Ancient Science and Technology

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Ancient Science and Technology

(CLCV 2305/TSES 2305)


Ten (10) FULL* pages MINIMUM** exclusive of cover page, bibliography, endnotes*** and figures. The essay can be fronted by a title page, but an abstract must lead the first page. “Works Cited” at the back, followed by any figures or illustrations if applicable. Do not imbed images in the text. Figures should be labeled and mentioned in the text as (fig. 1) etc.

  • HINT:  Go on to 11th page to be sure
  • Papers longer than 10 FULL pages gratefully accepted
  • ENDnotes DO count to length (but footnotes DO count to length)

Double spaced Times Roman 12 pt. Mandated. Indent your paragraphs and do not put extra space between them. All text must be in black ink. Number your pages.



Citations can be in any recognized style (MLA, APA etc.) but must be consistent. Minimum three (3) sources are required and more are strongly recommended (the more your opinions are moderated/confirmed by the work of others the more convincing your case).

Textbooks may be cited but do not count towards total.

Class notes, encyclopaedias, Wikipedia or non-scholarly websites are not to be sourced or otherwise incorporated into the essay.

Websites containing peer-reviewed articles (Jstor, library data base of electronic versions of journals, etc.) and academic databases (ASOR, etc.) are OK. Web material (exclusive of academic journals) cannot form the majority of sources.

Proviso:  many publications that start in print quickly appear also as web-versions.  If they start as print, they are considered print even in e-form

Rule:  Quality always trumps format.

Sources should be from a variety of authors and up-to-date. Certain older sources such as original excavation reports or recognized “classic” standards (Carter, Jacobsen, Faulkner) are OK. Consult the bibliography of recent books to see what is still relevant.

Citations should be fully incorporated into the text and discussed as supportive evidence for your argument. Material from different scholars should be worked together to support and/or evaluate the evidence, do not repeat the same author multiple times in a row or rely too heavily on one scholar. Failure to cite ideas, dimensions, facts or any other material will result in deductions and may be considered an academic offense. Ancient Science and Technology

Citations are to be embedded:

Skotheim (2016: 284) cites inscriptions from Tanagra to prove performance of the satyr drama.

It has recently been noted that inscriptions from Tanagra prove performance of the satyr drama (Skotheim 2016: 284).


Arguments should flow logically: two successive statements or paragraphs must somehow be related. A proper introduction (ie., the abstract) and conclusion are essential, yet are often the weak points of a paper. All ideas mentioned in the abstract should be fully developed in the paper. Conclusions should bring together all the arguments and explain why you have proved your point (no new information).


FORMAL ESSAY = FORMAL STYLE. The tone of this essay should be professional; it is not a personal response. Limit use of “I” and never use sentences such as “Next I will discuss…” (= ‘speech markers’).  Do not state the obvious (“Egypt was a powerful empire”); or make generalizations (“Romans appreciated festivals”). Professional style does not mean boring, but be careful not to let the tone become idiomatic. Various style guides (New Oxford Book of Style is a no-fail source of wisdom) and resources are available, such as The Canadian Writer’s Handbook and A Student’s Guide to Research and Writing:  Making Sense [in the] Social Sciences.



There are two tracks a formal essay can take:  (1) argumentative in which you have a thesis of your own to prove (or one of someone else to disprove) and (2) informational in which you gather, organize and assess material in a way that has not been done before (or at all) that shows its value.

Argumentative. Examine and weigh the evidence to prove a point. Do not simply present a catalogue of examples. Evidence should be precise (specific objects, facts and examples) and thorough. All parts of the whole should be considered, if not fully discussed. Contrary opinion should be (briefly) addressed (typically relegated to a footnote) and, if valuable to your argument, refuted.

Your opinion is valid and should be included, however this opinion must be supported by evidence and should not form the main focus of the paper (main focus = evidence). Personal “responses” are unprofessional and are to be avoided.

Your views will be apparent from the evidence you present and how you marshal it.

Informational.  Sometimes evidence has not been brought together that shows it to its best advantage, such as, for example, comparing Bes in pharaonic as opposed to Greek ruled Egypt or gathering statues of Bes to indicate typology, use, duration of use.

Informational essay need to start with an exploration of why it is useful/necessary to gather this information and conclude with what we now know that we did not know before about the material and why it is worth knowing.  In between, the evidence should be gathered and discussed in a manner that is coherent and leads from the strongest evidence to other examples perhaps not as compelling. Ancient Science and Technology

Catalogues or appendices are often part of informational research but by no means essential or obligatory.


Ten pages is a substantial paper. Do not use filler: IT WILL BE OBVIOUS. Filler includes (but is not limited to) excessive description, repetition, personal response, repetition, non-sequitur or unrelated arguments, repetition, excessive quotation and puppies.

If your paper is short, consider widening your thesis and use what you already have as a supporting argument; further develop one or more arguments; include and refute contrary academic opinion more extensively; include more examples that directly strengthen your thesis; include examples from other media, genres or disciplines; compare and contrast.


Abstracts are mandatory for your paper.  They have long been obligatory in the sciences and are becoming the norm in the arts and fine arts.  Provide a BRIEF paragraph communicating the key points of your paper and your most important pieces of evidence should be stated. This replaces an introduction. Abstracts are normally a short paragraph formatted as such:

ABSTRACT:  This paper collects the literary evidence and physical remains for satyr drama during the Roman Empire.  It makes the case that the sudden popularity of mime and pantomime, and of other ‘performative activities’ on stage during the Roman Empire led to a blurring of genre distinctions and eventual hybrid performance traditions in which satyr drama as a distinct genre declined but kept its vibrancy through its presence in other genres and through the work of imperial literary historians.* Ancient Science and Technology

*George W.M. Harrison (forthcoming). ‘Satyrs on Stage in the Roman Empire’ in Antonopoulos, Christopoulos and Harrison (eds.) Brill’s Companion to Satyr Drama.  Leiden:  Brill.




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