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AHIS120 – Antiquity's Heirs: Barbarian Europe, Byzantium, and Islam

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Associate Professor Andrew Gillett
Contact via andrew.gillett@mq.edu.au
Australian Hearning Hub, floor 2, south side, 2.678
To be announced
Tutor
Dr Meaghan Mcevoy
Contact via meaghan.mcevoy@mq.edu.au
Australian Hearing Hub, floor 2 south side
To be announced
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
How do the ancient world and the modern world fit together? Where did the Roman Empire, and its older neighbour Persia, go? Late Antiquity (c. 250–750 CE) was a period of profound transition that crucially shaped the world we know today. This introductory survey examines how both Christianity and Islam arose from the classical world, while charting the origins of European states, Rome's 1000 year continuation in Byzantium, and the creation of the Islamic caliphate. Pivotal changes in society and culture are studied through texts concerning such figures as Attila, Anglo-Saxon monks, and the earliest Islamic poets.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. A broad understanding of major historical developments in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Middle East in the period between the third and eighth centuries, and a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period
  2. Skills in reading ancient texts from a variety of historical and cultural contexts, with particular attention to critically identifying issues involved in interpretation of culturally-distant texts
  3. Research skills supporting independent location and evaluation of information, suitable for research at university level and for other professional situations. In particular, the unit aims to introduce and encourage the use of research tools available through full exploitation of the Library system, using both its digital and paper research facilities
  4. Development of written and oral communication skills: (a) written: essay-writing skills through guidance, practice, and feed-back; (b) oral: through small group collaboration in tutorial discussion exercises, and class participation

General Assessment Information

Submission of Written Assignments

Submission of Tutorial Paper and Research Essay: The Tutorial Paper, Feedback Exercise, and Research Essay are to be submitted through TurnItIn via the iLearn unit webs.

 

Policies on Written Assessment: Extensions, Late/Early Submission, Length

Extensions can only be granted in exceptional cases and may only be sought by consulting your tutor and before the assignment is due.

Late assignment policy (Department of Ancient History)

Barring genuine emergencies, extensions will not be granted without a valid and documented reason (e.g. medical certificate), and must be arranged in advance with your tutor. Late submissions will be penalised by 2% for each day (including weekends) the assignment task is late. No assignments will be accepted after assignments have been corrected and feedback has been provided.

Length policy: Essays exceeding or falling short of the specified word lengths will attract a penalty: divergences of more than 10% will attract a penalty of 10%.

Assignment tasks handed in early will be marked and returned with other papers (i.e. not before the due date).

For Disruption of Studies Policy see under Policies and Procedures.

 

Expectations of the student, and Satisfactory Completion of the Unit

Following are the components which you are required to undertake in order to complete the unit satisfactorily:

Classwork:

- Lectures: 13 weeks of lectures (two hours each week)

- Tutorials: 11 tutorial meetings, most of which require preparation (close reading of texts and consideration of suggested issues)

Preparatory readings:

- Lecture Readings: self-guided readings from the unit Reader (AHIS120 Readings: Late Antiquity – A Florilegium) to prepare for each of the unit modules

- Textbook: self-guided readings (McEvedy, The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History)

- Tutorial Readings from the unit Reader (AHIS120 Readings: Late Antiquity – A Florilegium) to prepare before tutorials

Maintaining a Research Journal: as part of the Second Essay and as essential preparations for the Examination (details on iLearn site).

Assessment: 5 assessment items (Tutorial Participation, Tutorial Paper, Feedback Exercise, Research Essay, Examination)

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Tutorial Participation 10% Weeks 1 to 12
Tutorial Paper 20% Week 6 Monday 4 Sept 9.00am
Feedback Exercise 5% Week 8 Friday 6 October 5.00pm
Research Essay 40% Week 13 Monday 6 Nov 9.00am
Exam and Research Journal 25% Central Examination period

Tutorial Participation

Due: Weeks 1 to 12
Weighting: 10%

Tutorials

Tutorials will consist of group-work or whole-class activities, and some very short written activities may be undertaken in some tutorials.  The tutorial participation mark will be assessed on the basis of active participation, demonstrating significant preparation, not just attendance.  In order to obtain a mark for tutorial participation, no more than 2 tutorials may missed without documentation.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • A broad understanding of major historical developments in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Middle East in the period between the third and eighth centuries, and a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period
  • Skills in reading ancient texts from a variety of historical and cultural contexts, with particular attention to critically identifying issues involved in interpretation of culturally-distant texts
  • Development of written and oral communication skills: (a) written: essay-writing skills through guidance, practice, and feed-back; (b) oral: through small group collaboration in tutorial discussion exercises, and class participation

Tutorial Paper

Due: Week 6 Monday 4 Sept 9.00am
Weighting: 20%

Tutorial Paper: Government and Religion in the Later Roman Empire

The Tutorial Paper aims to develop skills in analysing sources for data.  The assignment will be based on readings prepared for the Week 3 tutorial. 

