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The aim of this subject is to introduce students to the archaeology and ancient history of the Mediterranean from the end of the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta in 404 BC to the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire after the death of Cleopatra (30 BC). From an overview of how Pericles transformed Athens the course will move on to examine how Macedonia came to dominate mainland Greece until the time of Alexander the Great and look at the fragmentation of his empire. We shall examine the archaeology of other Greek cities, such as Miletus, Ephesus, Syracuse and Alexandria, and many further examples from Italy, Sicily, Spain, etc. to see how they developed over the period. The subject will also explore the differences in material culture between the Classical and Hellenistic periods, and how and why the centre of Greek culture shifted after Alexander the Great’s time to the Near East. Particular attention will be paid to Ptolemaic Egypt, especially Alexandria and its renowned library.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject should:
- possess a knowledge of the material culture of the Mediterranean world in the 5th-1st centuries BC;
- understand how and why key cities such as Athens were transformed;
- be able to analyse and distinguish the complexities of the archaeology of the Classical and Hellenistic periods;
- develop skills in research, analysis, writing and communication.
Last updated: 30 July 2023