KUH3205 - Theme with excursion: Art, Aesthetics and Politics in Ancient Greece


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2020/2021

Course content

“Art, Aesthetics and Politics in Ancient Greece” is an interdisciplinary course developed in collaboration with philosophy. Art history’s focus on monuments in cultural and political contexts is complemented with philosophy's focus on aesthetics, ethics and political philosophy. The aim of the course is to place art history and philosophy in a social and historical context, with ancient Greece as an example and with a focus on the relationship between art and democracy.
In philosophy, the focus will be on aesthetics and political philosophy in ancient times, and the relationship between these. “What is a good deed?”, “What is righteousness?”, “What is truth?” and “What is beauty?” We look at the transition from an oral culture, where art is central in the dissemination of attitudes and knowledge, into a scriptural culture related to philosophy and science. The focus will be on Plato's state theory and his discussion of poetry, as well as Aristotle's poetry and ethics.
Art history contributes with reflection on the social and political significance of architecture, sculpture and pottery in classical Greece. Here we look at temples and theatres, friezes and gabled sculptures, votive figures and grave monuments, pottery and vase paintings. We will discuss both their aesthetic designs, and how they relate to changing political and social conditions. The artistic output in Athens will be at the centre of the study.
The course will have a lecture series, and a subsequent week's excursion to Athens.

Learning outcome

After completing the course the student should have:
- knowledge about a given topic of architecture and/or visual art in relation to local, regional and geographical conditions.
- knowledge of aspects of the exhibition, dissemination and/or reception of works according to the given theme.
- knowledge of relevant methodological and theoretical issues.

After completing the course the student should be able to:
- independently formulate a problem and designate relevant theory and methodology for the individually selected part of the curriculum.
- show ability of critical thinking and independent reflection.
- be able to present results of study and research both oral and written form.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures/seminars and excursion to Athens.
All activities are joint with KUH2205.

Compulsory activities:
A self-chosen syllabus of approximately 300 pages in addition to the obligatory common curriculum of 350-400 pages. The subject of the essay and the self-chosen reading list must be approved before the student is eligible for final assessment.

The students are required to keep posted on messages from the department or teacher at Blackboard.

This course is taught in Norwegian only.

Compulsory assignments

  • approved syllabus
  • Approved Description

Further on evaluation

Assessment is based on term paper.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Art History (MKUH)
Philosophy (MFI)

Required previous knowledge

Requires admission to the Master's programme in Art History.

Course materials

The syllabus is composed of one common and one individually selected reading list totalling approximately 700-800 pages with illustrations.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
KUH2205 7.5 01.09.2018
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level



Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Philosophy
  • The History of Art
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Art and Media Studies


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