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Ways of Doing Greek


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


The concept of Romanization, with its suggestion of Romans disseminating culture from the centre of their empire to the more peripheral parts has come in for a lot of criticism in post-colonial days.
Several alternatives have been offered –not always quite satisfactory, as a majority remained grounded in a dichotomy between Roman on the one hand, and native on the other. However, different attempts to supersede this dichotomy are underway. The comparable paradigm of Hellenization has never been discussed in a way that could match the liveliness of the debate on Romanization. But the two teachers in this course, the classical archaeologist Versluys and the ancient historian Naerebout, have both been active in opening up new venues in looking at, and problematizing, Hellenization. While it is undeniable that cultural phenomena that ultimately derive from Greek models proved to be attractive for many groups that come into contact with such phenomena – especially (but not exclusively) since the days of Alexander the Great who conquered large slices of the non-Greek world and of the Roman Republic that in its turn conquered large slieces of the Greek world — the real challenge lies in explaining what is actually going on when people start doing things ‘the Greek way’.
Or is it their way of doing Greek? And what are we actually referring to when we label something as ‘Greek’?
By way of a number of case studies, ranging from the kingdom of Commagene in eastern Anatolia, by way of Egypt, to the area of modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan, we will seek to understand, by the confrontation of multiple possible interpretations, what drives along cultural change.
There is no formal entry test, but at the start of the course students will be asked to reflect explicitly upon their individual understanding of what Hellenization is.

Course objectives

General learning objectives
The student has acquired:

    1. The ability to independently identify and select literature, using traditional and modern techniques;
    1. The ability to independently identify and select sources, using traditional and modern techniques;
    1. The ability to analyse and evaluate a corpus of sources with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
    1. The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
    1. The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question, taking into account the theory and method of the field and to reduce this question to accessible and manageable sub-questions;
    1. The ability to independently set up and carry out an original research project that can make a contribution to existing scholarly debates;
    1. The ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, when required, or Dutch, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
    1. The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;
    1. (ResMA only:) The ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

    1. Thorough knowledge and comprehension of one of the specialisations or subspecialisations as well as of the historiography of the specialisation, focusing particularly on the following:
    • in the specialisation Ancient History: unification processes in the Graeco-Roman World, 400 BC – 400 AD; insight into the recent large-scale debates in the field with respect to both the history of mentality and socio-economic history.
    1. Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects of the specialisation or subspecialisation in question, with a particular focus on the following:
    • in the specialisation Ancient History: the comparative method; application of socio-scientific methods; specialised source knowledge, in particular of documentary sources, and more specifically epigraphy.

Learning objectives, pertaining to this Research Seminar
The student:

    1. Will be aware of the debates surrounding culture contact and culture change in the ancient world.
    1. Will be able to contribute to such debates by the analysis of specific cases and do so from a multidisciplinary perspective involving archaeology and ancient history, and their respective sources.
    1. ResMA students will move beyond the analysis of case studies and will consider the debates from a theoretical standpoint: formulating a critique of existing theoretical stances and suggesting possible new departures.


See Timetable and deadlines History

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total: 10 EC x 28 hrs = 280 hours

  • Seminars: 26 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 70 hours

  • Preparing a presentation: 40 hours

  • Researching and writing a paper: 144 hours

Assessment method


  • Written paper (ca. 7500 words, including footnotes and bibliography, based on research in literature and primary sources)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-8, 13 (ResMA 1-9, 13-14)

  • Oral presentation/participation
    Measured learning objectives: 3-7, 12 (ResMA 3-7, 9, 12, 14)

Written paper: 70 %
Oral presentation/participation: 30 %

Research Ma students are expected to give extra attention to theoretical and methodological problems in all their work and in particular in their final paper.

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the written paper must always be sufficient.

Written papers should be handed in within the given deadline

Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructors.


Blackboard will be used for announcements and for the provision of course materials.

Reading list

To be announced.


Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


dhr. Dr. F.G. Naerebout


Part of this course is taught to MA students of the History and MA students of the Archaeology Department together. For the requirements, course objectives, assessment etc for Archaeology students, see the MA programme Archeology in the E-Guide