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The Politics of Assassination in Ancient, Medieval and Modern History

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The Politics of Assassination in Ancient, Medieval and Modern History

<p>The politically motivated killing of powerful individuals or elite groups has long been part of power struggles throughout History. There is often a connection between the assassinations and

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The politically motivated killing of powerful individuals or elite groups has long been part of power struggles throughout History. There is often a connection between the assassinations and ideological extremism but not always. The ramifications of political assassinations are usually very significant. The impact can be felt for generations into the future. Historians, film makers and investigative journalists often disagree in their interpretations of the event itself, even the identity of the assassins and their motives as well as their interpretations of the social and political context in which the assassinations occurred.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Lindsay Porter, Assassination: The History of Political Murder, Overlook, 2010
  • Michael Newtown, Famous Assassinations in World History: An Encyclopedia, Cavendish 2012

  • Assassinations from Ancient History: Julius Caesar (44 BC), Caligula (41 AD), Claudius (54 AD) and Nero (68 AD)
  • Assassinations from Mediaeval History: Edward II (1327), Richard II (1399) and Henry VI (1471)
  • Assassinations from Modern History: Abraham Lincoln (1865), Indira Gandhi (1984) and Olof Palme (1986)
  • Political motivations of the assassinations; similarities and differences over the centuries
  • Immediate and longer term impact of the assassinations


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the essential features of assassinations throughout ancient, medieval and modern history.
  2. Discuss the motivations of the assassins and the evidence available in each case study.
  3. Assess the credibility of alternative theories which seek to explain the circumstances of the assassinations.