Classics at Warwick: History, Archaeology and Material Culture modules

If you like history more than you can study more history modules. If you like art and architecture then you can study more of that. All the first years take the module Roman Culture and Society. Which is a core module. In it we look at the things that we share in common with the Romans but also things that are completely abhorent to the modern world like slavery and the treatment of gladiators. And of course the interest in coinage and monetary history feeds into the teaching on my module on The Roman Economy. And that raises the question, well how do you study an economy where for example we have almost no prices, we have really quite scattered evidence and so our ideas about the Roman economy of course are always shifting. There’s also a lot of changing modules and recently there have been new ones added this year. So I’m doing a module called Ancient Global History which is brand new. And this is a module focused on connections between cultures between those in the Mediterranean, between Asia, India and China. We’re in a Classics department, the students involved in this module know about the Mediterranean they don’t know anything about the worlds of Asia, India and China. And so the course is about giving them the tools to understand these different ancient cultures, then to think about the connections between them and then indeed to compare the different ways those cultures worked and thought. My favourite module in my degree was Hellenistic World because instead of simply just focusing on Rome and Greece we were given a broader perspective of the empire. So we focused on Asia and Egypt for example and we had time to understand and learn about the stories of those who were marginalised in the empire. The Roman Empire from Antoninus Pius to Constantine. So this is a period of Roman History that is actually very rarely taught in UK universities. And this is really a fun period to teach because it’s when the Roman Empire goes bad. The empire begins to fail and everything falls apart and emporers get taken back into Persia and used as foot stools by other kings. And it’s a really interesting period of history to teach. You get the development of Christianity as a mainstream religion and as an accepted religion which is usually a stage that we never study in classics and it was really interesting to just see how the foundation of modern society, how that started. That particular module I loved because it was so different and it gave such a different insight into Classics but also all the time being like this is just as valid: this time period, these people. They may not be as famous but they’re still just as canonical.

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