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Classical Culture I

Code: 100015 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502758 Humanities OB 2 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Antonia Risquez Madrid

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


This course has no prerequisites.

Objectives and Contextualisation

At the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Interpret the classical culture.
  • Apply the historical, institutional, cultural and literary knowledge of the Graeco-Roman civilisation to the analysis of texts.
  • Analyse the process of textual transmission and the formation of the Romance languages.
  • Comment passages of the main genres of classical literature, and explain their main features.
  • Identify the presence of the classical tradition in European culture.


  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Identifying the historical processes of contemporary culture.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analysing the recycling of classical motifs in new contexts.
  2. Applying the historical, institutional, cultural and literary knowledge to the commentary of texts.
  3. Assessing the reception in the West of the thought and history of the classical world.
  4. Communicating in a properly, organised, and suitable manner in an oral conversation or presentation.
  5. Criticising the film adaptations of the classical mythological legends.
  6. Enumerating concepts of classic culture that have survived to the present society.
  7. Identifying the Greco-Roman sources that have inspired artists and literary people through history.
  8. Identifying the results of the projection of the classical world to the Western culture on various levels and in several eras and territories.
  9. Interpreting the material and cultural context of transmission of ancient texts.
  10. Relating the contemporary myths with the classical antiquity.
  11. Summarising characteristics of a written text according to its communicative purposes.




1.1. Geography and chronology.

1.2. What are the classics? What is tradition?

1.3. What are the classics whose transmission we are going to study?

· REQUIRED READING: Ítalo Calvino (2009), Por qué leer a los clásicos, Madrid: Siruela.



2.1. Writing supports and disciplines.

2.2. Evolution of the book.

2.3. The publishing market:

2.3.1. Writers and editorial agents.

2.3.2. The receiving public.

2.4. Archives and libraries.

· REQUIRED READING: Selection of classic texts.



3.1. The process of transmission of texts: where, how and why.

3.2. Medieval scriptoria.

3.3. Carolingian Renaissance.

3.4. Renaissance of the twelfth century.

3.5. Humanism.

3.6. The development of the printing press.

3.7. Drawing and photography.

3.8. The digital age.

· CINEFORUM: Eichinger, B. (producer) and Annaud, J-J. (director) (1986), The Name of the Rose, Germany: Co-production West Germany (RFA) -France-Italy; Constantin Film / ZDF / Cristaldifilm / Radiotelevisione Italiana / Les Films Ariane / France 3 Cinéma.



4.1. Alexander's life.

4.2. Mythification of Alexander. 

4.4. Classical sources.

4.5. Transmission and recreation of the character: the first epic hero of the west.

4.6. Alexander today.

· CINEFORUM: Borman, M., Kilik J., Smith I., Schuely, T., Stone, O. (producers) and Stone, O. (director) (2004), Alexander the Great, United States: Warner Bros. Pictures / Intermedia Films.



5.1. Historical events.

5.2. Classical testimonials of the episode.

5.3. Significance of the episode throughout history.

5.4. Spartacus today.

· REQUIRED READING: Fast, H. (2003), Spartacus, Barcelona: Edhasa. First edition: 1951


This is an on-site course. Students are expected to work throughout its duration. Attendance to the lectures will allow the students to properly contextualise the course readings.

Commentary of the readings and cinema talks are scheduled throughout the course.

Although there will be no attendance monitoring, attending to the lectures is key to successfully complete this subject.

Students must carry out a course work on some aspect of the subject's program, in group, that is demonstrative of the contents taught and studied. This work will be defended orally.



Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Analysis and debate of readings and films 6 0.24 2, 5, 4, 9, 11
Lectures 30 1.2 1, 5, 6, 8, 7, 9, 10, 3
Type: Supervised      
Group work and oral presentation 31.5 1.26 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 3
Type: Autonomous      
Compulsory readings 25 1 2, 9, 3
Study and personal work 35 1.4 2, 6, 7, 9, 10
Supplementary readings 11 0.44 2, 9, 3
Watching of movies 4 0.16 5, 3



On carrying out each evaluation activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.


Weight of assessable activities:

40%: Written test consisting of short answer and essay questions (UNITS  1 & 2). Week 8. 

40%: Written test consisting of short answer and essay questions (UNITS 3, 4 & 5). Week 16. 

