Ancient History I
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits1
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units2
Hours & Credits
Acquiring a working knowledge of the history of the Near East and the Greek world in Antiquity.
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.
Lectures, group tutorials.
TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
Written examination (75%), assignments (25%).
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Some courses may require additional fees.