From the Antikythera Exhibit at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens
To the Strongest: The Ancient Near East from the Death of Alexander to the Coming of Rome
The conquests of Alexander the Great, which brought under Macedonian rule the regions of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Persia, up to the borders with India, had a profound impact on the future course of the history of the Near East. Through the study of primary sources, both literary and archaeological, this course explores the long history of interaction between the Greco-Roman world and that of its Near Eastern counterpart and the significant influence this interaction had on the formation and development of a common cultural, religious, and political identity, which modern scholars have labeled ”Hellenistic.’’ Within this perspective, our main focus will be on the investigation of particular aspects of Near Eastern civilization: the emergence of new cultural and social institutions, new forms of economic life, and the creation, fusion, and amalgamation of religious institutions (to which this course will give a special emphasis). The main purpose of the course will be to provide significant insight into an often neglected and yet very important and formative era in world history, the Hellenistic period.