nl en

The Mycenaean World: Culture


Admission requirements

The course is open to Master and Research Master students in Classics and Ancient Civilisations: Assyriology and Classics, as well as Research Master and PhD students associated with OIKOS.


Mycenaean civilization flourished in mainland Greece and the Aegean islands in the Late Bronze Age. The Mycenaeans have left behind an impressive material legacy, including the remains of mighty palaces, many precious objects, highly decorative pottery, as well as thousands of clay tablets. These tablets are administrative records written in Linear B, a script that was deciphered in 1952 by Michael Ventris. The language of these documents is the Mycenaean, an archaic form of ancient Greek.
This course will give an introduction to the Mycenaean history, culture, society and religion, both from a philological and archeological perspective. Topics include: Mycenaean society and religion, Aegean writing systems, contacts between Mycenaeans and contemporary ancient Near Eastern civilizations, such as Egypt and the Hittite Empire; Mycenaean art and architecture and current archeological excavations. The course will also pay attention to the so-called ‘Homeric Question’, discussing the origins and historicity of Homer’s poems on the basis of archeological, linguistic and textual data. Included in the programme are guest lectures by experts from various disciplines (history, archaeology, linguistics).
It is recommended to take it in combination with “The Mycenaean World: Language”.

Course objectives


  • will gain insight into the culture, religion and political history of Greece during the Late Bronze Age

  • will become familiar with recent discussions and literature in the field of Mycenology

  • learn to assess and contextualize the available source material and become familiar with the methodological problems involved in their interpretation

  • (ResMA only:) will be able to consider the debates from a theoretical standpoint and to independently formulate a new and original research question


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assessment & Weighing

  • Class participation, including presentations): 30%

  • Written weekly assignments (short essays): 70%
    The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average


If the mark is unsatisfactory, the assignments may be rewritten

Inspection and feedback

Students will be invited to discuss the results for this seminar (participation/assignments and oral presentation) individually with the teacher, as soon as the results have been published.

Reading list

To be announced


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.

Not applicable.


Dr. W.J.I. Waal


Not applicable.