CLAS206-23S1 (A) Semester One 2023 (The Arts Centre Christchurch)

Greek Art: The Power of Images in Archaic and Classical Greece

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


We focus on the brilliant achievements of the Greeks in architecture, figurative painting, sculpture and other media that have been influential for centuries. We see what these meant in their broader cultural context, including Greek myth and history, as well as Greek interaction with cultures of Egypt and the Middle East. Students in this course have a chance to work directly with the splendid artefacts from the James Logie Memorial Collection (including Greek vases) now housed in the Teece Museum.

Students come to understand the groundbreaking and vastly influential developments Greek art and architecture from the 8th to 4th centuries BC, both in the technical innovations this period witnessed, as well as in the astonishing advances in the rendering of the human form that set the standard in western art for centuries. Students also examine how sculpture, painting, and architecture relate to aspects of the broader culture of their day; these include political developments, contacts with the ancient Near East, religion (depictions of gods and goddesses, etc.), and parallels in epic and lyric poetry. Ancient views on the powers and limits of artworks will be also explored, as will the role of myth and narrative in Greek art, especially the roles of heroes and figures from the Trojan saga. The social and ideological functions of artworks will be considered as well as the psychology and erotics of viewing artworks within Greek culture.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will understand the following:

- developments in rendering the human figure, incl. the importance of the ‘Greek Revolution’ in art

- how to locate changes in sculpture, vase- painting and architecture in their cultural and historical context

- links between Greek art and myth, religion and literature - e.g. Homeric epic, theatre, etc.

- Greek art as a vehicle for cultural identity and politics - e.g. celebrating athletic success, conveying civic power

- ancient ideas on the powers and limits of art

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 15 points at 100 level from ARTH or CLAS, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


Equivalent Courses

Recommended Preparation

Any 100-level course in CLAS.

Timetable Note

Some classes will be held at the City Campus in the Arts Centre, 3 Hereford Street.

Course Coordinator

Patrick O'Sullivan


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Tests 20% 2 In-class Slide Tests (NB only your better result will count)
Essay 40% 2,500 words
Tutorial Participation 10%
Assignment 30%

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All CLAS206 Occurrences

  • CLAS206-23S1 (A) Semester One 2023 (The Arts Centre Christchurch)