Study Abroad and Exchanges

Modules

Modules

CAH2006 : In Alexander's Footsteps: Classical and Hellenistic Empires

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

In the Classical and Hellenistic eras (479-30 BC), there are many examples of a city, a nation, or an independent dynast seeking to establish and maintain an empire over other states. Alexander the Great is the most famous example of such empire-creation in antiquity. But what defines an ancient Greek empire? What were the models that preceded, and in many ways underpinned, Alexander’s own imperialism? And how was his empire transformed into new entities after his death? In this module we will study the rise and fall of Greek empires in the Classical and Hellenistic periods, exploring ancient Greek conceptions of empire, the dynamics of imperialism, and a variety of historical topics (political, military, religious, cultural, social) related to some major imperial formations. Through a case-by-case programme of study, we will examine cases such as the empire forged by the democratic Athenian city-state, the dramatic rise of Macedon under Philip II, Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian empire and creation of a Hellenistic world, and the new kingdoms that carved up Alexander’s empire and struggled for mastery in the new world he left behind. In all areas of study in this course we will examine a wide range of evidence types (literary and archaeological material of various kinds) to develop a multi-layered set of perspectives on some of the empires that shaped the ancient world.

Outline Of Syllabus

As well as exploring methods and models for looking at Greek empires, this course involve a case-by case programme of study that will typically include:

• Athens’s empire of the 5th century (479-404)
• The short-lived hegemonic systems of Sparta and Thebes in the 4th century (400-362)
• The rise of Macedon as the dominant power in the Greek world under Philip II (359-336)
• Alexander the Great and his conquest of the vast Persian empire (336-323)
• The carving up of Alexander’s empire and the establishment of new kingdoms by his Successors (323-276)
• The various Hellenistic royal dynasties, principally the Ptolemaic, Seleucid, and Antigonid kingdoms (306-30)

Seminars will also take place throughout the course and will focus on specific topics, themes, and evidence related to ancient Greek empires and ideas of imperialism.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion751:0075:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture271:0027:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading751:0075:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Seminar discussion/reading classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study141:0014:0020% of guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide the introductory knowledge and frameworks needed for approaching the core historical topics of the course. They will also ensure the development of a number of crucial skills for the student, including the ability to listen, to take notes, and reflect critically on course content.

Seminars will consolidate the knowledge and approaches outlined in the lectures by providing an opportunity for the students to focus in greater depth on these topics and to contribute actively to their own learning. These seminars will consist primarily of class discussions and debates on important evidence and historical problems relating to the weekly topic(s). Based on pre-assigned readings, as well as involving the development of individual interpretations, these will ensure the further development of a number of important skills, such as analysis, critical reading of the evidence, and oral communication.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A60A combination of source-based gobbets (textual and visual) and essays.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M402000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment for this course consists of a two-hour examination and a 2,000-word coursework essay. The former assesses, under time-constrained conditions, the ability to recognise, understand the content of, and comment critically on various sources (both textual and visual) as well as the ability to recall information, synthesise this, and respond analytically to questions; the latter assesses the ability to investigate important topics independently and to present findings analytically, with an overall emphasis on critical and research skills. The qualities, skills, and abilities that these two methods of assessment test will have been continually developed throughout the course and, as key components of its intended aims and learning outcomes, are crucial to its successful completion.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable