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Globalization and its Impact. Intercultural Contact in the Ancient World


Admission requirements

This course is part of the (Res)MA History Programme. It is not accessible for BA students.

This course is intended for students from a limited number of MA programmes. First year MA students of Ancient History for whom this is a compulsory course will have priority over students from other programmes. Because of the limited capacity available for other programmes, all students who will enroll are placed on a waiting list. The definite admission (by August 25) will be made according to the position on the waiting list and the number of students from each programme.


A fundamental aspect of the history of the ancient world is the gradual, but continuous increase of intercultural contact: from Archaic Greece to Imperial Rome there is a consistent expansion and intensification of ties between places and people. Even if the world did not practically become smaller in travel time, as in later periods, it became much smaller culturally, and the increasing interactions between people of different cultural backgrounds had a profound impact on everyday lives throughout the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, and beyond.

This literature seminar serves to introduce students to the many debates surrounding the issue of intercultural contact in the ancient world, with a particular emphasis on the developments of the last decades, when issues of ‘globalization’ have increasingly been in the scholarly spotlight.

In thematic sessions, we will discuss debates about concepts like globalization, orientalization, Hellenization, Romanization, and Egyptianization and we will discuss the nature and impact of contact between the Greco-Roman Mediterranean and the Far East, to explore the question what cultural integration did to the Greco-Roman world, and what the Greco-Roman world did to cultural integration.

Course objectives

General learning objectives

The student has acquired:

  • 1) The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;

  • 2) 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;

  • 3) The ability to provide constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of the work of others and the ability to evaluate the value of such criticism and feedback on one’s own work and incorporate it;

  • 4) The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;

  • 5) (ResMA only:) The ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

  • 6) 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.

  • 7) (ResMA only): Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical foundation of the discipline and of its position vis-à-vis other disciplines.

Learning objectives, pertaining to this Literature Seminar

The student:

  • 8) Is able to reconstruct the dynamics of key debates about globalization and intercultural contact in the Greco-Roman world

  • 9) Has developed a clear insight in the ways in which academic positions in these debates are rooted in textual evidence and archaeological remains.

  • 10) (ResMA only): can relate developments in debates about globalization and intercultural contact in the Greco-Roman world to broader academic developments outside the discipline of Ancient History.


The timetable is available on the MA History website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 6 x 25 = 150 hours

  • Tutorials: 6 x 2 = 12 hours

  • Tutorial preparation: 6 x 4 = 24 hours

  • Final essay = 94 hours

Assessment method


  • Research Essay (4000 words, ResMA: 5000 words)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-4, 6, 8-9

  • Assignment 1 (Essay Orientalization: 1000 words)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-4, 6, 8-9

  • Assignment 2 (Essay Hellenization: 1000 words)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-4, 6, 8-9

  • Assignment 3 (Essay Romanization: 1000 words)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-4, 6, 8-9

  • Assignment 4 (Essay Egyptianization: 1000 words)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-4, 6, 8-9

  • Assignment 5 (Essay Intercontinentalization: 1000 words)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-4, 6, 8-9


Written paper: 50%
Assignment 1: 10%
Assignment 2: 10%
Assignment 3: 10%
Assignment 4: 10%
Assignment 5: 10%

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


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

Exam review

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


Blackboard will be used for:

  • To make students aware of the set readings ahead of each seminar

  • To make some of the course materials available to students

  • To notify students of essay titles, requirements, and deadlines

  • For all general course notifications

Reading list

The literature list will be made available on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. M. Flohr