Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code CLAH858
Coordinator Miss EC Sanderson
Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information



To explore praise and blame in Classical antiquity across a range of social and political contexts from Archaic Greece through to Imperial Rome;

To examine a variety of written texts that convey praise or blame, including epic and epinician poetry, comedy, philosophy, oratory, inscriptions, letters and panygeric;

To engage with theoretical approaches to praise and blame in antiquity and the present-day, adopting a comparative perspective

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To recognize modes, strategies and theories of praise and blame in ancient Greece and Rome and there significance in the negotiation of relationships, personal and political, and in the construction of values

(LO2) To become familiar with and critically evaluate a diverse range of written material from Classical antiquity, including epic and epinician poetry, drama, philosophy, oratory, letters, biography, panegyric and inscriptions, in all their complexity and contexts

(LO3) To engage with specialist scholarship and deploy it to build advanced in-depth knowledge and understanding of the cultural importance of praise and blame in Classical antiquity

(LO4) To be able to formulate a research question, present key ideas and themes in oral presentation, and respond to feedback; and to undertake independent research and communicate the results in writing

(S1) Critical thinking: advanced evaluation and reasoning in the analysis and deployment of data and specialist scholarship to develop logical and sophisticated arguments

(S2) Communication: adopting appropriate strategies and language for the presentation of complex ideas in verbal and written forms for different audiences and purposes

(S3) Research: the identification of sources and resources, the collection and manipulation of data, and the presentation of results, with the aid of information and communications technologies

(S4) Independence: self-direction and autonomy in the conception, implementation, pursuit and completion of tasks at a professional level

(S5) Sensitivity to diversity: understanding of and respect for different intellectual positions and other cultures, based on awareness of complexity and sensitivity to context

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Students prepare for each seminar by reading relevant ancient texts and by reading a wide selection of recommended scholarship, and they actively contribute to classroom discussion.

Essay workshop:
The workshop provides students with a venue to present questions, ancient material, and modern theories relating to their chosen essay topic and to receive peer feedback on their progress so far.

Notes: Students prepare a 10 minute presentation detailing their proposed essay question, the key areas for investigation and evidence, along with any methodological or interpretative problems, the results of their research so far.



Topics may be drawn from the following, depending on staff availability:

Praising gods and kings: Greek hymns;

The language of praise in Greek lyric poetry;

Misogyny and misanthropy in Greek lyric poetry;

Athletes and epicinician poetry;

Praising the dead: Epigrams and funeral orations;

Comic abuse;

Sycophants and flatterers;

Praise and blame in Pliny’s letters;

Theorizing epideictic;

Biography as encomia?

Praising power: panegyric oratory;

Praising power: Epic and historiography;

Beyond epideictic: Forensic and deliberative oratory;

Praise and blame: Ancient to modern.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   9




Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 50


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Essay. There is a reassessment opportunity. Standard UoL penalties will apply. This is not an anonymous assessment.  -5000 words    100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.