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Roman Myth (CLAM107)

StaffProfessor Sharon Marshall - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

  • The aim of the module is to understand as much as possible of a range of stories whose vividness and exemplary power created the Romans' vision of their own past and has appealed to artists and writers throughout the centuries.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the Romans' story-world from both literary and iconographic sources
  • 2. Demonstrate insight into the way such stories were created, developed and exploited
  • 3. Demonstrate understanding of the reception of Roman stories, from the end of antiquity to the present

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Collate and analyse widely different types of evidence, much of which is incomplete and ambiguous
  • 5. Demonstrate independent understanding of the relationship of myth to its cultural and historical context
  • 6. Reflect critically on the origins, development and significance of traditional stories in one's own and another culture

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Demonstrate advanced skills in research and the compilation of bibliography
  • 8. Independently analyse written and visual sources and critically evaluate secondary literature
  • 9. Construct and defend a sustained coherent argument (both written and oral)
  • 10. Collaborate with instructor and peers in a constructive and responsive way
  • 11. Demonstrate confidence and clarity in oral and written communication

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • What is (Roman) myth?
  • The origins of the Roman people
  • Romulus, Remus and the she-wolf
  • The rape of Lucretia
  • Ovid and the festivals
  • The Tabulae Iliacae
  • Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome
  • Claudia Quinta
  • The Floralia
  • W. F. Jackson Knight
  • Valerius Maximus
  • Coriolanus
  • The François Tomb
  • Virginia
  • The Belvedere Altar
  • Servius Tullius
  • Mars and Rhea Silvia sarcophagi

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching15Intensive seminar and reading group teaching
Guided independent study135Working independently and in groups in preparation for seminars and essays

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Outline of essay1000 words1-11Written and oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay804000 words1-11Mark; written and oral feedback
Oral presentation (narrated PowerPoint)2020-25 minutes1-11Mark; written and oral feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-11Referral/Deferral period
Oral presentation (narrated PowerPoint)Oral presentation (narrated PowerPoint)1-11Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bremmer, J.N., and N.M. Horsfall. Roman Myth and Mythography. London, 1987.
  • Feeney, D. Caesar's Calendar: Ancient Time and the Beginnings of History. Sather Classical Lectures, 65. Berkeley, 2007.
  • Galinsky, G.K. Aeneas, Sicily, and Rome. Princeton, 1969.
  • Herbert-Brown, G. (ed.). Ovid's Fasti: Historical Readings at its Bimillenium. Oxford; New York, 2002.
  • Kraus, C.S., and A.J. Woodman. Latin Historians. Greece and Rome New Surveys in the Classics, 27. Oxford, 1997.
  • Miles, G.B. Livy:Reconstructing Early Rome. Ithaca, 1995.
  • Murgatroyd, P. Mythical and Legendary Narrative in Ovid’s Fasti. Leiden, 2005.
  • Ogilvie, R.M. A Commentary on Livy. Books 1-5. Oxford, 2016.
  • Stadter, P.A. Plutarch and his Roman Readers. Oxford, 2014.
  • Wiseman, T.P. Unwritten Rome. Liverpool, 2014.
  • —. Remembering the Roman People: Essays on Late-Republican Politics and Literature. Oxford, 2009.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date

Feb 2013

Last revision date


Key words search

Roman myth, history, Ovid, Livy, Virgil, Plutarch