Homer - ENG00039H

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Stephen Minta
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
    • See module specification for other years: 2017-18

Module summary

This module will be primarily concerned with the two epics traditionally attributed to Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey. The course will begin with a consideration of the kind of poem represented by these epics, examining what is meant by oral composition, the nature of the epic tradition, and the problems of subsequent transmission. Later seminars will be concerned with the geography, real and imagined, of the Homeric poems; the contexts provided by archaeology for an understanding both of the Mycenaean world and of the so-called dark age which followed; Homeric social and political values; the question of time, memory, and the heroic concept of human life; the relationship between human beings and the gods.

Students will be expected to have completed a preliminary reading of the two epics before starting the module. Of the modern versions, those by Robert Fitzgerald, Robert Fagles, and Richmond Lattimore are recommended. Lattimore is, in general, the closest to the original Greek. Three critical books that might give you an idea of whether you would enjoy the course are: P. Vivante, The Homeric Imagination (1970); M. Silk, Homer: The Iliad (1987); and J. Griffin, Homer: The Odyssey (1987).

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

To encourage an engagement with the earliest texts in the European literary tradition.

Module learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of The Iliad and The Odyssey, in English translation.
  • Awareness of the distinctive nature of oral epic.
  • Knowledge of the literary, historical, and cultural contexts within which the Homeric epics were produced.
  • Familiarity with some of the main trends in modern Homeric criticism.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3500 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

  • You will be given the opportunity to submit a 1000 word formative essay for the module, which can feed into the 3,500 word summative essay submitted at the end of the module.
  • Please hand in a hard copy of your formative essay to your tutor in the seminar – arrangements will be confirmed at the start of the module. It will be annotated and given back to you by your tutor within two weeks. Feedback on the essay will be uploaded to eVision.
  • Your summative essay is submitted via the VLE by 12noon on Monday of week 1 of the following term. Feedback on your summative essay will be uploaded to eVision no later than 4 weeks after submission.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3500 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours  
  • For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see the department's Guide to Assessment

Indicative reading

Three critical books that might give you an idea of whether you would enjoy the course are: P. Vivante, The Homeric Imagination (1970); M. Silk, Homer: The Iliad (1987); and J. Griffin, Homer: The Odyssey (1987).



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.