TFF3210 – Coptic and Greek Hagiographical Texts

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course is an opportunity for students to read and comment on hagiographical literature written on the lives of the saints and martyrs in the late antique period. The selected texts will be translations of materials in Greek and Coptic. This genre of literature was highly popular at a time when there was a significant growth in the cult of the saints and martyrs and pilgrimages to their associated shrines. In reading this hagiographical material we are given a glimpse into the lives of the people of the late antique period, their perception of the world and the place of Christian religious figures within it.

In this unit we shall focus on the creation, role and impact of such works in the late antique period. This shall involve the reading and analysis of translations of Greek and Coptic texts in order to contextualise it within a late antique Christian setting. A body of scholarly literature shall also be studied that shall be of use in evaluating the place of these texts within Graeco-Roman society.

Learning outcome

The student will acquire:

  • A comprehensive knowledge of an important theme within the Christian tradition.
  • Critical skills in analysing, discussing and interpreting primary source texts.
  • An understanding of the role of hagiographical literature in the late antique period.
  • Development of research skills and the ability to communicate new concepts in writing.


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Weekly lectures.

Mandatory Requirements

Students will complete one assignment of 1,000 – 1,500 words. Feedback on the first draft will be provided in the form of a one-to-one session with the tutor. The student must submit the final version of this assignment by the date given by the tutor at the beginning of the semester.

Students must have completed the set assignment to a satisfactory standard in order to take the exam.

Students must participate in at least 80% of the course sessions. 


Three days home examination of approximately 3,000 words.

The course has a digital examination conducted in Inspera.

Technical requirements and recommendations for the use of private computers for digital examinations 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.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2016


Autumn 2016

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