Mediterranean Empires from Carthage and Rome to the Indus - CLAS3700

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Matthijs Wibier checkmark-circle


This module introduces the main events and sources of evidence for the history of the Mediterranean between the rise of Macedon and the destruction of Carthage. As such, the lectures, seminars, and readings are based around the history, archaeology, and literature of five ancient societies that met, and fought, during this period: Carthage, Rome, Hellenistic Greece, Egypt, and the Seleucid Empire.

The lectures are thematic, following a loosely chronological framework. For example, they may take as their starting point the accession of Philip II to the Macedonian throne. This may form the basis for broader discussion of the transfer of cultural ideas across the Macedonian empire, for example the Greco-Buddhist art of the Hellenistic Far East. Subsequently, the survey of Mediterranean empires given in the lectures continues by introducing further ancient societies through the lens of thematic topics.

The seminars focus on training in the use and interpretation of ancient literary and material evidence. These may include written evidence, inscriptions and papyri, and art and architecture. Where appropriate, discussion of these sources in the seminars will be used to introduce major debates in the study of the ancient Mediterranean.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Research Journal (2,200 words) – 80%
Encyclopaedia Entry (800 words) – 20%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of some of the main aspects of the political, cultural, diplomatic, military, and archaeological history of the Mediterranean world from the 4th century BCE to the 2nd century BCE;
2 Interpret a range of literary and material evidence for the history and culture of the Hellenistic kingdoms, the Greek Leagues, and the Roman Republic;
3 Recognise common indicators of the reliability and usefulness of ancient sources for the period studied, for example bias, ideological or philosophical views, and contemporaneity;
4 Understand basic techniques in combining ancient evidence, including coinage, inscriptions, historiography, biography, archaeological sites, art, and architecture;
5 Understand and compare the principal features of the political and constitutional organisation of ancient Mediterranean societies in the 4th–2nd centuries BCE.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Use interdisciplinary approaches, recognising such approaches in lectures and seminars and incorporating them into their own work;
2 Demonstrate awareness of bibliographical conventions in the citation of primary and secondary sources;
3 Identify and pursue, independently, areas of interest for further study;
4 Show awareness of use of bibliographical and research resources in preparation for contact-hours and in the preparation of summative work;
5 Manage their time effectively in the submission of coursework and attendance at scheduled events.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage 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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