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Ancient World Thesis seminar


Admission requirements

The Seminar is obligatory for all students in the second semester of the MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations.


The Ancient World Thesis Seminar brings together all students of the tracks Assyriology, Classics, Egyptology, and Hebrew and Aramaic Studies who are in the second semester of their MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations. The seminar consists of three components.

(1) We will examine the connections and interactions between the ancient civilizations studied in our program, focusing on the motifs of (epic) tales, mythology, and literary texts. We will examine stories about epic heroes, heroines and female deities, fables, theogonies, folkloristic motifs and oral traditions.

(2) Students will receive instructions and guidance for the writing of the Master Thesis (15 EC): we will discuss the following topics: formulating a research question, finding a supervisor, finding literature, style, footnotes and bibliography, structure, academic integrity, avoiding plagiarism, and presenting (online).

(3) We will organize an interactive session on the job market, where alumni of our program will present different career perspectives. We hope that this will help you to prepare yourselves for the future.

Course objectives


  • familiarity with forms of interaction between ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near East, in particular concerning the motifs of (epic) tales, mythology and literary texts;


  • insight into the opportunities and challenges of the job market;

  • insight into the diversity and cohesion of the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near East;


  • academic writing skills;

  • oral presentation skills;

  • teamwork skills;

  • interdisciplinary research skills;

  • communicating Classics and Ancient Civilizations to a wider public.

  • digital humanities (Things That Talk)


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method


  • Oral thesis presentation (40%)

  • Creating a story for Things that talk (teamwork + digital humanities) (40%)

  • Participation (20%)


The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components, with the additional requirement that the thesis presentation must always be sufficient.


If the overall mark is unsatisfactory, there is a resit for the thesis presentation (which must be satisfactory) and / or the Things That Talk assignment.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Literature will be announced in Brightspace.

All students must download their copy of the Guide to Academic Skills of the Master Classics and Ancient Civilizations at Leiden University:


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

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturers listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


Not applicable.