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University Degree: Ancient History

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  1. Was Athens more democratic than Sparta?

    The introduction of pay to the position allowed no reason for confining the archonship to the richer classes. In the same way that the post of archon became more open, the post also lost a lot of its power such as increasing the number of archons to nine and reducing the abilities of the Areopagus which was inevitably made up of ex-archons. The final state of the Archons was one of much less unchecked power; many of its powers of judiciary were diluted to the popular courts and other powers conferred to the Ten Generals. In direct contrast to the archon, who was supposedly the executive of Athenian democracy, the Spartans had monarchical kings.

    • Word count: 3037
  2. Peloponnesian Politics: What can the events between the First Macedonian War and the Achaean War tell us about inconsistencies in Roman foreign policy in the Peloponnese and Peloponnesian reactions to it.

    Presumably, the purpose of these envoys was to seek approval and recognition of their endeavours against the piratical Illyrians. Nothing more is heard between these two until the Macedonian wars. The Achaean League threw its lot in with Philip V of Macedon during the First Macedonian War (Eckstein 2008: 113). By the Second Macedonian War in 200 BC, Rome had freed up its forces by defeating Hannibal in the Second Punic War and thus could exercise more force against Philip, which did not just include using its armies, but diplomacy too. The Romans actually managed to convince the Achaean League to change sides and to support Rome (Eckstein 2008: 285).

    • Word count: 6217
  3. Eberhard Sauers book from 2004, Archaeology and Ancient History: Breaking down the Boundaries, was an important work attempting to bridge the gap between these two disciplines. Discuss what is meant by the subtitle breaking down the bounda

    Further to this, sub-disciplines (like numismatics and archaeology) are defined by their material of study (Sauer 2004: 129). This is how it remained only up until quite recently, hence the term 'boundaries'. This division between the two disciplines has shaped our approach to the past, prevented unified thought and become 'enshrined' in academic organisation (Morgan 2004: 85, 93). Post-processual classical archaeologists like Sauer want to break down these divides. Sauer seems to follow the view of Giddens in that there is no real difference in studying historical texts from cultural objects and hence archaeology and (ancient)

    • Word count: 3365
  4. What are the legal and ethical responsibilities of Archaeologists in regard to the protection of sites and artefacts in war zones?

    Despite the initial success in protecting sites and thwarting careless generals (Meyer 1996: 142-3), the facts speak for themselves: old German cities were bombed, Pompeii was bombed as well, the abbey at Monte Cassino was almost totally destroyed by Allied bombs and countless troops on both sides pocketed treasures to take home. Though attaching full responsibility upon the archaeologists seconded to the military would be irresponsible, it does show that the presence of the archaeologists could have been seen as a gimmick by the Allied commanders, ultimately ignoring their judgements.

    • Word count: 3938
  5. Can the term Romanisation describe the cultural and political processes that took place in Athens under the Roman Principate? If yes, analyse the various parameters and how Romanisation manifested. If no, explain the changes and

    Hadrian's benefaction of the city was typical Roman philhellenism: the empire had been influenced by those it had conquered. The period during which Athens was under Roman rule saw the city form a unique identity within the empire, unlike other Greek cities at the time. A form of acculturation (sharing of Greek and Roman identity) prevailed. I hope to show that it was this, rather than blanket 'Romanisation', that occurred in Athens by analysing various subjects including constitutional reform, Athenian coins and Athenian ceramics. I will also look at changes in architecture, religion and education, as well as festivals/games, sports and Athenian housing.

    • Word count: 6580
  6. To what extent did the Roman annexation of (and influence over) Greece affect Domestic arrangement and approaches towards the stranger?

    Modern thought tends to divide the household into definitive spaces, like 'public' and 'private'; rather, we should try to consider a more qualitative aspect, such as what activities could be performed in a certain room and at what time (Riggsby 2003: 171)? Vitruvius distinguishes between rooms which common people were allowed into (communia) without invitation and rooms that required an invitation, such as the baths, dining rooms and cubicula (Treggiari 1998: 4). So, in his eyes, access to rooms depended on social standing.

    • Word count: 6360
  7. Attitudes to outsiders in Ancient Greece: Who is allowed into the household and why?

