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The Mycenaean World: Culture


Admission requirements.

The course is open to MA and ResMA students, as well as PhD candidates.


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, which all form part of local administrations, are written in the Linear B script, which was deciphered in 1952 by Michael Ventris. The documents are written in the Mycenaean language, an archaic form of ancient Greek.
This course aims to give an introduction to Mycenaean history, culture, society and religion, both from a philological and archeological perspective. Topics include: Mycenaean society and religion, 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.
it is recommended to take it in combination with “The Mycenaean World: Language”. Included in the programme are guest lectures by experts from various disciplines (history, archaeology, linguistics).

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


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 = 140 hours

  • Lectures: 2 hours per week x 7 weeks = 14 hours

  • Preparation tutorials: 4 hours per lecture x 7 lectures = 28 hours

  • Final Paper: 98 hours

Assessment method

Final paper.

Resit: Students with a final grade of 5.0 or lower may take the resit.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • sharing course handouts and course materials

  • if necessary, communicating changes in the schedule / scheduled preparation


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the* coordinator of studies.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Student administration Van Eyckhof