Full details of the assignment task, supporting materials, and assessment criteria will be provided on the iLearn unit website.

The length of the Tutorial Paper is 1,000 words.

The Tutorial Paper is to be submitted through TurnItIn via the iLearn unit website.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Skills in reading ancient texts from a variety of historical and cultural contexts, with particular attention to critically identifying issues involved in interpretation of culturally-distant texts
  • Development of written and oral communication skills: (a) written: essay-writing skills through guidance, practice, and feed-back; (b) oral: through small group collaboration in tutorial discussion exercises, and class participation

Feedback Exercise

Due: Week 8 Friday 6 October 5.00pm
Weighting: 5%

Feedback Exercise

The Feedback Exercise aims to strengthen essay-writing skills through critical thinking on the task of writing and active engagement with feedback.  The exercise requires critical reflection on unit content concerning essay-writing: markers' feedback on the Tutorial Paper, the Learning Skills guest-lecture, the Essay Development Workshop in tutorials, and the "Setting About Your Essay" check-list,. 

Full details of the task will be provided on the iLearn unit website.

The length of the Feedback Exercise is 300 words.

The Feedback Exercise is to be submitted through TurnItIn via the iLearn unit website.

The exercise will be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Development of written and oral communication skills: (a) written: essay-writing skills through guidance, practice, and feed-back; (b) oral: through small group collaboration in tutorial discussion exercises, and class participation

Research Essay

Due: Week 13 Monday 6 Nov 9.00am
Weighting: 40%

Researching Late Antiquity in MQ Library

The Research Essay aims to develop basic research skills needed to gain familiarity of broad new fields of knowledge, and in particular to development familiarity with exploiting a professional research library to its fullest benefit.

Full details of the assignment task, supporting materials, and assessment criteria will be provided on the iLearn unit website.

The length of the Research Essay is 2,000 words.

The Research Essay is to be submitted through TurnItIn via the iLearn unit website.

Research Journal

As part of the Research Essay, students are required to maintain a Research Journal throughout the second half of the Session, to be filled in while carrying out work for the Research Essay.  The Research Journal will not be marked or submitted with the Research Essay, but it will form the basis of the second half of the examination (see below).


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • A broad understanding of major historical developments in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Middle East in the period between the third and eighth centuries, and a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period
  • Research skills supporting independent location and evaluation of information, suitable for research at university level and for other professional situations. In particular, the unit aims to introduce and encourage the use of research tools available through full exploitation of the Library system, using both its digital and paper research facilities
  • Development of written and oral communication skills: (a) written: essay-writing skills through guidance, practice, and feed-back; (b) oral: through small group collaboration in tutorial discussion exercises, and class participation

Exam and Research Journal

Due: Central Examination period
Weighting: 25%

Examination and Research Journal

The examination will be scheduled centrally.  It will be 2 hours.  No unit materials will be permitted in the examination.

The first part of the examination will comprise unseen short answer and essay questions.  The format will be described in class.

The second part of the examination will be a pre-circulated question, which will be provided in class, addressing research skills.  In preparation for this question, students are required to maintain a Research Journal throughout the second half of the Session, as they undertake their Research Essay.  Students will have to draw on their experiences, recorded in the Research Journal,  in order to complete the second part of examination.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • A broad understanding of major historical developments in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Middle East in the period between the third and eighth centuries, and a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period
  • Research skills supporting independent location and evaluation of information, suitable for research at university level and for other professional situations. In particular, the unit aims to introduce and encourage the use of research tools available through full exploitation of the Library system, using both its digital and paper research facilities
  • Development of written and oral communication skills: (a) written: essay-writing skills through guidance, practice, and feed-back; (b) oral: through small group collaboration in tutorial discussion exercises, and class participation

