GRC20010 Alexander and his Successors

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module explores Greek history from Alexander the Great to the Roman conquest (336 to 133 BC). It covers Alexander's reign and the history of the kingdoms and states that succeeded his empire up to the coming of Rome. The module examines a range of political, social and cultural themes including: the achievements of Alexander, Hellenistic city life, relations between Greeks and non-Greeks in Egypt and Asia, religious developments, the impact of Roman expansion on the Greek world. There is one set book: M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest: a selection of ancient sources in translation (2nd edition 2006, Cambridge).

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
- synthesize information about Hellenistic Greek history from a range of secondary sources
- analyze and comment critically on primary sources
- evaluate varied historical interpretations
- construct relevant and analytical essays in answer to historical questions

Indicative Module Content:

Typical lecture list:
1. Introduction; sources
2. Philip, Alexander & Macedon
3. Alexander & the Persian Empire
4. Interpretations of Alexander
5. The Successors of Alexander
6. The Seleucid kingdom
7. Ptolemaic Egypt
8. Cities of the Hellenistic world
9. Social and economic realities
10. Religions of the Hellenistic World
11. The Romans are coming!

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials.
The lectures outline the main historical events and/or developments, highlight key issues, present some indicative examples from primary sources and discuss important modern interpretations. They also provide guidance on further reading.
The tutorials, for which advance preparation is essential, are small groups classes devoted to the analysis and discussion of selection of primary source material.
One tutorial will focus on how to complete the commentary assignment successfully.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
GRC2001E - Alexander and his Successors

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 1,500 word commentary on a primary source extract. Week 7 n/a Graded No


Essay: 2,500 word essay. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive individual written feedback on their commentary and essay as soon as possible, and within 20 working days of submission; it will be emailed directly to them. They may also arrange an individual feedback session with the module co-ordinator to discuss their feedback and grades.

GRC20010 Alexander and his Successors General Reading List
The following book is essential for all aspects of the module. Students are strongly recommended to purchase it:
• Michel Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest. A Selection of Ancient Sources in Translation (2nd edition 2006, CUP, ISBN 978-0521-53561-8).
Also very useful are:
• Roger S. Bagnall & Peter Derow, The Hellenistic Period. Historical Sources in Translation (2nd edition 2004, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN 978-1405-10133-2).
• Glenn R. Bugh (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic World (2006, CUP, ISBN 978-0521-53570-0).
• R. M. Errington, A History of the Hellenistic World (2008, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 978-0631-23388-6).
• Andrew Erskine (ed.), A Companion to the Hellenistic World (2003, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN: 978-1-4051-3278-7).
• Graham Shipley, The Greek World after Alexander 323-30 BC (2000, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415-04618-3).
• F. W. Walbank, The Hellenistic World (3rd edition 1992, Fontana Press, ISBN 978-0-00686-1041).

Further, detailed bibliographies for individual topics will be made available on Brightspace.
Associate Professor Philip de Souza, UCD School of Classics, Module Co-ordinator
Name Role
Professor Michael Lloyd Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Niamh Tobin Tutor