Why was Alexander ‘great’?


This course will explore Alexander’s extraordinary rise to power and explain the reasons for his military successes.

The class will meet on Zoom on Thursdays from 11th January 2024 at 19:30 (UK/Ireland local time).

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Alexander III of Macedon, son of Philip II, is more commonly known as Alexander the Great. He was tutored by Aristotle, succeeded his father as king at the age of 20, and by 30 he had created one of the largest empires in history, from Greece to northwestern India.

This course will explore Alexander’s extraordinary career. It will examine his rise to power and attempt to explain the reasons for his military successes, through which he moved the boundaries of that Greek world eastwards to the borders of India. Though Alexander’s life met a premature end, the consequences of his conquests were far-reaching both politically and culturally.

Over ten weeks, we will critically discuss the achievements of Alexander the Great, analyse his specific military engagements, and assess the sources from which our understanding of Alexander the Great emerges.

This course complements the OCR Ancient History A level and OCR Classical Civilisation A level qualifications in the UK, and as such would be of value to students and teachers, as well as being of interest to anyone fascinated by the literature and culture of ancient Greece.

This ten-week course is conducted via Zoom. Classes will meet for 90 minutes each week  on Thursdays at 19:30-21:00 (UK time), on 11th January, 18th January, 25th January, 1st February, 8th February, (mid-term break on 15th February), 22nd February, 29th February, 7th March, 14th March and 21st March 2024.

Tutor: Dr Kerry Phelan.


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