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University Degree: Ancient History

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. The Thermopylae Myth: Ancient and Modern attitudes to the Battle

    Garland tells us that a basic Greek belief was to consider passing bad judgement upon the dead as 'impious'; they had become better and stronger because of their passing and thus untouchable. This would have been especially true of the 'heroic dead' (Garland, 1985: 10). Therefore, on an early basis, no blame could have been attached to those who fought at Thermopylae, so in a way, it would have been necessary to make the best out of a bad situation.

    • Word count: 2063
  8. The Roman period is characterised as an organised occupation. How did it affect the lives of the native population?

    When looking at what life was like for the 'natives' in roman Briton, the first aspect to consider was their impact on the British towns and cities. The Romans greatly encouraged the growth of towns and cities in Briton. The Romans saw urban life as the epitome of sophisticated civilization. They encouraged the growth of towns near their army bases, and established special towns as settlements for retired soldiers. They encouraged the ruling class of Celtic aristocrats to build town dwellings, and they made the towns centres of vibrant commercial activity.

    • Word count: 2444
  9. Free essay

    How did Rome physically attempt to defend the Eastern Frontier from 226 to 363

    To combat this problem a defensive strategy was developed that rested on a networked transport solution of interconnected roads and rivers by which special military units could be transported to provide reinforcements.1 Over the course of the third and forth centuries, the Romans became increasingly aware of the danger posed by the highly mobile tactics employed by their enemies. In response to this they became an overhaul of their static defensive lines, forts and other compound fortifications. This overhaul was designed to defeat the Persian cavalry by placing higher fortification in the line of advancing invaders.

    • Word count: 2821
  10. 'The demos yearns for him and hates him too' (Aristophanes, Frogs 1425). Is this an accurate description of the Athenian attitude to Alcibiades?

    their support for the campaign: 'He succeeded at once in capturing the imagination of the young men with these prospects...their seniors too...' and 'Nicias tried...[to] put a stop to the campaign. But Alcibiades...carried all before him.'2 Thucydides casts some doubts on Alcibiades' imperial ambitions however - he claims that Alcibiades' almost fanatical support for the Sicilian expedition was not the result of a devotion to the expansion of Athens' empire, but in equal parts due to his personal dislike of Nicias, who had attacked him personally in a speech on Sicily, and his desire for personal glory; he hoped to

    • Word count: 2105
  11. Aineias the Tactician: How does our reading of How to Survive under Siege affect our political viewpoint of 4th century BC Greece?

    McCartney's review of 'Aeneas Tacticus; Asclepiodotus; Onasander' notes that Aineias was a typical pragmatic soldier who was constantly thinking of how to improve military techniques (McCartney, 1923:184). David Whitehead, a particular scholarly enthusiast on Aineias, also agrees that his aim was to write a realistic, practical military treatise on defending a city (Whitehead, 2001:27). Indeed, he is at pains to stress his political neutrality (Whitehead, 1990:268). However, Marinovich, a Marxist historian, argued that Aineias' work was a blatant anti democratic work, solely on the side of the authorative upper classes.

    • Word count: 1960
  12. 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
  13. Free essay

    Aristotle, Politics: Chapter 6, book 5.

    (1978: 209). Hansen agrees that the richest citizens had the majority of the power, especially those who were appointed as magistrates. However, as the role of the magistrates changed into a more administrative role, the balance of power shifted towards the demos (in Athens especially) (1991: 228). Taylor is also another author who agrees that Aristotle determined wealth as the primary factor for political government and organisation (Taylor, 1995: 253 in Barnes, 1995). "Lygdamis of Naxos...made himself tyrant of the island."3 Naxos is an island in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

    • Word count: 2050
  14. Archaic Greece. The differences between Athens and Sparta at very least shaped the history of Ancient Greece, and could even be contended to have shaped the Western world today. Their violent struggle for supremacy in the Peloponnesian war destroyed many

    The aristocrats, no longer fulfilling their role as the military forces, and riven by internal struggles, lost their grip on power when one of their number appeals to the population at large, betraying his class for the benefit of himself. In this case that aristocrat was the tyrant Peisistratus in around 560 BC. Peisistratus reign was not negative, for tyranny is not always a poor government form, however he faced continued resistance from the other nobles and was even driven out of Athens at one point.

