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Special Topic: Ethnicity in the Ancient World - 20 credits (HST033)

In this module students research a topic of their choice related to ancient ethnic identity. The study of ethnic groups and their interaction has long been a fundamental part of modern scholarship on the ancient world, yet until relatively recently the nature of such groups has gone unquestioned. As recent work has demonstrated, there are fascinating questions to ask regarding the formation, maintenance and decline of ethnic groups in the Greek and Roman world, particularly in connection with the emergence of a pan-hellenic identity in Greece, and Roman identity within Italy and the Roman Empire. Students could also focus on the relationship of ethnicity to cultural changes like Romanisation and Hellenisation, evident in the archaeological record. In this module, students can examine the application of modern concepts of ethnicity to the ancient world, study characterisations of other peoples in ancient writers, and explore the relationship of ethnicity to processes of cultural change, such as Hellenisation and Romanisation. Possible topics include ethnic identity in Homer; Greeks and Persians; the Hellenistic koina; the peoples of Italy; Augustan Rome; Roman myths of identity; Romanisation of the western provinces; local cultures in the Roman Empire.