HISTORY 401 - Problems in Ancient Greek History
Winter 2021, Section 001 - Magic, Astrology, and Ancient Ontologies
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/19/21 - 4/21/21 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Signs and influences from the heavens, and the practices and ideas conventionally described as “magic” were parts of everyday life in societies of the ancient Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East. Textual and material evidence of such bodies of knowledge and practice provide an eccentric perspective on the history of social norms and structures, gender, cultural differences and interactions, politics and religion in these ancient societies, but this course will devote particular attention to what this evidence can tell us about ancient ontologies: the worlds that ancient people inhabited and their ways of being in those worlds. Evidence and examples will be drawn from interrelated societies and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East from the conquests of Alexander the Great to Late Antiquity (ca. 300 BCE to 500 CE). Particular attention will be given to the so-called Greek and Demotic Egyptian magical papyri and related materials, and to textual evidence of Babylonian, Egyptian, and Hellenistic horoscopic astrology.

Intended Audience:

Upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. Prior study of any ancient society or societies before 500 CE is highly recommended.

Class Format:

Evaluation for this course will be asynchronous, and consist of short written assignments and a research essay submitted via Canvas.


HISTORY 401 - Problems in Ancient Greek History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21
Note: Remote with synchronous instruction.

Textbooks/Other Materials

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