Ancient Mediterranean

Universidad Pompeu Fabra

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Ancient Mediterranean

  • Host University

    Universidad Pompeu Fabra

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    History, Political Science, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course title: Ancient Mediterranean: Colonial Encounters and Imperialism
    Language of instruction: English
    Professor: To be determined
    Professor?s contact and office hours: To be determined
    Course contact hours: 45
    Recommended credit: 3 US credits-5 ECTS credits
    Course prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course
    Language requirements: None

    Course focus and approach:
    This course will examine the nature and complexity of interactions between the regions of the Mediterranean during the second and the first millennia BC using written and archaeological sources.

    Course description:
    The cultural florescence of the Ancient Mediterranean civilizations had its origins in a series of colonial entanglements beginning first in the eastern Mediterranean. Minoan and Mycenaean communities began to establish links with Egypt and the Near East in the first centuries of the II millennium BC. From then, over a period spanning more than two thousand years, and ending with the Roman conquest, colonists, merchants, sailors and conquerors sought to benefit from the commercial and cultural opportunities provided by the riches of the eastern, central and western Mediterranean. Collectively, it is the cumulative effects of these culture contacts along with the changes and continuities that accompanied their presence that are implicated in the making of Ancient Mediterranean.

    Learning objectives:
    At the end of this course the students will be able to:
    -isolate some of the most important political, economic and societal processes underpinning native-colonial dynamics.
    -understand the emergence of the city-state in the Ancient Mediterranean.
    -understand the Greek and Roman expansion around the Mediterranean.

    Course workload:
    Readings, lectures, two exams, and a final paper Methods of instruction: The course is structured in lecture classes with discussing of specific readings.

    Method of assessment:
    Midterm exam: 30%
    Final exam: 30%
    Class participation: 10%

    Absence policy:
    After the add/drop, all registrations are considered final and HESP Absence Policy begins to apply. For the academic year 2011-2012, such policy is as follows:
    Attending class is mandatory and will be monitored daily by professors. Missing classes will impact on the student?s final grade as follows:
    Absences Penalization:
    Up to two (2) absences: No penalization
    Three (3) absences: 1 point subtracted from final grade (on a 10 point scale)
    Four (4) absences: 2 points subtracted from final grade (on a 10 point scale)
    Five (5) absences or more: The student receives an INCOMPLETE (?NO
    PRESENTAT?) for the course
    The PEHE/HESP attendance policy does not distinguish between justified or unjustified absences. The student is deemed responsible to manage his/her absences.
    Emergency situations (hospitalization, family emergency...) will be analyzed on a case by case basis by the Academic Director of the HESP.

    Classroom Norms:
    - No food or drink is permitted in class
    - Students will have a ten-minute break after one- hour session

    Schedule of Lectures
    1: The Mediterranean basin: conquest, commerce and navigation.
    Requirements of the course
    What is the Mediterranean?. A sea, a climate, a landscape, a way of life and a space of movility
    2: Minoan and Mycenanean palacial civilizations.
    To understand the Bronze Age civilization of Greece and Crete we study a series of complex structures, the so-called palaces, for clues to understanding Minoan and Mycenaean societies.
    In search of the Trojan War: BBC DVD
    3. The end of the Bronze Age and the Sea Peoples
    The collapse of the palatial societies and the crisis of the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age
    What was a Dark Age?
    4. Phoenician Colonies in the Western Mediterranean.
    The first sailors in the Western Mediterranean: The Phoenicians created a civilization along the coastal region of modern day Lebanon and created the first network of colonies in ancient Mediterranean.
    5: The emergence of the Greek polis.
    The polis was a complex hierarchical society built around the notion of citizenship. The equation of the polis with the whole citizen body, even if governmental functions were often reserved to a smaller group, marks it off from other ancient status.
    Documentary about ancient Sparta
    6: The establishment of Greek settlements in the Mediterranean.
    Why did the Greek found colonies in the Ancient Mediterranean?.
    7: Indigenous Societies of the Western Mediterranean: The Iberian cultural mosaic.
    The consequences of the colonial encounters between Phoenicians, Greeks and natives in the Iberian Peninsula
    8. The beginning of Rome
    Legend and archaeology of the archaic Rome
    9. Eastern Mediterranean from Alexander to Cleopatra.
    The Hellenistic period was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa.
    10. The Conquest of the Empire
    Mare Nostrum: Roman expansion through the Mediterranean
    Ancient Rome. The Rise and fall of an Empire. BBC DVD
    11: The Romanization of the Mediterranean
    Romanization was the historical process that produced changes in natives cultures as a consequence of the Roman presence

    Mellor, Ronald & Marni Mcgee 2004. The ancient Roman World, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Pomeroy, Sarah B. et. al. 1999. Ancient Greece: a political, social, and cultural history. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Wacher, John 1990. The Roman World, London: Routledge.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.