The Greek World After Alexander

Module code: AH3001

Module co-ordinator: Professor Graham Shipley

For the period from Alexander the Great’s death in 323 BC to the Roman conquests of Macedonia and Greece in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, the often fragmentary and late authors can be supplemented by numerous inscriptions and by archaeological data. In many ways, this is the 'most Greek' period of Greek history, with spectacular architecture, widespread democratic institutions, and cosmopolitan culture. In this module we will examine ‘Old Greece’ and the Aegean and see how they fared after Alexander.

We will focus particularly on a number of Plutarch's Lives, selected passages of Polybios, and a range of translated inscriptions, which form a particularly important part of the evidence for this period. You will devise their own topic and title for your essay and project, which can be based on written sources or archaeology, or both. The diet of lectures and seminars is varied by a workshop in which we will look at less well-known ancient authors in translation. 

Topics covered

  • Continuity and change from the classical period
  • How far freedom survived
  • How Greek communities dealt with Macedonian warlords and kings
  • Cities
  • Political systems
  • Kingship
  • Rural settlement
  • Later reception of the period

Learning

  • 9 two-hour seminars
  • 1 two-hour sources workshop
  • One hour of individual supervision on planning coursework

Assessment

  • Presentation, 10–15 minutes (15%)
  • Essay, 2,000 words (35%)
  • Project, 3,000 words (50%)