20%: Oral presentation in group on a subject determined by the professor. Weeks 14 & 15.



  • Taking part in any assessable activity precludes the possibility of being classified as "not assessable".
  • For a positive evaluation of the course, the final mark must be 5 or higher, with a rating of at least 4 in both written tests.
  • In the re-evaluation process, students may retake ONE of the two written tests (if the mark is lower than 4 or if the global average is lower than 5), but they cannot retake both.
  • On the first day of the oral presentations, every group must hand over an outline & bibliography of their presentation.
  • Any exception to these remarks must count with the explicit approval of the professor. 
  • Untaken tests (due to medical emergencies justifiable with a doctor's note) will be taken during the re-evaluation period.
  • In special circumstances, the possibility of improving the final mark during the re-evaluation process may be considered. It will be necessary to talk previously with the professor, since the re-evaluation tests are intended for students whoneed to retake one of the assessable activities (for a maximum weight of 40%).


  • In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.


  • In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.



Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Oral presentation in group on a subject determined by the professor 20% 4.5 0.18 4, 7, 9, 10
Written test consisting of short answer and essay questions 40% 1.5 0.06 1, 2, 6, 8, 7, 9, 10, 11, 3
Written test consisting of short answer and essay questions 40% 1.5 0.06 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 7, 9, 10, 11, 3



AGHION, I. ET AL. (1997). Guía iconográfica de los héroes y dioses de la antigüedad, Madrid: Alianza.

BEARD, M. (2013). La herencia viva de los clásicos, Barcelona: Crítica. 

BEARD, M. (2016). SPQR: Una historia de la Antigua Roma, Barcelona: Crítica.

CALVINO, I. (2009).  Por qué leer a los clásicos, Madrid: Siruela.

CHRISTOL, M. (1991).  De los orígenes de Roma a las invasiones bárbaras, Madrid: Akal. 

CODOÑER, C. (ed.) (1997). Géneros literarios latinos, Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca. Servicio de Publicaciones.

CODOÑER, C. (ed.), (1997). Historia de la literatura latina, Madrid: Cátedra.

CURTIUS, E. R. (1978). Literatura europea y edad media latina, México: Fondo de Cultura Económica. 2 vols. 

FAST, H. (2003) [19511]. Espartaco, Barcelona: Edhasa. 

GRIMAL, P. (2008).  Diccionari de mitologia grega i romana, Barcelona: Edicions de 1984.

GRIMAL, P. (2005). Historia de Roma, Barcelona: Paidós. 

GRIMAL, P. (1999) La civilización romana. Vida, costumbres, leyes, artes, Barcelona: Paidós,

HACQUARD, G. ET AL. (2000)Guía de la Roma Antigua, Madrid: Atenea.

HIGHET, G. (1954).  La tradición clásica, México: Fondo de Cultura Económica. 2 vols.

HOWATSON, M. C. (1991). Diccionario de la literatura clásica, Madrid: Alianza. 

JENKINS, R. (ed.) (1995). El legado de Roma. Una nueva valoración, Barcelona: Crítica. 

JENKINS, R. (2015). Un paseo por la literatura de Grecia y Roma, Barcelona: Crítica. 

JERPHAGNON, L. (2007).  Historia de la Roma antigua, Barcelona: Edhasa. Ensayo histórico.  

JONES, P. (2013).  Veni, uidi, uici. Hechos, personajes y curiosidades de la antigua Roma, Barcelona: Crítica. 

LANE FOX, R. (2007). Alejandro Magno. Conquistador del mundo (Maite Solana, trad.). Barcelona: El Acantilado.

LANE FOX, R. (2007). El mundo clásico. La epopeya de Grecia y Roma, Barcelona: Crítica. 

ORDINE, N. (2017). Clàssics per a la vida, Barcelona: Quaderns Crema. 

PALMER, L.R. (1984). Introducción al latín, Barcelona: Planeta. 

REYNOLDS D. L. – WILSON, N. G. (1986).  Copistas y filólogos, Madrid: Gredos. 

RUZÉ, F. (2000). El mundo griego antiguo: de los palacios cretenses a la conquista romana, Madrid: Akal. 

VON ALBRECHT, M. (1997). Historia de la literatura romana, Barcelona: Herder. 2 vols.