Delivery and Resources

Text Books

Required texts and materials: It is essential to buy these two items from the Coop Bookstore on campus:

(1) AHIS120 Readings: Late Antiquity: A Florilegium (this is essential for all tutorials, and for the lecture

program)

  • The Reader contains two sets of readings:
    • Lecture Readings: this section contains one book chapter relating to each of the 5 modules of the unit (late Roman empire, Sasanian Iran, Byzantium, early medieval western Europe, and Islam). The modules are set out in the “Lecture and Tutorial Program” below. You should read the relevant Lecture Reading before the beginning of each module, to provide background to the lectures.
    • Tutorial Readings: this section contains the ancient texts we will discuss in tutorials, together with short introductory essays.  The introductory essays and texts for each tutorial should be read, together with the reading guides in the relevant “Weekly Tasks” on the iLecture site, before each tutorial. You should prepare notes on the texts for discussion.

(2) Colin McEvedy, The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History (Harmondsworth, 1992)

  • Using McEvedy, The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History: This book is intended as a basic reference for the unit. It provides a very brief survey of the history of the period covered by this unit (and beyond). Neither the narrative nor the maps are infallible – they should never be taken as the final authority on any given topic – but the great virtue of this book is its inclusive vision, consistently embracing the Middle East and Africa north of the Sahara as well as western and central Europe. It therefore lets us see the developments of Iran and Rome, and the Islamic caliphates, Byzantine empire, and medieval western kingdoms, in relation to each other.  You should read through pp. 2 to 47 (i.e. the “Introduction” and the coverage of AD 362-AD 888) by yourself as early in the semester as you can, and get into the habit of referring to it regularly throughout the semester, when preparing for lectures and tutorials. Regard it as your pocket compass to help orient you across the scope of time and space of this unit.

Online iLearn Site

This unit has an online presence. Login is via: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/ Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

For technical support go to: http://mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/informatics/help

For student quick guides on the use of iLearn go to: http://mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/guides.htm

All lectures will be recorded on Echo360, and PowerPoint slides posted (after lectures) on the iLearn site.

Unit Schedule

Lecture, Tutorial, and Assessment Schedule

(A more detailed Schedule of Lectures, Tutorials, and Assessment will be posted on the iLearn site)

Week 1

 

Lectures:

Introduction

Tutorial I: Doing Late Antiquity

 

Week 2

  

Modules 1-2: The Two Superpowers of Late Antiquity

Module 1:  The Later Roman Empire

Lectures:

The Later Roman Empire

Tutorial II:  The Late Antique-Thought World

 

Week 3

 

Lectures:

The Later Roman Empire (continued)

Tutorial III:  Roman Imperial Legislation and The Christian Church

Week 4

 

Module 2:  Sasanian Iran

Lectures:

Sasanian Iran

Tutorial IV:  The Shahs and Zoroastrianism

 

Week 5

 

Lectures:

Sasanian Iran (continued)

Tutorial V:  Iconography of Rulership

Week 6

 

Tutorial paper due Monday 4 September 9.00am

Modules 3-5: Three Heirs of Antiquity

Module 3: Early Byzantium

Lectures:

Early Byzantium

(No tutorial this week)

Week 7

 

Lectures:

Early Byzantium (continued)

Tutorial VI:  Byzantine Diplomacy

 

(Mid-Session Recess: 2 weeks)

 

Week 8

 

Feedback Exercise due Friday 6 October 5.00pm

Lectures:

Early Byzantium (continued)

Tutorial VII:  Essay Development Workshop

Week 9

 

Module 4:  Early Medieval Western Europe

Lectures:

Early Medieval Western Europe

Tutorial VIII:  Centre and Periphery: Anglo-Saxon England

 

Week 10

 

Lectures:

Early Medieval Western Europe (continued)

Tutorial IX:  Research Exercise

 

Week 11

  

Module 5:  The Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates

Lectures:

The Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates

Tutorial X:  Abbasid Baghdad

Week 12

 

Lectures:

The Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates  (continued)

Tutorial XI: The Diplomatic World

Week 13

 

Research Essay due Monday 6 November 9.00am

Lectures:

Global Middle Ages and Unit Review

(no tutorial this week)

Exam during Examinations period

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Submission of Written Assignments

Submission of Tutorial Paper and Research Essay: The Historical Genre Study and Research Essay are to be submitted through TurnItIn via the iLearn unit website.

