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CLAS242 Living and Dying in Classical Athens

A study of social life in fifth-century BC Athens. Topics include the Greek family and the role of law, literature and political power in Athenian life.

Athens in the fifth century BCE played a pivotal role in the development of Western civilisation, making important advances in philosophical and political thought, drama, poetry and art. This paper studies how the everyday lives of ancient Athenians intersected with these intellectual advances, looking in particular at their social, political, legal and religious practices.

Paper title Living and Dying in Classical Athens
Paper code CLAS242
Subject Classical Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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(18 CLAS, GREK or LATN points) or 54 points
CLAS 332
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Lecturer: Dr Arlene Allan
Paper Structure

Following four introductory lectures, this paper proceeds to examine nine key aspects of life in classical Athens in lectures on Monday and then to consider the degree to which selected tragic texts engage with these aspects of Athenian life in the lectures on Wednesdays.

Internal Assessment 60%

Exam 40%

Teaching Arrangements
Two 50-minute lectures each week and one 50-minute tutorial fortnightly over the course of 13 weeks.

D. Grene & R. Lattimore, Sophocles 1: Three Tragedies (Chicago).

Esposito, Stephen (ed) Euripides, Medea, Hippolytus, Heracles, Bacchae. (Newburyport, MA: Focus).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
An appreciation of the ways in which historical and cultural context can influence artistic content and interpretation.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 11:00-11:50 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 22