Greek History II: Alexander the Great and the Creation of the Hellenistic World B (LI)

Classics and Ancient History, Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity

College of Arts and Law


Code 12654

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 10

Semester Scheduled forv 2012-13, 2 (linked to Alexander the Great A in 1)

Pre-requisite modules None

Other pre-requisites None

Module description

Do great men make history, and is there such a thing as ‘Zeitgeist’, the spirit of the age? Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World examines how Macedonia became a superpower in the late 4th century BC and the manner in which it created a new political, social and intellectual world.

On this module you will be able to examine both how Alexander and his predecessors created an empire and how far this Macedonian empire actually changed the lives of the Greeks and their Near-Eastern neighbours. The module will examine a geographical area covering Greece to Afghanistan and a chronological span of about two centuries (350-150BC).

Key debates that you will examine include:
How did Philip and Alexander build Macedonian power?
How and why did Alexander’s empire break into smaller units and how were those units organised?
What kind of changes did this new world make to art, religion and philosophy?
How did Greeks and non-Greeks relate to each other in Alexander’s empire and its successors?

Given the centrality of Alexander and the image of Alexander to this study of this period in both the ancient world and modern scholarship in semester 1 there will be a considerable focus on the figure of Alexander as a general and a ruler.

The module is taught through lecture sessions but handouts for the lectures are provided a week in advance of the session so that we can cover more ground that in a traditional lecture. These handouts provide you with questions and evidence to consider so that you can fully engage with the ancient material and modern debates.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures incorporating class discussion