    • Word count: 1608
  15. Hospitality in the odysseys within The Odyssey

    These men are the scum of the Earth. They have no regard for the xenos between Telemachus and themselves. Thus, they are portrayed as pathetic, dishonorable nobodies. On the other hand, Telemachus is portrayed as an honorary man by the way he conducts himself with Athena and what makes him all the more impressive is that Athena is disguised as the mortal Mentes, so Telemachus isn't entertaining a Goddess, he's greets this "man" "with winged words: 'Greetings, stranger! Here in [my] house you'll find a royal welcome" (Homer, 1. 144-5) despite the nuisance of the suitors getting in the way.

    • Word count: 1880
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Free essay

    What can we say about the effectiveness of ancient armour?

    During the mid 5th century, ear holes were added in order to aid hearing as well as having the cheek pieces hinged (Everson, 2004: 130). By the end of the 5th century BC, the helmet existed only in southern Italy as a corrupted Italo-Corinthian version, (Everson, 2004: 183)1. Defensively it was extremely effective, covering nearly all of the face in a single sheet of bronze2; but because of this, it offered atrocious hearing (except for the later variant) and vision was severely reduced (Raaflaub, 1999: 133, Hanson, 1991: 67).

    • Word count: 2619
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. From studying The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry and Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks compare the changing relationships between those on the front line and those at home as the war progressed.

    This idea grows as the war progresses. In early war poems we see that soldiers and civilians are united and we can see a sense of patriotism but this soon turns into anger as the true reality of the war becomes known. It was difficult for those at home to comprehend what the conditions in the trenches were like and also the media who were under strict guidelines from the government often didn't' report the real reality of war. This ignorance was the main reason for the separation of those at the war front and those at home.

    • Word count: 2108
  22. Plague ravished fourteen century Europe twice within the narrow space of a single generation. Using data contained in tutorial exercises 1-5 compare and contrast the cattle panzootic of 1314-25 and the human pandemic of 1346-53.

    The Human pandemic of 1346-53 is thought to be the cause of Bubonic plague which is caused by bacteria. It is believed that the bacterium was spread from black rats on merchant ships. However many people disagree with this theory. Samuel Cohn Jr (2002) claims that 'No contemporary evidence links the black death or its successive strikes in Western Europe to rats' First outbreaks of this were found in Central Asia. The causes of the disasters were similar and they both originated from the same region. Although there is much debate about the causes of the human pandemic, majority of people believe that Rhinderpest was to blame for the cattle panzootic.

    • Word count: 1742
  23. Romantic Poetry Anthology

    In a sense Romantic poetry is a clear demand for social justice, expressing that the past social structure was too rigid and the new social order must allow for individual re-growth. There are many great poets that introduced the Romantic era to English Literature, starting with William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge with their combined effort on 'Lyrical Ballads' (1798). Here they turned from reason to emotion and from society to nature. They expressed a wide range of ideas such as the supernatural, emotions, imagination, the exotic, valuable lessons and heroic actions.

    • Word count: 1371
  24. The Ancient World

    These cave paintings raise the question of what the handprint signified. These handprints might have been signatures, or maybe they represented "the importance of the hand to the survival of the artist's people." This endurance of prehistoric art is very valuable for discovering and making hypotheses on how this ancient culture survived and lived. Between 8000 B.C.E. and 5000 B.C.E society became more complex as people in what is now known as the Middle East began to establish villages and small towns. The period around 2500 B.C.E. is known as "one of the great periods of urbanization in the West."

    • Word count: 2761
  25. ART OF INDIA (Khushan Period)

    Bactria was known to be the great patrons of the arts. In this period there were three different types of schools of Buddhist art; the Gandhara School, the Mathura School, and the Amaravati School. These different schools had its own unique styles, and all had iconography in which Buddha was recognized. The Gandhara was located in northwest India, and was a part of the Kushana Empire. The Gandhara were highly influenced by Greek ideals of beauty and sculpture making. This was where Buddha was first shown in human form.

    • Word count: 1533

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