Interpreting the Ancient World

Subject ANCW30017 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


This subject is only available to students completing the final year of a major in ancient world studies, or those in the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Classical Studies and Archaeology). Completion of 37.5 points of level 2 subjects in ancient world studies and enrolment in the Bachelor of Arts or Graduate Diploma in Arts.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Louise Hitchcock, Dr James Chong-Gossard


Louise Hitchcock

James Chong-Gossard

Subject Overview:

Ancient World Studies encourages a broad approach to the interpretation of the past, integrating both texts and material remains to understand past cultures, thinking, and behavior. These remains consist of fragmentary archaeological remains, including the ordinary debris of daily life, luxury items, art, architecture, and texts. Texts, which are also sometimes fragmentary, include the literary, historical, political, and religious documents of the Classical world and the ancient Near East in translation. This subject will draw on students’ previous academic experience of these diverse categories of data in teaching them appropriate methods and theories drawn from literary studies, anthropology, archaeology, and art history required to promote an integrated and balanced approach to the combined interpretation of textual, symbolic, and archaeological evidence in both historic and in prehistoric periods. Students will also be given practical advice in preparing for the future, whether they are planning a non-academic career, or for honours and post-graduate study.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have a unified knowledge of and experience of classical studies, art, and archaeology;
  • gain knowledge of methods and approaches for studying literary and historical texts, archaeological remains, and ancient art;
  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural contexts in studying the past and present;
  • gain a practical foundation in critical thinking, writing, and communication for undertaking employment, research or graduate study pathways;


Nine weekly 200-word essays and/or critiques based on the readings; and preparation of one 200-word resume or curriculum vitae, 40% (4% per item), due throughout the semester; an oral presentation equivalent to 200 words (5%) on the research essay topic (due during a tutorial); one 1800-word final research essay 45% (due during the examination period); class discussion on the readings and lecures during weekly tutorials, or on the online discussion board during the semester, 10%.

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 80% of tutorials ( i.e., 8 out of 11 weeks) in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Hitchcock, L.A. (2008) Theory for Classics. London: Routledge.

Subject readings will be available on line

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

Interpreting the Ancient World is the capstone subject for students taking the major in ancient world studies

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies

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