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 introduces students to how the writers, thinkers and artists of ancient Greece and Rome have influenced writers, thinkers and artists worldwide, from Africa in the 5th century CE (Saint Augustine) to contemporary Australia. In the first half of the unit students receive a roadmap of major historical landmarks in the ‘Classical Tradition', such as the revival of classical learning under Charlemagne in the 9th century CE, the Platonic Renaissance of the twelfth century, and the recovery of lost ancient works by the humanists of the Italian Renaissance. In the second half, via a series of in-depth case studies, students will have the opportunity to explore the reception of key ancient works in medieval, early modern and contemporary literature and media. Genres and authors covered may include: epic, from Homer through to Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad; ancient Stoic thought in the Renaissance and in modern self-help literature; and various film adaptations of classical plays, stories and characters, such as Pasolini's Medea and Spike Lee's Chi-Raq (based on Aristophanes' Lysistrata).

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Classics and Ancient History major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) identify and describe significant elements of continuity and change in the global inheritance of the Classical tradition of Greece and Rome over the period from late antiquity to the present day; (2) read and interpret original literature, documents and artworks in relation to their influence from and transformation of Classical models; (3) display familiarity with the major disciplinary approaches (scholarship, theories and methodologies) that underpin the study of the Classical tradition and also the newer field of Classical Reception Studies; and (4) develop clear and scholarly interpretations from independent research and analysis, using the appropriate discourse conventions of written and oral forms, and be able to defend a critical position.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial and/or workshop participation; (2) written review of a contemporary exhibition/ film/ book showing classical influence; and (3) research essay. 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 Kirk Essary
Unit rules
Any level-2 unit from CLAN, HIST, ENGL,
or EURO.
Advisable prior study
Units from Classics and Ancient History (including Latin
or Greek) complement this unit very well, as do studies in History, Art History, European Studies,
or English, but there are no prerequisites beyond those listed above
Contact hours
Up to 3 hours per week
  • 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.