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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS3150 The Worlds of Alexander the Great: From Pella to Punjab

20 creditsClass Size: 12

Module manager: Dr Samuel Gartland

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

None, but some experience of the ancient world e.g. at Undergraduate Level 1 or A-level would provide a useful foundation.

This module is mutually exclusive with

CLAS2255The Worlds of Alexander the Great

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is for Level 3 students with some knowledge of the ancient world. It will investigate the impact of the arrival of the Macedonians into the societies and cultures of the area between the Mediterranean and India during the reign of Alexander the Great (336-323BCE) and offer opportunities for cross-cultural comparisons across these diverse regions. This will involve analysing the history, literature, and mythology of the period. The relationship and authority of all the surviving sources pose large questions of interpretation, which students will be expected to understand and critically appraise.


1. To help students understand the history of the communities and cultures of the area spanning between the Mediterranean and India during the reign of Alexander III of Macedon (336-323BCE).
2. To give students an understanding of the modern debates about the nature and impact of the military campaigns of the Macedonians.
3. To help students understand the formative stages of what is known as ‘the Hellenistic World’: the radical long-term transformation of societies and cultures brought about by the events of the period that affected a large proportion of the population of the ancient world.
4. To enable students to analyse independently the materials available for the study of the period and to construct their own conclusions from such analysis.
5. To develop students’ skills in attentive reading, in assimilation and analysis of historical evidence, in the perception of connections between issues in different aspects of the subject, and in the presentation of conclusions in a clear and comprehensible form.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to demonstrate:
1. a knowledge of the experiences of the communities situated between the Mediterranean and India between 336-323BCE.
2. a knowledge of the range of textual, visual and archaeological evidence which can be used to understand these communities and their cultures, and their response to the arrival of Alexander III and the Macedonians.
3. an ability to perform close critical analysis of the surviving ancient material relating to the period.
4. an ability to engage critically with the major scholarship on the subject.
5. an ability to communicate effectively in presentations.
6. An awareness of the reception of primary sources for the period in the ancient world.


The module will focus on the study of the period of the reign of Alexander III of Macedon 336-323BCE including: the local societies and cultures of Anatolia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Baktria, and India, and the impact of the arrival of the Macedonians into these cultures, which stretch from Africa to India. A wide range of ancient material to be studied including: historical sources, literature, mythology, numismatics, epigraphy, archaeology, art and architecture.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be encouraged with formative dialogue throughout the module. The students will receive formative feedback through participation in weekly seminars, and they will have an opportunity to receive feedback from the module leader and in-class feedback from their seminar group after they make their in-class formative presentation.
This presentation will be in the form of a 5-minute presentation on ancient material related to the that week’s topic. Each student will give their presentation as part of the seminar discussions.
The formative in-class presentation with feedback will then form the basis of the summative Assignment 1 (7.5 minute narrated Powerpoint- recorded). The summative presentation task will not be submitted until the end of the module, allowing all students to have the benefit of first trying out their own formative presentation and seeing the formative presentations of their peers and learning best practice through critical evaluation of these formative in-class presentations.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000-words (assignment 2)70.00
Oral PresentationVerbal presentation (assignment 1)30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Verbal presentation will take the form of a recorded Powerpoint (or similar presentation software if the student chooses) of no more than 7.5 minutes’ length, with appropriate slides/visual aids. This will be focussed on particular ancient material (e.g. a single inscription, text or set of sources) to be decided in conjunction with the module leader. Essay will be an essay on a question chosen from a list provided by the module leader which will offer opportunities for synoptic reflection across the whole module.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:12:25


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