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AHPG823 – History Writing in Antiquity: Herodotus and Thucydides

2018 – S2 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Ian Plant
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MAncHist or GradCertAncHist or MA in (Ancient History or Coptic Studies)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
In antiquity Herodotus was regarded as the father of history. Thucydides is widely acknowledged as the creator of political history. This unit examines a range of historiographical approaches to the reading of these two influential Greek historians. The aim of this unit is both to understand Herodotus and Thucydides as writers and to evaluate the different historiographical approaches taken by the modern scholars who have studied them.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. 1. Identify the sources for and approaches to the historiography of the ancient world.
  2. 2. Assess the relevant sources and issues critically, analytically, and in an integrated fashion.
  3. 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  4. 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  5. 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.
  6. 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
First seminar Paper 12% No Friday 5.00 p.m. week 6
Second seminar paper 13% No Friday 5.00 p.m. week 10
Major Essay 50% No 5pm Friday week 13.
Discussion in class and online 25% No 5pm Sunday each week

First seminar Paper

Due: Friday 5.00 p.m. week 6
Weighting: 12%

Choose one of the seminar topics ( not week 1) and address the final question for the topic in no more than 1000 words. Make sure that you refer to relevant ancient evidence in your answer. Address at least two of the works of modern scholarship listed for that topic.

You must include a bibliography of works cited.

This seminar paper is not meant to be a research essay and is designed to guide your reading of the evidence for the topic, introduce the research questions posed by that evidence and ask you to apply the historiographical issues of that topic to texts relevant to your own field of interest.

The topic chosen may not be the same as that addressed in your essay.

Your paper should be based firmly upon the ancient evidence, and should show an appreciation of differences in interpretation offered by modern scholarship.

Obviously, there is only so much you can say in 1000 words. You should consider this an exercise in expressing yourself succinctly. When citing the ancient evidence upon which you are basing any observation, you may choose to cite it in parentheses (brackets) or you may choose to use footnotes. Any material in footnotes is not considered to be part of your word-length.

How to submit your assessment? – upload your first paper to Turnitin as Assessment 1. 

 

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • 1. Identify the sources for and approaches to the historiography of the ancient world.
  • 2. Assess the relevant sources and issues critically, analytically, and in an integrated fashion.
  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.
  • 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Second seminar paper

Due: Friday 5.00 p.m. week 10
Weighting: 13%

Choose one of the seminar topics ( not week 1) and address the final question for the topic in no more than 1000 words. Make sure that you refer to relevant ancient evidence in your answer. Address at least two of the works of modern scholarship listed for that topic.

You must include a bibliography of works cited.

This seminar paper is not meant to be a research essay and is designed to guide your reading of the evidence for the topic, introduce the research questions posed by that evidence and ask you to apply the historiographical issues of that topic to texts relevant to your own field of interest.

The topic chosen may not be the same as that addressed in your essay.

Your paper should be based firmly upon the ancient evidence, and should show an appreciation of differences in interpretation offered by modern scholarship.

Obviously, there is only so much you can say in 1000 words. You should consider this an exercise in expressing yourself succinctly. When citing the ancient evidence upon which you are basing any observation, you may choose to cite it in parentheses (brackets) or you may choose to use footnotes. Any material in footnotes is not considered to be part of your word-length.

How to submit your assessment? –  Submit your second paper as Assessment 2 in Turnitin.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • 1. Identify the sources for and approaches to the historiography of the ancient world.
  • 2. Assess the relevant sources and issues critically, analytically, and in an integrated fashion.
  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.
  • 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Major Essay

Due: 5pm Friday week 13.
Weighting: 50%

Choose a topic introduced in the seminars and formulate an appropriate question. You should choose this question in consultation with the unit convenor. You may not write your essay on the same topic you choose for your seminar papers. You must include a bibliography of works cited. Your essay should be 3000 words in length (no more), based firmly upon the ancient evidence, and should show an understanding of historiography: the critical analysis of historical writing.

In your essay you should draw upon the approaches to Herodotus and Thucydides discussed in the unit, and offer critical response to those approaches. The ancient evidence you discuss may be sources other than Herodotus and Thucydides.

The Major Essay should be formatted as carefully as possible, as though it were to be submitted to a journal for consideration. Producing well proofed, grammatical, and error free copy is an essential skill for postgraduate work, academic publication, and valued in the workplace. 10% of the total available marks for the essay will be devoted to the style, grammar, referencing, structure, and presentation of the bibliography. At this level of study, work should be sufficiently polished that it could be submitted to a journal in the field.

