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Ancient History

Ancient History


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History of the Vandals

They have a bad reputation, lending their name to senseless destruction. But historically their achievements are rarely considered. Their conquest of Spain, North Africa and the western Mediterranean reveals them as one of the major powers of the Middle Ages. Their story gives us fascinating glimpses into the condition of a Europe in upheaval while its mistress Rome was dying from its own decadence. SUGGESTED READING There is a very little about the Vandals in English, apart from... [More]
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Early Islam

The world turned on its axis with the spread of Islam in the 7th century. Within 15 years the Holy Land, Persia and Egypt had fallen, 50 years later so too all of North Africa and Spain. But why and how did Islam emerge? What role did earlier religions play in forming basic principles? Why were its rivals, Byzantine Constantinople and the Sassanian Empire of Persia, unable to stop the flow of troops and cultural ideas of early Islam? This illustrated course traces this process, and... [More]
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Germanic Tribes

Julius Caesar named the Barbarians to the Northeast of the Roman Empire ‘Germanii’ - the Germans. But who were these peoples? Where did they come from? Do they still exist today and where did they end up living? We will explore the origins and destinies of some two dozen Germanic peoples including not only the famous Franks and Saxons, but also such lesser known tribes as the Ubii and Avars. SUGGESTED READING Gallic Wars / Julius Caesar. Manchester University Press 1995 Germania /... [More]
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A Morning in the New York Metropolitan Museum

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (‘The Met’) is one of the world’s greatest museums, housing in its vast collection, objects that span human history and reflect a myriad of cultures. Concentrating on the ancient past, we will examine 10 objects, some of them well known, others obscure, all of them fascinating. Each object will be presented in its historical, cultural and social context PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this course, students should be able to: Appreciate... [More]
A Morning in the New York Metropolitan Museum
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The World of the Etruscans

From the 8th – 4th centuries BC the sophisticated and innovative Etruscans dominated the beautiful area of Italy now known as Tuscany. Their ancient native culture interacted with those of Greece and Phoenicia to produce an astonishing array of frescos, jewellery, sculpture and pottery. The Etruscans were famous for their oracles, metalwork, and elaborate “cities of the dead”. Their civilization profoundly influenced, and threatened, the Romans who gradually obliterated Etruscan... [More]
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Favourite Ten Archaeological Objects

We continue to be fascinated by treasured objects from the past. We discover them, preserve them, place them in museums, study and learn from them. They provide us with a very tangible link between us and people from past civilisations and societies. This course will explore the significance of ten specific discoveries, including Sutton Hoo, Nefertiti Bust and the Rosetta Stone; and the controversies that surrounded them. COURSE OUTLINE Tollund Man, Denmark, 4th century B C Lewis... [More]
Favourite Ten Archaeological Objects
$70 inc GST / $63
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Ancient Malta

The islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino lie almost equidistant from Europe and Africa, and have been central to strategic Mediterranean trade and colonisation routes for millennia. Human occupation of these islands dates to the Neolithic period, when massive stone-age structures were erected predating the Egyptian pyramids. Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, later imposed their cultures on Malta, eventually followed by saints, knights and warriors over the centuries. This course will... [More]
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A Morning in Pompeii - Roman Life Exposed

The Roman provincial town of Pompeii (to the south of Naples) was destroyed in the great eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. The inhabitants' disaster has proved the modern archaeologist’s and historian’s paradise, however, as the town smothered by volcanic material has presented a vivid cross-section of Roman social and religious life, art and architecture. Come and enter the world of the 1st century AD, and investigate in this fully illustrated session the astounding variety of... [More]
A Morning in Pompeii - Roman Life Exposed
$86 inc GST / $77
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