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AN4106 Persia and the Greeks

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 10
Planned timetable:2.00 pm - 4.00 pm Tue.

This module looks in detail at the history of the Achaemenid Persian empire, a looming presence in Greek history, from its beginnings under Cyrus the Great in the mid-sixth century until the conquests of Alexander the Great. Use will be made of all available sources of evidence including Persian art, architecture and royal inscriptions, but a particular focus will be placed on the difficulties in using Greek literary evidence in the reconstruction of Persian history. The module will focus on a number of key episodes: including Cambyses' conquest of Egypt, Darius' accession, the Persian wars, and Alexander's conquests, but will also look at themes including the royal court, imperial ideology, the role of women, and the response to empire of Persia's subject peoples.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for all Ancient History Degrees, all Ancient History & Archaeology Degrees, Classical Studies, Classics, Greek and Latin (Single and Joint, but excluding Three subject) Degrees, History

UG Pre-requisite(s):As stated in the School of Classics Undergraduate Handbook

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:1 x 2-hour seminar and 1 coursework consultation hour.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 20
  • Guided independent study: 280

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 50%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 50%
UG As used by St Andrews:3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Prof T Harrison
Module teaching staff:Prof T Harrison