HIS 60. The world of Alexander the Great. Culture and Society in Hellenistic Greece and Egypt

Course content

The world of Alexander the Great. Culture and Society in Hellenistic Greece and Egypt
In this course we will focus on the history of the Hellenistic world in Greece and Egypt from the time of Alexander the Great until Cleopatra.  In the first part of the semester we will give you an overview of the highlights and complexities of the Hellenistic World. In class we will discuss the important historiographical and methodological problems facing historians. We will introduce you to the primary sources, epigraphy, papyrology and historical narratives, but also poetry and science texts and acquaint you with the visual sources such as coins, statues, frescoes, mosaics. We will also study how historians and archaeologists have interpreted this time period and the major debates in History. We will discuss the validity of the sources alone and in combination. Our aim is to inspire and help you finding topics for your BA thesis in the field of Ancient History through a series of seven lectures followed up by study groups and individual feedback, clinics, coaching and consultations on your BA proposals based on your needs and wishes.

This course is taught in English. Discussions in class as well as student presentations and coursework will be in English. We will upload all relevant weekly readings on Absalon. We expect you to read at least fifty pages of primary and secondary literature (scholarly texts and sources) per week. We will also expect you to give one presentation in class on a text that we choose for you. We expect you to attend and participate actively in all classes, since we will work through a substantial part of the syllabus in class. In the week before semester starts we would like to interview you in person about your study plans, skills and ambitions. The interviews will take place at the Centre for Textile Research (CTR). You will receive a personal invitation via Absalon.

During the fall semester we will invite you to two film evenings at the Centre for Textile Research (CTR), where we will watch two contemporary films on the Hellenistic World and its legacy. This will give us the opportunity to discuss Hollywood reception and interpretation of the Ancient world and how the film industry has chosen to visualize Hellenistic Culture.

Alexander (film) 2004

Agora (film) 2009

Course objectives (clarification of some of the academic targets stipulated in the curriculum):
After the course students will be able to:
• a geographical and chronological overview of the Hellenistic world
• knowledge of the most important primary sources about the Hellenistic world
• knowledge of the most important visual sources
• training in approaching secondary literature from different scholarly traditions
• the ability to contextualize biographies of e.g. Alexander the Great and trace them within the scholarly, socio-political and cultural environment that gave rise to them
• gain insight into pertinent theoretical and methodological approaches and debates in the field of Hellenistic History and contemporary historical debates on its reception
• the ability to follow and respond  to in-group discussions in class
• to reflect critically and concisely on scholarly literature
• the research and writing skills necessary for your BA thesis

Education

History
Module 5
Bachelorproject (HHIB00601E) [BA Programme, 2013-Curriculum]

Group instruction / Seminar / individual counseling

- M. Austin: The   Hellenistic   World   from   Alexander   to   the   Roman   Conquest. Cambridge, 1981.
- R. Bagnall & P. Derow: Greek Historical Documents: The Hellenistic Period: Historical Sources in Translation. Malden & Oxford, 2004.
- J. Bingen: Hellenistic Egypt. Monarchy, Society, Economy, Culture. Los Angeles, 2007.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 217
  • Exam Preparation
  • 129,5
  • English
  • 388,5