    In Lefkandi and Toumba, the association of an aristocrat (sometimes labelled as a 'big man') with his house was so great, that he was buried within it and no-one could use the house (Whitley 1991: 350). In this sense, the 'outsiders' would have been anyone trying to occupy the house. Forty small buildings in the early tenth century BC phase of the settlement at Nichoria were similar in that none of them had internal partitions dividing up the house, so privacy may well have been obtained by perishable items such as curtains, if indeed at all (McDonald et al.

    • Word count: 4219
  8. Free essay

    How did the use of Mercenaries contribute to the decline of the Greek citizen-soldier during the Hellenistic period?

    Many of these contemporary thinkers harked back to an earlier time, where warfare was more idealistic. The vast quantities of mercenaries being hired shows that these classical ideals had been dropped - but why were there so many? One often assumes that people entered it out of necessity, because they were poor, but was the promise of plunder enough to draw people in? Antiphanes' play The Solider gives the impression of a mercenary enticed by eastern luxury (Kassel and Austin, vol.

    • Word count: 3978
  9. Regionalism in Roman Britain: Roman Military Deployment in the Scottish Lowlands

    Their neighbours, the Novantae and Damnonii (in West Dumfriesshire & Galloway, Ayrshire and the North Clyde Valley) had only 4 hill forts in excess of 2.5 hectares, unlike their neighbours to the east, who had 13 of greater size (Cunliffe, 1974: 215-6). The Vacomagi and Venicones to the north east (modern day North East Scotland, Tayside, Fife and East Central) were similar in settlement composition with hill-forts, brochs, defended settlements and sou-terrains existed (despite the lack of archaeological knowledge for them - Cunliffe, 1974: 218).

    • Word count: 3177
  10. China's Transformation During the Mongolian Occupation

    However, apart from this supernatural fear of Mongol excess, Mongolian influence was not significantly felt in China until Kublai Khan, Genghis' grandson. After Genghis' death in 1227, his son and successor, �gedei continued expanding the Mongol borders, and it was evident that empire expansion was far more important to this Khan than social reform of conquered territories. Social transformations only began during Kublai's reign. Indeed, the name Great Yuan ("Da Yuan") is itself an indication of the revolutionary changes during the period.

    • Word count: 3006
  11. In what ways did the dual Kingship of Sparta reflect (or perpetuate) other aspects of Spartan society?

    4/5). Indeed, the constantly fluctuating relationship between the Ephors & Gerousia with the Kings is something worth investigating. In theory, the Ephorate was established to prolong the royal crowns (Cartledge, 2001: 33), with both of them exchanging vows to each other monthly to act within the law (Xen. Lac. Pol. 15.7). But there were instances where ulterior motives on either side came to the fore. Pausanias tells us that when a King committed a misdemeanour and was to be tried back home, the judges included the other governing arms - the Ephors and the Gerousia, the latter including the other king (Paus, 3.5.2); Cleomenes was exiled for trying to dismiss the Athenian boule (Yates, 2005: 75/6).

    • Word count: 3710
  12. The Evolution of the Hoplite: An Investigation into the origins, sustainment and demise of the Classical citizen-soldier

    The Corinthian aryballos (Everson, 2004: 71, fig. 36) dates from circa 680 BC and shows a hoplite fighting with the correct accoutrements but not in a phalanx with other hoplites. Rather, he is supported by an archer and maybe a skirmisher which harks back to the skirmishing nature of the 'Greek Dark Age' (Snodgrass, 1964: 189). So, hoplite equipment is shown from as late as 680 BC, but the phalanx which we associate hoplites with does not appear until 650 BC on the 'Chigi vase' (see fig.

    • Word count: 5109
  13. Which battle can we consider to have been the most important turning point in the Greco-Persian wars?

    This would taken at least a week (Holland, 2006: 187-90), and so the Athenians would have had to have stayed put at Marathon. When they arrived, the Athenians secured the two exits towards Athens from the battlefield before the Persians could, thus protecting Athens (Burn, 1962: 243). The Athenians were joined by a small contingent of allied Hoplites from the polis of Plataea, which took the Greek troop number to 10 or 11,000 (Lazenby, 1993: 54). Depending on interpretation, the Athenian camp was protected on its flanks either by woods or by tree trunks cut down, so as to protect them from Persian cavalry (Burn, 1962: 243; Lazenby, 1993: 56).

