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Exiles, Refugees and the Ancient World


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Our Exiles, Refugees and the Ancient World short course allows you to study the complex history of displacement and displaced people in the ancient world as well as the broader historical trends and contemporary debates. You will study:

  • processes of expulsion from city-states, kingdoms and other communities, for example through the courts, feuding, civil war, or interstate war
  • the lives, communities and writings of exiles and refugees
  • processes of reintegration of exiles and commemoration of displacement.

We will pay close attention to problems and gaps in the evidence. We will consider how the voices and perspectives of the displaced, and other outsiders, from the ancient world can be reconstructed. On this course we focus especially on the ancient Greek-speaking eastern Mediterranean, but we also draw on evidence for exile in Rome and other ancient civilisations.

You will be given the opportunity to make informed comparisons with other periods of history - and interpret the history of ancient displacement within a broader global history of refugees up to the present day. You will also study how ancient exiles, and the ancient world more generally, have provided a focus for identity and reflection among displaced people of other periods, especially in the modern and contemporary world.

Join us as we ask: what role have modern exiles played in shaping how we understand the ancient world itself?

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in the topic, including those working in the fields of immigration and asylum.

Assessment is via an 800-word formative exercise (20%) and 3200-word essay (80%).

30 credits at level 6

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.