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War and the nature of heroism were the central subject of the ancient world's most prestigious literary genre, epic poetry. This unit explores the changing ways in which the experience of war and the character of the epic hero are represented in the major epics, such as those by Homer, Virgil and Ovid.

Summary 2021

Unit name War and the Hero: Classical Epic
Unit code HTC210
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Humanities
Discipline History and Classics

Dr. Jonathan Wallis

Teaching staff

Dr. Jonathan Wallis, Dr. Graeme Miles

Level Intermediate
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate awareness of a range of historical, literary, and cultural materials for the study of ancient epic traditions.
  2. Utilise primary and secondary sources of evidence for the study of the ‘classical’ epics of different cultures.
  3. Explain the historical and cultural contexts of ancient Greek and Roman epic in a global context.
  4. Apply appropriate methodologies for the analysis of Greek and Latin epic, especially in relation to those of other cultures and their later reception.
  5. Express analysis of ancient Greek and Latin epic effectively in writing.




25 points at introductory level in any discipline in any Faculty


Teaching Pattern

On Campus: Recorded, introductory lecture (approx. 30 minutes), weekly online reflection on reading, 1 x 2hr mixed format seminar: consisting of 2 x half hour lectures, with a half hour group discussion following each.

Off Campus: Recorded, introductory lecture (approx. 30 minutes), weekly online reflection on reading, 2 x short recorded lectures with online study schools for distance students (to replace seminars for on-campus students).


Task 1: Weekly reading reflections, 50-100 words (10%)

Task 2: Major essay, 1750 words (35%)

Task 3: Primary text analyses x 3, 300 words each (15%)

Task 4:  Take-home exam (40%)

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