    • Word count: 5762

    Although paganism was widely spread during the ancient times, its practice and beliefs was not uniform throughout ancient history. Of course there were changes in paganism similar to Christianity when it was starting. However, the rise of Christianity brought about a big change in paganism. The paganism known and practiced before Christianity can be compared to the paganism that Emperor Julian tried to revive during his rule. Those differences and similarities will be discussed further in the subsequent pages. Pagan Practice before Constantine Since the start of history, paganism was the leading religion practiced by the majority of the ancient world.

    • Word count: 3004
  15. How did Rome physically attempt to defend the Eastern Frontier from 226 to 363?

    This helped to keep morale up on the frontline as they knew a strong and dedicated army was coming to reinforce them. Despite the success of this strategy and use of military manpower, civil war and internal rebellion soon caused the diversions of legions from the front lines to internal skirmishes; the perimeter defence was no longer effective. Roman emperors had to change the way in which they defended the Eastern Frontier if they were going to stop the Sasanian Persians and Parthians from taking their Provinces away one battle at a time.

    • Word count: 3128
  16. Discussing the biblical historiography of images of the Jew in the ancinet world

    as well as 1000 craftsmen and metal workers this included all the best warriors" Set in the Babylonian and Persian Diasporas, the biblical books of Daniel, Esther and Nehemiah are exemplary tales of Jews rising to positions of power and influence at the Babylonian and Persian courts. The books present historical material which has been an active topic for debate amongst scholars; the historicity of these books being often assessed and reassessed by bible enthusiasts and historians alike. In this paper I would like move the focus away from historicity and instead look at what these books reveal about their target audience.

    • Word count: 14618
  17. Compare the ideology of kingship in the Assyrian, Achaemenid and Seleucid empires

    May Ashur, who gave you [the scepter, lengthen your days and years! Spread the land wide at your feet2" In Assyrian stela the king often appears with symbols of the gods above him. Figures A and B are a typical depiction of the king that exists for many Assyrian kinds including Shalamenser and Ashurbanipal. The stelas depict the king facing the symbols of four gods3. In figure C , the Israelite King Jeho prostrates himself before the king Shalemenser III and delivers tribute, the symbols of the gods again appear at the top of the picture.

    • Word count: 4106
  18. What is the extent, and reasons for, the Ancient fascination with Egypt?

    Around 450B.C the most celebrated visitor of all travelled to Egypt - the Greek historian Herodotus (c.490-c.420BC) often called the 'Father of History' because of his breadth of vision and the far-ranging scope of his work. Herodotus aimed to write an inquiry into various contemporary nations, and in Book II of his great work The Histories he describes Egypt. Other ancient sources include the Greek historian and geographer Strabo, Arrian, a Greek historian and philosopher of the Roman period and Plutarch, the famous ancient Greek author of Parallel Lives.

    • Word count: 3518
  19. By the middle decades of the 19th century, two historiansJules Michelet of France and Jakob Burckhardt of Switzerlandhad combined various perspectives in their interpretation of the Renaissance. Michelet saw the Renaissance as the momentous debut of

    Michelet saw the Renaissance as the momentous debut of a new phase in human history. He believed that it made possible all the great achievements of modern man, including the discovery of the Americas, the new science, and modern literature and art. Michelet's view of the Renaissance as the beginning of the modern era was refined in Jakob Burckhardt's Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien. He attached particular importance to the Renaissance state and saw in it the origins of modern political attitudes and behavior.

    • Word count: 3336
  20. In what ways did slaves respond to their condition? What evidence is there for these? How did circumstances limit the range of responses?

    Stanley Elkins compared the system to the Nazi concentration camps of World War Two, infantilising the inmates with a "closed system" of slavery that was so cruel and all-encompassing that it rendered the slaves "sambo-like", thus making it extremely difficult for slaves to put up resistance.3 William Styron backs up this interpretation somewhat, declaring that slavery had reduced its victims "to the status of children...tranquillised, totally defenceless, ciphers and ants"4. So therefore one interpretation of slavery, and in particular the early school of thought, saw slaves as generally happy with their condition, submissive, and unlikely to resist either as a result of the inferiority and incapability of the Negro or because of the control the system boasted over the slaves.

