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Major: Ancient History - Ancient Languages

Ancient History - Ancient Languages


Department of Ancient History
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

6cp from
Ancient Greek A (3)
Latin A (3)
Ancient Hebrew A (3)
Coptic Egyptian A (3)
Hieroglyphic Egyptian A (3)

200 level

6cp from
Ancient Greek B (3)
Latin B (3)
Ancient Hebrew B (3)
Coptic Egyptian B (3)
Hieroglyphic Egyptian B (3)

300 level

Capstone Unit: Ancient Languages (3)
9cp from
Ancient Greek C (3)
Ancient Greek D (3)
Latin C (3)
Latin D (3)
Ancient Languages Special Topic A (3)
Ancient Languages Special Topic B (3)
Ancient Hebrew C (3)
Coptic Egyptian C (3)
Hieroglyphic Egyptian C (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program The capacity to access source materials in the original language(s) of composition is crucial for advanced study of ancient history and culture. Creation of this program will enable the most effective development of language proficiency for ancient history and archaeology students. It will also provide a clearly marked avenue for linguistically talented students to pursue research and careers in the more language-oriented spheres of ancient world studies.

The program is distinctive in its focus specifically on the needs of ancient history students. It will also support and extend the world-renowned engagement of the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie with documentary as well as literary evidence in its historical and archaeological teaching and research.

During its short history the Department has developed the teaching of six different ancient languages associated with the Mediterranean, the Near East, and/or the Silk Road (Akkadian, Ancient Greek, Coptic, Egyptian, Hebrew, Latin). This is a unique range for any Australian university. The educational aims of creating the major in Ancient Languages are to:
• consolidate and further mature this developing learning and teaching strength
• systematise learning outcomes and assessment methods
• assist students in orienting language study within their degree structure
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. recognize and recall relevant scripts and phonetic structures (k, t, p)
2. identify and recall grammatical structures appropriate to level of study (k, t, p)
3. recognize and memorize vocabulary appropriate to level of study (k, t, p)

4. assess the grammar required for the translation of texts appropriate to level of study (k, t, p, j)
5. explore and appraise relevant grammatical and lexical reference tools (k, t, p, j)
6. employ and appraise linguistic metalanguage (k, t, p, c)

7. integrate knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in reading and/or writing ancient texts (k, t, p, i, j)
8. apply linguistic skills creatively and critically in new contexts (k, t, p, i, c, j, l)
9. formulate arguments and articulate ideas to an advanced level (k, t, p, i, c, e, a, j, l)
10. analyse and investigate the significance of languages for the study of relevant ancient cultures (k, t, p, i, j, l).
Learning and Teaching Methods We expect our students to engage with learning and achieve the learning outcomes through:
• production of assessment tasks designed to develop and integrate knowledge and skills and support their application
• independent and in-class practice to reinforce knowledge and skills
• teacher-led discussion of key linguistic features and themes
• collaboration in group activities
• critical engagement with texts (especially at advanced levels)
• inquiry within the research component of assessment tasks (especially at advanced levels).

Across the ancient languages program we employ blended learning to support these processes. Production of assessments, collaborative work, and discussions of linguistic features and texts are coordinated using iLearn sites in combination with class-room teaching.

We consider that the study of relevant languages is a key component in the investigation of ancient cultures. We focus on ancient texts as artefacts, incorporating extensive analysis of documentary materials (inscriptions, papyri, ostraca, etc.) as well as literary texts. These materials provide the basis for critical engagement and inquiry into the significance of languages for the study of relevant ancient cultures, pursued especially at advanced levels of the ancient languages program.
Assessment We offer our students the opportunity to learn up to eight different ancient languages. The assessment methods used to assess learning outcomes vary in some respects according to the special demands of individual languages. The methods used across the program (not at every level for every language) may be summarized as follows:
• Tests on grammatical structure and vocabulary assess foundational knowledge and skills.
• Translation exercises (both into English and/or into the language being learned) assess the integration of foundational knowledge and skills.
• Document analyses and essays (especially at higher levels) test not only the integration of foundational knowledge and skills, but also foster the creative application of linguistic skills and analysis of ancient cultures.
• Final examinations allow students to demonstrate their overall command of unit content.

Our assessment tasks are carefully graduated to guide and focus engagement with the learning outcomes. Frequent assessment tasks are a feature (usually around ten per unit, including low-risk tests and a final examination), encouraging regular practice and reinforcement of knowledge and skills and their integrated application. Modified repetition of content across assesments is also important to our methods, with a view to systematic development of control over the learning outcomes.

Our assessment regime is designed to account for both assessment of learning and assessment for learning. Grammar and vocabulary tests periodically test our students’ control over foundational knowledge and skills. Translation exercises provide both a process by which students can learn to integrate the foundational knowledge and skills and an opportunity to assess their competency in this area. Document analyses and essays continue to assess foundational knowledge and translation skills. They also require students to put these skills to new uses by formulating arguments and applying their linguistic and analytical skills creatively in a broader context. Final examinations provide a summative assessment of command over unit content.

Our assessment regime encourages and rewards regular and systematic learning. Specific assessments also foster independent investigation, the development of research skills, and reflection on the significance of languages for the study of relevant ancient cultures.

In language study regular practice and revision of knowledge and skills is crucial. We deploy early low-risk assessments, major research-based assessments, and final overview-assessments. Students need to be alert to the value of working regularly and systematically to gain maximum benefit from language units (nine hours per week per unit, as per the University’s expectations).

For staff the effective teaching of ancient languages is inevitably labour-intensive. We address this by mixing automated quizzes (where appropriate) with traditional marking practices in our assessments. A central aim of this major is to harmonize excellence in language teaching with the balancing of workload pressures.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Students within this program are prepared for further study in Ancient History and related fields through systematic acquisition of language proficiency, underpinned by the range of assessment methods. The program will powerfully enhance the employability of our Ancient History graduates within the broad discipline of ancient world studies, allowing them the capacity to engage directly at an advanced level with original source material.

Career opportunities for graduates include:
• academic within discipline of Ancient History
• academic within related research fields (e.g. Archaeology)
• high school teacher
• vocational teacher
• translator
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148