HISTGA78B/79B Babylon under imperial rule, 539-c.50BC


This module focuses on the famous city of Babylon in the period c. 600-c.100 BC. How did such an ephemeral empire leave such a lasting impression, not only on its immediate successors but also on major world cultures right through to today?

We will consider the long afterlife of the city and its cultural hinterland under the Achaemenid, Seleucid and Parthian empires (539–c.50 BC). At times Babylon was a centre of concerted political and cultural resistance to imperial rule, determined to reclaim its former independence; at others it appears to have been a more docile subject. This will appeal to MA students who may have learned about the great Middle Eastern empires through classical sources but now want to view them from within, but will also allow regional specialists to explore ‘late’ periods not normally covered in undergraduate syllabuses.

15 (HISTGA78B) or 20 (HISTGA79B)

Assessment: (HISTGA78B) 1 X 4,000 word essay; (HISTGA79B) 1 X 5,000 word essay