    • Word count: 3711
  21. The battle of Issus, 333 BC

    Next Alexander advanced to the Cilician Gates which is very narrow so were described as 'human hands'. However the fortune was on Alexander's side. Cicilia is shut in by a continuous range of rugged and steep mountains. There are three rough and very narrow passes, one of which must be used for entering Cilicia. Alexander entered that pass in the range which is called "the Gates". Having exmined the situation of the region, he is said never to have wondered more at his good fortune.

    • Word count: 4402
  22. How did Swedish and French diplomatic relations affect the Thirty-Years War?

    After 1636, when France had joined the war militarily, the Swedish and French took the upper hand in the conflict and generally maintained it until the peace in 1648. The research to this investigation has shown that the Swedish-French collaboration affected some particular matters in the Thirty-Years War. Here these matters are introduced as hypotheses. The Swedish-French cooperation in the Thirty-Years War affected: The importance of religion in the war; the geographical location of where the war was fought; the length of the war; and the outcome of the war.

    • Word count: 4779
  23. To what extent was the elimination of heresy achieved at the expense of personal and social freedoms in Spain during the reign of Charles V?

    Spanish nationalism was minimal as there was an uneasy coexistence of three religions, Catholicism, Judaism and Islam(1). This coexistence was known as covivencia. Foreign powers saw the state of covivencia as a weakness. It was believed to be a sign of a weak monarch as it showed that the rulers had little control over their people. In addition the Spanish kingdom was clearly divided. The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella united the Spanish kingdoms of Castile and Aragon under ruler only. Each kingdom remained completely separate by retaining their own system of government, traditions and culture. It was believed that the establishment of a mono-religious state would unite the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile as well as creating a sense of nationalism.

    • Word count: 3910
  24. Why was Peter Brown's Study of the Holy Man in Late Antiquity such a Milestone in the Historical Study of this Period?

    As the whole essence of the holy man was a hermit who cut himself off from society, it is no surprise that there is not a lot of information on the role of the holy man. The study of the holy man in late antiquity is also complicated due to its nature. Unlike other study's in history, such as a study of the British Empire, or a study of the Second World War, the study of the holy man can not be taken as a study of a general entity or a group, nor can it be taken as a study of a single individual.

    • Word count: 4160
  25. Social functionalism or individual psychological process? Are modern tools useful in investigating ecstatic cult?

    The two are not, however, mutually exclusive. From comparing ecstatic cults in contemporary cultures with the archaeological and literary evidence from ancient Greece, it becomes clear that the individual emotional experience of the initiate was essential for social stability and development. Moreover, the environmental pressures and cultural beliefs already in existence may have shaped the personal attitude towards the ecstatic trance. For instance, though followers of Dionysiac ecstasy may have recognised the curative psychological effects of the ritual dance, the majority would have sought possession mainly for its religious value3.

    • Word count: 4602

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • "On balance the Greek communists have only themselves to blame for loosing the Greek Civil War" Discuss

    "In conclusion the defeat of the communists in Greece's Civil War, was due to a wide variety of issues and events. Although the communists in Greece proved to be somewhat unorganized and ineffective, factors such as EAM, and especially the impact of outside forces such as Yugoslavia, Britain and the United States all played a very significant role in the outcome of the Civil War. The Greek Civil War proved to be extremely complex and diverse making it almost impossible to generalize and argue that the communists had only themselves to blame for loosing the Greek Civil War. 1"

  • To what extent did Britain benefit from her empire in the eighteenth century?

    "In conclusion, it is clear that Britain benefited greatly from her empire in the eighteenth century. There were many setbacks, the greatest and most obvious being the loss of the American colonies, but none of these proved fatal. Indeed, the loss of American occurred only after Anglophone domination in the colonies had been established, a fact that was to work to British advantage for centuries to follow, and indeed still does. The empire in the eighteenth century was most significant in that it not only delivered immediate benefits in the form of markets for British good and sources of new raw materials, but also that it formed the basis for even greater advances in the next century, when the empire would expand to a size never before or since witnessed in the course of modern history. 2,200"

  • Public Health In Rome. To what extent was the Roman period an age of progress in public health?

    "Conclusion The Roman age was a period of vast progress in public health. They began with similar ideas and technology to the Ancient Greeks, and developed systems of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene that are still in use today. As a result of this progress, the general health of the Roman people improved, but more so for the army and the rich. The theories and methods of those such as Galen dominated medical practice for over 1500 years."

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