Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview

This unit studies two of the most important and influential poems ever composed, Homer's Odyssey and Vergil's Aeneid. Ancient epic dealt with the grandest of themes—fate and heroism, love and war, monsters and social order. The unit examines the very different ways these two particular epics dealt with such themes and also seeks to situate them against their historical and literary backgrounds. In particular, the eighth-century BC Greek Odyssey is presented in the context of westward Hellenic expansion and the changing social conditions of the early archaic period, while the first-century BC Roman Aeneid is seen in the light of the world empire of Rome and the rising autocracy of Augustus.
6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) present to an audience of peers arguments about these themes; (2) defend and criticise such arguments in discussion with peers; (3) demonstrate in writing a thorough knowledge of the texts of both poems, especially in connection with these themes; and (4) present a research essay on an aspect of the poems.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial performance (including presentation); (2) essay; and (3) an end-of-semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Neil O'Sullivan
Unit rules
any Level 2 CLAN unit
CLAH2230 Ancient Epic
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week (for 10 weeks)
tutorials: 1 hour per week (for 8 weeks)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.