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This free course, The body in antiquity, will introduce you to the concept of the body in Greek and Roman civilisation. In recent years, the body has become a steadily growing field in historical scholarship, and Classical Studies is no exception. It is an aspect of the ancient world that can be explored through a whole host of different types of evidence: art, literature and archaeological artefacts to name but a few. The way that people fulfil their basic bodily needs and engage in their daily activities is embedded in the social world around them. The body is a subject that can reveal fascinating aspects of both Greek and Roman culture it will help you to better understand the diversity of ancient civilisation.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand what makes the study of the ancient body important for our understanding of ancient society
- understand the meaning and significance of key theoretical approaches to bodies (‘habitus’, ‘cultural scripts’)
- understand the central role of specific cultural circumstances in the way human societies view and treat the body
- display knowledge of some diverging ancient and modern approaches to the body.
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
The body in antiquity
This free course will introduce you to the concept of the body in Greek and Roman civilisation. In recent years, the body has become a steadily growing field in historical scholarship, and classical studies is no exception. It is an aspect of the ancient world that can be explored through a whole host of different types of evidence: art, literature and archaeological artefacts to name but a few. The way that people fulfil their basic bodily needs and engage in their daily activities is embedded in the social world around them. The body is a subject that can reveal fascinating aspects of both Greek and Roman culture – it will help you to better understand the diversity of ancient civilisation.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 18th January 2016
Last updated on: Monday, 18th January 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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