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.

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Unit Overview


This unit requires students to engage in depth with literary texts (principally works of historiography) as sources for our understanding of the ancient world. Works of historical writing frequently provide the underlying narrative on which modern reconstructions of antiquity are built, and an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of such writings is thus critical to research in antiquities. Through close study of selected texts (such as Thucydides' narrative of the Peloponnesian War, or Tacitus' account of the Julio-Claudian emperors), students are encouraged to engage with issues such as the generic conventions of the chosen texts, the intellectual and cultural milieu of the writer, and problems of textual transmission and preservation, and to explore the ways in which such considerations might inform our use of the texts as historical documents. The integration of the selected texts with other sources of information (such as archaeological or epigraphic remains), a task at the core of research praxis in Ancient History, is explored as appropriate. Students are also required to demonstrate awareness of current scholarly discourse around the chosen texts.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Classics and Ancient History [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) demonstrate understandings of the strengths and limitations of using literary techniques to interpret ancient historiography; (2) display an awareness of the relationship of the chosen texts to other ancient materials (both literary and non-literary); (3) show understandings of current scholarly debates concerning the chosen literary texts; and (4) integrate the above understandings within research theses formulated around the chosen literary texts, and communicate their findings in well-developed arguments that adhere to the scholarly conventions of the discipline.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) long essay; and (3) oral presentation. 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)
Associate Professor Christopher Mallan
Unit rules
enrolment in
honours in Classics and Ancient History
  • 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.