‘Philosophical Prose’, in S. E. Porter (ed.), Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400. Leiden, 195-264.

Schofield, M. 2008. ‘Ciceronian Dialogue’, in S. Goldhill (ed.), The End of Dialogue in Antiquity. Cambridge, 63-84.

_______. 2013. ‘Writing Philosophy’, in C. Steel (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Cicero. Cambridge, 73-87. [see also Zetzel in the same volume]

Striker, G. 1995. ‘Cicero and Greek Philosophy’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 97: 53-61.

Wood, N. 1988. Cicero's Social and Political Thought. Berkeley.

Woolf, R. 2015. Cicero: The Philosophy of a Roman Sceptic. London & New York.

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Greek Set Book - Aristophanes’ Wasps

The principal focus of this module will be Aristophanes’ Wasps, an Attic Old Comedy which satirises the motives and practices of those serving on juries in Athens’s radical democracy, the typical motifs and style of delivery of the speeches they heard, and the self-serving cant of the demagogues who ‘bribed’ the jurors with dribblings of jury pay, while themselves scoffing most of the fruits of Empire.  We shall read the entire play in ancient Greek.  We shall also read extracts in Greek from Acharnians and Knights, two other Aristophanic comedies that play with related themes, while reading the rest of these two plays in English.

As well as translating, we shall examine a range of literary aspects of the genre of Old Comedy – language, metre, the parts of the play, comic characters, comic fantasies, comic abuse, onomasti komodein (Cleon and Laches being the particular onomata in Wasps), tragic parody – as well as contextual aspects such as the dramatic festivals, space in the theatre, and aspects of performance.  In historical background we will look at politics in Athens during the first decade of the Peloponnesian War, the jury system (selection of jurors, jury pay), and wider issues surrounding Attic courtroom oratory, such as the structure of trials, common oratorical tropes, and the various means by which the dêmos held its leading political and military figures to account.

A prerequisite of the course is having completed an advanced level course in Greek language (at Birkbeck or elsewhere).  You should have a comprehensive understanding of Greek morphology and syntax, and experience in reading short extracts (in the original Greek) from a range of ancient Greek authors.  Knowledge of Classical-period Athenian history will be an advantage.

Students who wish to do some preparatory reading are encouraged to read Aristophanes’ eleven surviving plays in English, and further directed towards:

Cartledge, P. (1990) Aristophanes and his theatre of the absurd (Bristol)

Dover, K. J. (1972) Aristophanic Comedy (Berkeley)

MacDowell, D. M. (1995) Aristophanes and Athens: An introduction to the plays (Oxford)

Robson, J. (2009) Aristophanes: An introduction (London)

Segal, E. (ed.) (1996) Oxford readings in Aristophanes (Oxford and New York)