• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Classics
  • Areas of interest Archaeology, Art History, Classics and Ancient History, History
Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World: An Age of Transformation and Discovery (CLAS2015)

From ascending to the throne of Macedon in 336 BC until his death in Babylon in 323 BC at the age of 32, Alexander III of Macedon’s ambitious campaigns in Europe, North Africa, and Asia exploded the Greek world in unprecedented ways. In this course you will join Alexander on his conquests and immerse yourself in his legacy: the vibrant, diverse, violent, and endlessly creative Hellenistic world. Relive the decisive battles that saw Alexander claim the Persian empire. Be captivated by the game of thrones following his death as his companions vied for control of his empire. Discover how, in Alexander’s wake, Greek culture met and mingled with Egyptian, Persian, Indian, Jewish, and Bactrian traditions, forever changing them as it was itself transformed. Admire the power of queens from Olympias to Cleopatra VII, and probe the lives of ordinary women from the cosmopolis of Alexandria to the frontier city of Ai Khanoum. Marvel at scientific and engineering inventions, including giant siege towers, machines that moved of their own accord, ships the size of cities, and the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Discover how a man might become a god, why mystery religions were the craze, and new philosophies flourished. Become absorbed in the sprawling epics and pithy epigrams of the Library of Alexandria. Explore the geography of India and Afghanistan, and admire the many artistic experiments and innovations of this fascinating period. A feature of the course is hands-on experience with the Graeme Clarke teaching collection of artefacts from the Hellenistic Syrian town of Jebel Khaled.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. engage critically with the campaigns of Alexander the Great and their legacy of massive cultural, social, political, religious, and technological change throughout the eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia during the Hellenistic period;
  2. become familar with, critically analyse, and evaluate the cultural output (both textual and material) of the diverse lands of the Hellenistic world to explore cultural, social, political, religious, and technological developments;
  3. critically analyse and evaluate the importance of space, time, and their measurement for the understanding of the Hellenistic world;
  4. formulate logical arguments based on ancient evidence, and engage with and evaluate scholarly arguments in a critical manner;
  5. gain a holistic understanding of the Hellenistic period as transitional and bridging in terms of culture and power between the old Greek world and the later Roman republic; and
  6. become familiar and critically engage with the influence and reception of Alexander and the Hellenistic world on the culture and society of the present day.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Critical Exercise (500 words) (15) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Tutorial Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  3. Research Essay (2500 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  4. Video Presentation (10 minutes) (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

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Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Not required. List of readings to be made available through the library and/or on Wattle.

Assumed Knowledge

There are no prerequisites, but it will be an advantage to have taken CLAS1013: The World of Ancient Greece.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
14
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8536 27 Jul 2026 03 Aug 2026 31 Aug 2026 30 Oct 2026 In Person N/A

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