The Age of Alexander the Great

Subject ANCW30016 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 8.5 hours per week including class time: total time commitment 102 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Subject Overview:

The aim of this subject is to introduce students to the archaeology and ancient history of the Mediterranean from the end of the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta in 404 BC to the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire after the death of Cleopatra (30 BC). From an overview of how Pericles transformed Athens the course will move on to examine how Macedonia came to dominate mainland Greece until the time of Alexander the Great and look at the fragmentation of his empire. We shall examine the archaeology of other Greek cities, such as Miletus, Ephesus, Syracuse and Alexandria, and many further examples from Italy, Sicily, Spain, etc. to see how they developed over the period. The subject will also explore the differences in material culture between the Classical and Hellenistic periods, and how and why the centre of Greek culture shifted after Alexander the Great’s time to the Near East. Particular attention will be paid to Ptolemaic Egypt, especially Alexandria and its renowned library.


Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • possess a knowledge of the material culture of the Mediterranean world in the 5th-1st centuries BC;
  • understand how and why key cities such as Athens were transformed;
  • be able to analyse and distinguish the complexities of the archaeology of the Classical and Hellenistic periods;
  • develop skills in research, analysis, writing and communication.


A tutorial presentation and essay of 2500 words 60% (due during semester), a take-home exam of 1500 words 30% (due during the examination period), and tutorial participation 10%.

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available on line

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be skilled in critical thinking.

  • possess effective written communication skills.

  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient Greek
Ancient World Studies
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Related Breadth Track(s): Ancient Greece Studies

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