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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classics General

Undergraduate Course: The Legendary Afterlives of Alexander the Great (CLGE10010)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the legacy of Alexander the Great in its manifold manifestations across Eurasian cultures from the ancient world to the modern. The focus is on the ways in which people of all backgrounds engaged with his story and helped to shape it across more than 2,000 years of history. Participants will examine the growth of legends and literary traditions that transcend history and cultural boundaries.
Course description This course will focus on the reception of Alexander's legacy from 323 BC to the present, primarily through the engagement with the Alexander Romance and its literary tradition. We will study intriguing intersections in the history of ideas, primarily through the holy wanderings of the Alexander Romance, a text only rivalled by the Bible in terms of geographical spread. We will follow its diverse paths through literature and rich legends from its inception in the Greek world to its receptions from medieval Iceland to Malaysia. Participants will become acquainted with the complex developments of Alexander-related thought and ideas in numerous contexts and cultures, including the medieval Scottish world. We will study several features of cultural history through these texts, e.g. religion, social and intellectual.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework, class participation and examination, command of a range of sources relevant to Alexander's afterlives
  2. demonstrate an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship, primary source materials, and conceptual approaches considered in the course during the class discussion, and in the examination and coursework-assessment
  3. demonstrate an ability to understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices to the variety of source material considered in the course (from multiple historical periods)
  4. demonstrate, by way of seminar performance and coursework the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course, and demonstrate originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others (coursework: presentations)
  5. demonstrate in a research-based coursework essay their ability to conduct a sustained individual enquiry into a particular aspect of the topic
Reading List
Stoneman, R. 2008. Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend. New Haven & London.
Stoneman, R. 1991. The Greek Alexander Romance. London.
Stoneman, R. 2012. Legends of Alexander the Great. London.
Stoneman, R., K. Erickson & I. Netton. eds. 2012. The Alexander Romance in Persia and the East. Groningen.
Zuwiyya, D. ed. 2011. A Companion to Alexander Literature in the Middle Ages. Leiden.
Doukifar-Aerts, F. 2010. Alexander Magnus Arabicus: a survey of the Alexander tradition through seven centuries: from pseudo-Callisthenes to Suri. Paris.
Mitsakis, K. 1970. 'The tradition of the Alexander Romance in Modern Greek literature,' in Laourdas, B. & C. Makaronas. eds. Arkhaia Makedonia I. Thessaloniki. 376- 86.
Van Donzel, E. & A. Schmidt. 2010. Gog and Magog in Early Eastern Christian and Islamic Sources: Sallam's Quest for Alexander's Wall. Leiden.
Amitay, O. 2010. From Alexander to Jesus. Berkeley, CA.
Wood, M. 1997. In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great. A Journey from Greece to Asia. London.
Cary, G. 1956. The Medieval Alexander. [ed. D. J. A. Ross]. Cambridge, UK.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Christian Djurslev
Tel: (0131 6)50 3473
Course secretaryMiss Alexandra Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 3767
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