CL3HW-Alexander to Cleopatra: History and Culture of the Hellenistic World (c. 330-30 BC)

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Rachel Mairs


Summary module description:
This course will survey the history of the culturally diverse and politically volatile Hellenistic states, from Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian Empire in the late fourth century BC, to Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s defeat at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. Participants will work with a wide variety of ancient source material – historical texts, papyri, material culture - to study the multilingual and multiethnic communities of the Hellenistic world, from Egypt to Afghanistan.

•Gain an understanding of the history of the Hellenistic eastern Mediterranean, from Alexander’s conquests, to the rise of Rome.
•Explore questions of cultural interaction and ethnic identity in the Hellenistic world.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Upon completing the module, participants should have:
•Gained a thorough knowledge of the history of the Hellenistic period.
•Developed confidence in working with a range of ancient source material from the Hellenistic world, from documents on papyrus, to material culture.
•Learnt to think critically – and comparatively – about cultural interaction, ethnic identity and multilingualism in the ancient world.

Additional outcomes:
•Learn to make effective use of online resources for working with ancient documents (e.g. databases of papyri).

Outline content:

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and seminars. Class participation will be encouraged

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Seminars 4
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
This module will be assessed by:
(1) one source criticism exercise (onpapyrological sources), due by 12 noon on Friday of week 5 (40%)
(2) a one-page proposal for an essay on a complementary topic, due by 12 noon on Friday of week 8 (formative only: must be submitted on time in order to receive individual feedback)
(3) one essay of about 3000 words on a topic chosen by the student, due by 12 noon on Friday week 11 (60%)

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework in August

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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