ANT4500 – Antiquity in European Ideologies: Close Reading of Key Texts from the Classical Tradition

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

Classical texts, images, and ideas have played and still play an important role in modern ideologies (understood as the sets of normative ideas that groups of people have, or are supposed to have, about various aspects of society, from art to economy). Antiquity has been appealed to and has been contested as a point of reference from very different, sometimes opposing, ideologies, and it pops up where we would least expect it. In this course, we read and study a corpus of diverse texts such as literary works, historical documents, and scholarship. These are made to illuminate, from various critical perspectives, the relevance of classical references in the articulation of some of the ideologies that have co-defined European cultural history (e.g., in fascism, feminism, and modernism). Our methodological starting point is discourse analysis.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • have in-depth knowledge of the text corpus.
  • can apply discourse analysis to a range of different sources and explain their ideological import.
  • can formulate relevant and well-informed historical and/or theoretically motivated questions about the texts.
  • can discuss the role of antiquity in European ideologies from different perspectives and illustrate it with reference to the texts.
  • are able to identify and discuss historical and/or theoretical connections between different texts in the corpus.


The course is open to students enrolled in the master's programme in European Culture.

Students enrolled in other master's programmes can be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme. Contact the student adviser if you are interested in following the course.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

Students who are enrolled in master's programmes other than European Culture, should meet the requirements for admission to the master's programme in European Culture.

In addition, we recommend that you have knowledge of antiquity and the classical tradition. It is an advantage to have completed at least one of the following courses: ANT1100 – Introduction to the Ancient World, ANT1500 – Antikken gjennom tidene, IDE1104 – Vestens idéer fra antikken til 1600, LIT1301 – Vestens litteratur fra antikken til 1700.


10 double sessions of seminars. You must read the texts before each seminar and participate actively in the seminars.

In order for you to qualify for the final exam, the following compulsory tuition activities must be approved by the teacher:

  • at least one prepared oral contribution: a commentary or question to a text which is not part of the material for the semester paper.
  • draft of the semester paper.
  • oral presentation of the draft. The teacher will comment on the draft.


Semester paper (10 pages, of approximately 2300 characters each), including footnotes and bibliography. You choose your topic in agreement with the teacher. The paper must be a historically and theoretically oriented analysis of one or more texts. You read the texts in their original language or in an authoritative translation. The paper can be written in Norwegian or English.

In order for you to qualify for the final examination, all compulsory tuition activities must be approved by the teacher.

Assessment guidelines

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course

Autumn 2018
Autumn 2018
Teaching language