IDE4055 – History of Ideas: Central issues in Antiquity

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course deals with selected themes from the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition. You read central original texts (in Greek or Latin if you can, in translation if not) from the period and learn different approaches (like...) to the texts. The reading list can contain both literary, political, religious and philosophical texts. You must also read secondary literature that contextualizes the original texts and present different views on the Greco-Roman antiquity. We will also study the impact and reception of antiquity during the medieval period and modern times.

Learning outcome

  • knowledge about central ideas in the Greco-Roman antiquity
  • insight in the distinct views and perspetives that colour the texts ant their authors - what is common and what is different
  • knowledge about newer research on Greco-Roman ideas
  • knowlwdge about alternative perspectives on, and compeeting historical views on the antiquity
  • to read and discuss texts from the Greco-Roman antiquity (in translation or in Greek and/or Latin) and to place them in a historical context of ideas
  • historical interpretation and analysis
  • to present the original texts and secondary literature in writing and to comment on other students' texts


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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


Recommended previous knowledge

You should have taken introductory courses in early western history of ideas, philosophy or equivalent, before taking this course.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with IDE2022 – Alle tiders Augustin


The teaching is given as seminars throughout the semester (8 lessons together with bachelor level, 4 master level classes).

In order to be able to sit for examination, the teacher must approve (accept as satisfactory) your compulsory tuition activity:

  • outline for semester essay (3-4 pages, 2300 characters per page). You submit your outline in Canvas.
  • weekly preparation of texts (primary and secondary literature)


The exam is a seminar paper .The paper should be 8-10 pages long, 2300 characters per page, excl. bibliography and appendixes. If you know latin you are more than welcome to use the original literature in latin.

All compulsory activities must have been approved by the teacher before you can submit your paper for examination.

Submit assignments in Inspera

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

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.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

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.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






This course is offered irregularly.


Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)