Animals in the Ancient World - 2015

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2015: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Essay (35%) , Online Discussion (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2015 Fees
Domestic 769.00
HECS 769.00
International 1,019.00

This unit explores the role of animals in cultures of the ancient Mediterranean region. All taxonomic classes will be considered, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. The topics to be covered range from the use of animals in agriculture, hunting, warfare and entertainment, to their significance in religion, philosophy, symbolism and art. Through an assessment of artefacts, images and texts, we will investigate the ways in which both wild and domesticated species influenced the minds and behaviour of ancient peoples.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. understand the role that animals have played in shaping ancient societies
  2. appreciate the value of different forms of evidence (art, artefacts, texts) for analysing cultural history
  3. conduct independent research
  4. think independently and express their ideas clearly in online discussions.
  • Essay (35%)
  • Online Discussion (20%)
  • Report (20%)
  • Review (25%)

You must complete Level 1 and 2 studies in Ancient History before starting this unit.

  • Additional materials
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

This unit addresses the following topics.

1What is an animal?
2Representing animals in prehistory and the ancient Near East
3Representing animals in the Classical world
4Hunting practices
5Domestication of species
6Agriculture and animal husbandry
7Animal exploitation
8Animals in Egyptian religion
9Animals in Roman religion
10Animals in Greek religion
13Animals in philosophy and ethics

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Animals in Greek and Roman Thought

    By:Newmyer Stephen

    ISBN: -


    Supplier:Go to Unibooks

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