Ancient History I


Course Objective

Acquiring a working knowledge of the history of the Near East and the
Greek world in Antiquity.

Course Content

During the course Ancient History 1 you immerse yourself in the history
of Western Asia, Egypt, and the Greek world from c. 3200 BCE to the turn
of the Common Era. Episodes that will pass in review are among others:
the emergence, in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and Egypt during the
late fourth and early third millennium, of complex societies using the
art of writing; the rise in Mesopotamia of larger states striving for
imperial expansion, for example the empires of Sargon of Akkad (c. 2300)
and of Hammurabi of Babylon (c. 1750); the Late Bronze Age world (c.
1600-1200) of competing powers such as the Egyptian New Kingdom and the
Hittite Empire; the great Western Asiatic empires built successively by
Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians during the first half of the first
millennium; the emergence, during the same period, of the Greek city
states and the internal evolution of some of these, notably Sparta and
Athens; the clash between Greek city states and the Persian empire
during the first decades of the fifth century (battles of Marathon and
Salamis); the struggle for hegemony in the Aegean world between some of
the larger Greek city states and the emergence of the kingdom of
Macedonia as the hegemonic power in the southern Balkan Peninsula during
the fifth and fourth centuries; the conquest of the Persian Empire by
the Macedonian king Alexander the Great (r. 336-323), followed by the
establishment of empires ruled by Macedonian dynasties in Egypt and
Western Asia; and the demise of these empires as the result of the
emergence of new powers: the Parthian Empire originating in Iran and the
Roman Republic. At the end of the period we'll be studying, the
Mediterranean world had been politically united by Roman conquest. In
addition to important events and developments, more structural aspects
of the societies under consideration will be highlighted as well:
economic and social relations, class conflicts, political institutions,
religious conceptions and rituals, and warfare.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, group tutorials.

Method of Assessment

Written examination (75%), assignments (25%).


L. de Blois & R.J. van der Spek, An Introduction to the Ancient World.
Second edition, London & New York: Routledge 2008.

Target Audience

Obligatory for first year students of History. Recommended for other
students with a serious interest in ancient history.

Additional Information

This course is part of the regular first year bachelor program. The
language of the lectures is English, the language of the group tutorials
either English or Dutch (at least one group).

General Information

Course Code L_GOBAGES102
Credits 3 EC
Period P1
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. J.J. Flinterman
Examiner dr. J.J. Flinterman
Teaching Staff dr. J.J. Flinterman

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: