Classics (Classical Civilisation) MA/MA(SocSci)

Myths, Fictions, and Histories of Alexander the Great (Greek) GREEK4028

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the literary sources for Alexander the Great with particular emphasis on the grey area between historiography, mythology, and fiction in which these texts operate.


24 contact hours, consisting of 7 lectures and 7 seminars shared with CLASSIC4003, plus an additional 10 seminars focused on reading the texts in Greek.

Excluded Courses





■ One take-home, one-week, 2500-word source comparison, based on the Greek text, 50%

■ One essay, 2500 words, 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Become familiar with the history of Alexander the Great

■ Engage closely with the literacy sources for the life of Alexander the Great and evaluate their historical worth;

■ Read extracts of the Greek sources in the original language

■ Explore the grey area between historiography, mythology, and fiction in which these texts operate.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Describe the historical events of the life of Alexander the Great and place these events in their larger historical context

■ Analyse and evaluate the literary sources for these events

■ Translate the Greek sources into idiomatic English with due understanding of stylistic nuances;

■ Formulate your own interpretations of the sources and argue them in a lucid and scholarly manner both orally and in writing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.