The Hellenistic World: History and Material Culture - CL737

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 5 15 (7.5) DR C La'da checkmark-circle


This module is concerned with the Hellenistic period, which saw an expansion of the Greek world into the Near East and, as a result, the profound political and cultural transformation of the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Hellenistic world played a crucial role not just in the transmission of classical Greek civilisation but also in the shaping of the Roman Empire and its culture, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean. For these reasons, it is a key period in the development of Greek, Roman and later European civilisations. The module intends to provide a general survey of the political, social, economic and cultural history of the Eastern Mediterranean in the period between 336 and 30 BC, following on from the classical Greek and in part dovetailing with and in part preparing the ground for the Roman historical modules. The module will be taught from a range of sources, historical, literary, papyrological, epigraphic and archaeological. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction between the incoming Graeco-Macedonian and indigenous local populations and the formation of new states and cultures.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20


Also available as Level 6 under code CL738

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (1,500 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (1,500 words) – 40%
Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Errington, R.M, (2008). A History of the Hellenistic World 323-30 BC. Malden: Blackwell.
Erskine, A, (2003). A Companion to the Hellenistic World, Oxford: Blackwell.
Hammond, N.G.L, (1997). The Genius of Alexander the Great, London: Duckworth.
Shipley, G, (2000). The Greek World after Alexander, 323-30 B.C. London: Routledge.
Whitehorne, J.E.G, (1994). Cleopatras, London: Routledge.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:

Articulate responses to key questions about the nature and value of the historical evidence for Hellenistic history;
Demonstrate understanding of the importance and implications of Hellenistic political, social, economic and cultural history;
Comprehend the nature and extent of interaction between the incoming Graeco-Macedonians and the indigenous Near Eastern populations (e.g. in politics, society, the economy, religion and in cultural life);
Demonstrate critical, specific and in-depth analyses of these issues;
Engage reflectively with other people's analyses and interpretations of primary and secondary sources relating to the Hellenistic period.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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