Policies on Written Assessment: Extensions, Late/Early Submission, Length

Extensions can only be granted in exceptional cases and may only be sought by consulting your tutor and before the assignment is due.

Late assignment policy: Barring genuine emergencies, extensions will not be granted without a valid and documented reason (e.g. medical certificate), and must be arranged in advance with your tutor. Late submissions will be penalised by 2% for each day (including weekends) the assignment task is late. No assignments will be accepted after assignments have been corrected and feedback has been provided.

Length policy: Essays exceeding or falling short of the specified word lengths will attract a penalty: divergences of more than 10% will attract a penalty of 10%.

Assignment tasks handed in early will be marked and returned with other papers (i.e. not before the due date).

For Disruption of Studies Policy see under Policies and Procedures.

__________________________________________________________

Extension Requests

 Extensions for the two written assignments will only be granted in the case of overwhelming personal circumstances or  medical situation, with supporting documentation (e.g. medical certificate, counsellor statement).  Barring genuine major emergencies, extensions must be sought in advance of the due date, not retrospectively.  Bear in mind that all written assessment (document studies and essays) should be begun long before the due date; generally, an extension can’t be given because of a problem which arises a day or two before the due date.  If it is necessary to request an extension, please contact the lecturer well before the due date.  Generally extensions will be made on a day-for-day basis (i.e. a medical certificate or counsellor statement for three days will be basis for three days’ extension).

Where an extension is considered, proof of work (e.g. dated files with draft and research notes) already undertaken already may be required. 

Remember, restrictions on extensions exist for fairness to other students who have worked to submit their items within the common restrictions.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • A broad understanding of major historical developments in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Middle East in the period between the third and eighth centuries, and a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • A broad understanding of major historical developments in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Middle East in the period between the third and eighth centuries, and a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period
  • Research skills supporting independent location and evaluation of information, suitable for research at university level and for other professional situations. In particular, the unit aims to introduce and encourage the use of research tools available through full exploitation of the Library system, using both its digital and paper research facilities

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Exam and Research Journal

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Skills in reading ancient texts from a variety of historical and cultural contexts, with particular attention to critically identifying issues involved in interpretation of culturally-distant texts
  • Research skills supporting independent location and evaluation of information, suitable for research at university level and for other professional situations. In particular, the unit aims to introduce and encourage the use of research tools available through full exploitation of the Library system, using both its digital and paper research facilities

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Exam and Research Journal

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Skills in reading ancient texts from a variety of historical and cultural contexts, with particular attention to critically identifying issues involved in interpretation of culturally-distant texts
  • Research skills supporting independent location and evaluation of information, suitable for research at university level and for other professional situations. In particular, the unit aims to introduce and encourage the use of research tools available through full exploitation of the Library system, using both its digital and paper research facilities
  • Development of written and oral communication skills: (a) written: essay-writing skills through guidance, practice, and feed-back; (b) oral: through small group collaboration in tutorial discussion exercises, and class participation

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Tutorial Paper
  • Feedback Exercise
  • Research Essay
  • Exam and Research Journal

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • A broad understanding of major historical developments in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Middle East in the period between the third and eighth centuries, and a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period
  • Skills in reading ancient texts from a variety of historical and cultural contexts, with particular attention to critically identifying issues involved in interpretation of culturally-distant texts
  • Research skills supporting independent location and evaluation of information, suitable for research at university level and for other professional situations. In particular, the unit aims to introduce and encourage the use of research tools available through full exploitation of the Library system, using both its digital and paper research facilities
  • Development of written and oral communication skills: (a) written: essay-writing skills through guidance, practice, and feed-back; (b) oral: through small group collaboration in tutorial discussion exercises, and class participation

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Tutorial Paper
  • Research Essay
  • Exam and Research Journal

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Skills in reading ancient texts from a variety of historical and cultural contexts, with particular attention to critically identifying issues involved in interpretation of culturally-distant texts
  • Research skills supporting independent location and evaluation of information, suitable for research at university level and for other professional situations. In particular, the unit aims to introduce and encourage the use of research tools available through full exploitation of the Library system, using both its digital and paper research facilities

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Tutorial Paper
  • Research Essay

Changes since First Published

Date Description
01/08/2017 Attendance requirement for tutorial participation mark added (previously deleted by error): "In order to obtain a mark for tutorial participation, no more than 2 tutorials may missed without documentation."