An Essay Rubric with a breakdown of the essay marks is available under assessment resources. Please familiarise yourself with the rubric and the supplementary materials given there on theoretical engagement, the analysis of evidence, and the difference between narrative description and argument.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • 1. Identify the sources for and approaches to the historiography of the ancient world.
  • 2. Assess the relevant sources and issues critically, analytically, and in an integrated fashion.
  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.
  • 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Discussion in class and online

Due: 5pm Sunday each week
Weighting: 25%

Each week you should work through the relevant passages from Herodotus or Thucydides and discuss them in class and online. You may discuss other texts that illustrate similar issues. Your discussion should focus on how the material addresses the questions in the study notes for that topic. You may discuss the modern readings too. You may choose to address one or more of the modern readings, looking at what their perspective brings to the topics we are addressing. I do not expect you to address all of the modern scholarship listed for a topic each week but you should frame your understanding of the ancient source by reference to the modern scholarship. You should respond to  postings by other students each week too. The time limit for postings each week must be observed. We will be moving on each week to a new topic and postings in previous weeks will not be read. The marks for this component of your grade will be given for the quality of your weekly contribution, postings, your responses to other postings and your overall contribution. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • 1. Identify the sources for and approaches to the historiography of the ancient world.
  • 2. Assess the relevant sources and issues critically, analytically, and in an integrated fashion.
  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.
  • 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Delivery and Resources

Successful Completion

To complete the unit successfully, you will need to achieve an overall mark of 50% or above.

Extensions

Extensions for assignments can only be granted for medical reasons or on compassionate grounds. Requests for an extension must be made through Ask.Mq: https://ask.mq.edu.au

 

Faculty Late Submission Penalty

“Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests.”

Textbook

The unit will include reading of Herodotus and Thucydides each week.  There are electronic copies of these texts readily available eg. at perseus.tufts.edu. You may choose to use any edition of Herodotus or Thucydides. If you are buying a copy, I recommend you obtain one of the two editions of each text listed below. 

Herodotus:R. B. Strassler (ed. 2007) The Landmark Herodotus, New York.

Thucydides: R. B. Strassler (ed. 1996, 1998) The Landmark Thucydides, New York, Simon and Schuster; Touchstone Paperback.

 

Seminars & online discussion

There will be one 2-hour seminar each week All students are required to  participate online each week by contributing to the seminar discussion. 

Electronic Resources

There will be a unit iLearn site, on which readings and resources will be placed. 

PC and Internet access, basic computer skills (e.g. internet browsing) and skills in word processing are required to complete the unit. 

 

Assessment Submission. All written work must be submitted through the turnitin links for each assessment item on iLearn.

 

Unit Schedule

Weekly schedule:

Week 1 Introduction to historiography

Week 2 The historian and sources

Week 3 Thematic approach to reading an historian: Women in Herodotus

Week 4 Causation in history

Week 5 Politics and the historian

Week 6 History as literature

Week 7 Unitary vs Analyst: the composition question

Week 8 Speeches and citation in ancient history

Week 9 Individuals: a historian's creation of a character in history

Week 10 Narratology: reader and text

Week 11 Structure and intertextuality

Week 12 History and historiography

Week 13 No seminar: prepare essay for submission

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Undergraduate students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/study/getting-started/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.

Note carefully that any marks given for assessment tasks during the unit should be considered provisional and are subject to moderation.

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

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • 1. Identify the sources for and approaches to the historiography of the ancient world.
  • 2. Assess the relevant sources and issues critically, analytically, and in an integrated fashion.
  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.

Assessment tasks

  • First seminar Paper
  • Second seminar paper
  • Major Essay
  • Discussion in class and online

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • 1. Identify the sources for and approaches to the historiography of the ancient world.
  • 2. Assess the relevant sources and issues critically, analytically, and in an integrated fashion.
  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.

Assessment tasks

  • First seminar Paper
  • Second seminar paper
  • Major Essay

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.
  • 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Assessment tasks

  • Major Essay
  • Discussion in class and online

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.
  • 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Assessment tasks

  • Major Essay
  • Discussion in class and online

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • 1. Identify the sources for and approaches to the historiography of the ancient world.
  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 4. Understand the development of the discipline in light of sociocultural history and the relationship between current practices and the contemporary world.
  • 5. Apply problem solving techniques on the basis of their own research and interpretation and assessment of the data.
  • 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Assessment tasks

  • First seminar Paper
  • Second seminar paper
  • Major Essay
  • Discussion in class and online

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • 3. Interpret, understand, and advance the state of thinking about the writing of ancient history, and read against the sources.
  • 6. Communicate effectively and convey views and opinions, including in formal presentations and group discussions.

Assessment tasks

  • First seminar Paper
  • Second seminar paper
  • Major Essay
  • Discussion in class and online

Changes from Previous Offering

Revisions to course and assessment content

Changes since First Published

Date Description
13/07/2018 Change of seminar topic in week 9