ATS2083 - Bread and circuses: Performing identity in Greco-Roman cultures - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Centre for Ancient Cultures


Katherine McLardy

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Flexible)


The unit examines the cultural experiences of the Greeks and the Romans from the emergence of the Greek tribes to the creation of the Roman Empire through their literature. Students will examine themes including: war and peace, violence and the games, science and knowledge, politics and litigation, love and sex, death and the Afterlife, through a study of lyric poetry (Horace), elegy (Catullus, Propertius, Tibullus, Ovid), historical writings and biography (Livy, Tacitus, Plutarch, Suetonius), philosophy (Cicero, Seneca), comedy (Plautus, Terence), legal and political writings and magical tracts. All texts will be studied in translation.


  1. Study the literary genres of ancient Greece and Rome and their conventions;
  2. Study the evolution of Greek and Roman literature in relation to contemporary socio-political changes;
  3. Learn the ways in which literature portrays ideas about ancient identities and their relation to the Others;
  4. Become familiar with the Greek/Hellenistic influences on Roman literature;
  5. Develop critical thinking and particular research skills to investigate the primary and secondary sources with regard to the above.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study