The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course will introduce students to a selected range of ancient historians from key periods in ancient history. Options in any one semester will focus on one or more major ancient historians from the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Themes will include the methodology of ancient historians, their reliability, the literary aspects of their work, the portrayal of other cultures, the role of the audience, the impact of their own intellectual and cultural environments, and the question of 'truth' versus fiction.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Assemble an account of the historiographical approach of an ancient author.

2. Describe to a peer group the contours of their research project.

3. Understand historiographical techniques and apply them to particular ancient authors.

4. Appraise the value of modern treatments of ancient historiography.


The course covers both Greek and Roman historians and biographers. Authors writing on 5th and 4th century Greece are included, such as Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as the historians of the age of Alexander, and the biographer Plutarch, also relevant to Roman history. The Roman period is further catered for by historians such as Polybius, Sallust, and Tacitus, and the biographer Suetonius. All authors are considered in relation to their intellectual and cultural environment, their methodology and reliability, the impact of genre on the treatment, the portrayal of other cultures, and the role of individuals in shaping history.

Assumed knowledge

At least 20 units of 2000 or 3000 level courses in Ancient History

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Source Analysis (20%)

Presentation: Seminar Presentation (20%)

Essay: Major Essay (45%)

Literature Review: Modern Literature Review (15%)

Contact hours


Individual Supervision

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 5 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks