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MA History: Hellenic Studies

This strand of the MA History is offered by the Hellenic Institute, with the support of the RHUL History and Classics Departments.

The aim of the MA History: Hellenic Studies is to give students from various backgrounds the opportunity to have an overall view and appreciation of Greek history and culture, from the Homeric and Classical age, through the Hellenistic and Roman times, the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine period to the modern world. Its diachronic and interdisciplinary nature enables students to examine the elements which characterise Hellenic culture through the centuries, at the same time helping them to acquire a deeper knowledge of a certain period and discipline, including philosophy, history, law, religion, theatre, language, literature, epigraphy, papyrology and palaeography.

Students will take courses to a total value of FOUR units, comprising:

  1. HS5117 The Greek Tradition (1 unit): This compulsory course consists of twenty two-hour seminars by different tutors on important aspects of Greek history and culture from the archaic period to the modern era, placing emphasis on those elements which characterise Hellenic culture across the centuries. The course will include seminars on the following subjects, depending on availability:

    • The Greek Tradition: scope and methodology
    • Homer and his Legacy
    • The Tradition of Athens and Sparta
    • The Greek Maritime Tradition in Antiquity
    • The Greek Tradition and Identity in Classical Antiquity
    • Emergence, Evolution, and the Development of the Classical in Literature
    • The Tradition and Reception of Classical Art and Architecture
    • Greek Drama and its Reception
    • The Tradition of Greek Education from the Classical Age to the Byzantine Period
    • The Ancient Polis and the Developments of Urbanism in the Eastern Mediterranean in Late Antiquity
    • Classical Greek philosophy: Plato and Aristotle
    • Philosophy in Late Antiquity: Neoplatonism
    • The Greek Tradition in Byzantium: Christianity and Greek Paideia
    • The Greek Tradition in Byzantine Scholarship
    • The Greek Tradition in Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Historiography
    • The Greek Tradition in Byzantine Medicine
    • Byzantium and the Italian Renaissance: the Teaching and Diffusion of Classical Texts in the West
    • The Greek Tradition in the Post-Byzantine period
    • The Greek Tradition and the Enlightenment: Philhellenism and the Greek War of Independence
    • The Greek Tradition in Modern Greek Poetry
    • The Greek Tradition in the Modern World
  2. ONE full-unit language/skill course (40 credits) or TWO half-unit language/skill courses (20 credits each) from the list below. Please note that all are full-unit courses except those marked as half-unit (0.5). Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are those which are offered in the academic year 2016/17:

  3. ONE full-unit optional course (40 credits) or TWO half-unit optional courses (20 credits) from those offered by the Royal Holloway History Department (HS5219 Byzantium and the First Crusade* or HS5220 Byzantium and the Fourth Crusade), Royal Holloway Classics Department, King's College London Classics Department and University College London History Department.

  4. HS5125 MA dissertation of 12,500-15,000 words on an approved subject, under the supervision of a member of the staff.

Note: Students of the MA Hellenic Studies are eligible to apply for certain scholarships, bursaries and prizes.

Legal Disclaimer: The information on this web site is accurate at the time of being uploaded, but tutors may be changed and/or courses may be withdrawn in the light of tutor availability and student numbers. While the Hellenic Institute/History Department makes every effort to run all listed courses, it cannot guarantee the availability of every course throughout the duration of each student's time on the MA course. In the event of unavoidable changes to the programme students may still be enabled to study their chosen themes by special arrangements within the broad ambit of some of the MA programmes - via choice of topics for essays, Skills Project or Dissertation, in consultation with the Programme Director.

For further information on the MA History, please contact the Programme Director Dr Rudolf Muhs and the Faculty Research and Postgraduate Administrator Mrs Marie-Christine Ockenden, History Department, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Enquiries about the strand of the MA History: Hellenic Studies should be addressed to Dr George Vassiadis, The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London.



El Greco. Boy Lighting a Candle (Boy Blowing on an Ember). c.1570-1575. Oil on canvas. Private collection