The Ancient History - Fundamental Questions

European Cultures
Andrzej Wypustek, Ph.D., associate professor
Number of hours: 
2h X 15 weeks = 30 hours (1 semester)

Lectures will focus on fundamental problems of ancient history. Preliminary one-year course in classical history for the students in history, classical philology and archaeology will include the key themes of the history of ancient Near East, Greece and Rome with special interest in Greece and Rome. The students will study the fundamentals of Greek and Roman civilization, with an emphasis on social and economic history, religion, military history and history of legal and political system in ancient times.


Total number of ECTS points is added after completion of the course, i.e. writing an essay/preparing presentation, taking active part in discussions.


English fluency, basic knowledge of ancient civilisations and history


Schedule of lectures:
1) Introduction; method and sources in ancient history
2) Ethnic map of the ancient Near East
3) Egipt of pharaohs
4) Greek society and archaic polis
5) Colonization, military and tyranny in archaic Greece
6) Achemenid Persia, Greek-Persian wars
7) Athens and Athenian democracy
8) Sparta and her social life
9) Private Life in Greece. Greek "lifestyle."
10) Greek Religion
11) Peloponesian War; Greece during the IV century crisis
12) Rise of Macedonia, Philip and Alexander
13) Ptolemaic Egypt
14) Pre-Roman Italy; Etruscans and Greeks in Italy
15) Rise of Rome and conquest of Italy
16) Roman Army
17) Carthage and the Punic War
18) Slavery in Rome and slave revolts
19) Greco-Roman society during the Principate
20) Greco-Roman cities
21) Emperor in the Roman world
22) Writing and literacy in the ancient world
23) Private Life of the Romans
24) Religions in the Roman world
25) Jews in the Greco-Roman world, Jewish revolts
26) Early Christianity in the Roman world
27) The IIIrd century crisis  and Diocletian
28) Christian Empire and Late Antiquity

Student has an advanced understanding of the historical, social, economic and cultural transformations that have shaped the Greek and Roman civilization, and had an integral impact on the formation and functioning of the European civilization of later eras up to the modern times

He knows the tools, research and methodological issues relevant to the study of ancient civilization, as well as specific terminology (historical, archaeological, anthropological, sociological, economic) and the areas of research and teaching aids to enable him a description of the basic categories of Greek and Roman culture. At the same time he understands the relationship between social and economic discourse and  modern philosophical and ideological issues. He knows the current trends of social historical research, as well as the scientific and research centers involved in this issue.

He has the knowledge needed to analyze and interpret historical and archaeological sources in the historical reconstruction of Classical civilization and
understands the usefulness of the various categories of sources for the study of the civilization of ancient Rome.

Based on the knowledge gained he can formulate his own opinions and research problems, as well as to use for his study the research results of contemporary scholarship, which addresses the issues of the history of Greek and  Roman civilization.

Understands and accepts the need for ethical standards in the work of ancient historian and archaeologist.

He understands the need for continuous development of professional competence and of personal and social skills.

He is aware of the role played by the culture of ancient Greece and Rome preserved in the cultural identity of modern Europe and seeks to show the relationships between antiquity and modern life.

He shows self-reliance and independence of formulating thoughts in mind at the same time having respect for different social, cultural, or ideological views. He shows the awareness of the responsibility for providing an image of history, which is consistent with the current state of archaeological and historical knowledge.