The polygamy of the kings. The role of royal women in power struggle and the image of the immoral and murderous queen (starting with Olympias); their role in the court and in the government of the kingdom; their role in foreign policy through dynastic marriages. The benefactions for Greek poleis and the awarding of honours by the latter; their share in dynastic cult. The hetairai in the courts.
After successfully completing the seminar the students are expected to be able to analyze the information provided by the sources, develop questions, and as a whole assess the role of women in the history of the Hellenistic kingdoms and interstate relations, without being misled by the prejudice of ancient literary sources.
Week #1: The military-political framework and the dynasties – The sources and the image of the virago.
Week #2: The polygamy of most kings and its consequences for their wives τους – the title “queen’. An overview of dynastic marriages.
Week #3: The involvement of Olympias and Alexander’s sisters in the wars of the Diadochoi.
Week # 4: The women of the Antigonid dynasty.
Week #5+6: The diplomatic role of the Seleucid women – the social-financial impact on the Greek poleis and the honours by the latter. Dynastic ruler-cult.
Week #7+8: Overview of Seleucid-Ptolemaic relations – The role of the women in the wars between the two dynasties in the 3rd BC.
Weeks #9+10: The women `of the Ptolemaic dynasty – Incestuous marriages – Dynastic marriages between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies in the 2nd BC.
Weeks #11+12: Kleopatra VII and Rome.
Week #13: Instructions on essay writing.
Ager, S. L., "Familiarity breeds: incest and the Ptolemaic dynasty", JHS 105, 2005,1-34.
Bennett, C., “Cleopatra V Tryphaena and the geneaology of the later Ptolemies”, AncSoc 28, 1997, 39-66.
Bianchi, R., « Ptolemaic Egypt and Rome: an overview”, Cleopatra's Egypt. Age of the Ptolemies, the Brooklyn Museum, 13-20.
Bielman, A., Femmes en public dans le monde hellénistique, Ive-Ier s. av. J.-C., Paris 2002.
Burstein, S., “Arsinoe II Philadelphos: a revisionist view”, στο Adams, W. L., Borza E., (eds), Philip II, Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Heritage, Washington 1982, 197-212.
Burstein, S.,The reign of Cleopatra, 2004.
Carney, E., Women and Monarchy, Norman (OK) 2000.
Carney, E., “The sisters of Alexander the Great: royal relicts”, ZPE 37, 1988, 395-404.
Carney, E. & , Müller, S. (eds).The Routledge Companion to Women and Monarchy, Oxford / New York 2021.
Fantham Ε. κ.ά., Οι γυναίκες στον αρχαίο κόσμο, Αθήνα 2001, 179-236.
Gauthier, Ph., Nouvelles inscriptions de Sardes II, Genève 1989, 47-79.
Gehrke, H.-J., Geschichte des Hellenismus, Munich 1990.
Hazzard, R. A., Imagination of a Monarchy: Studies in Ptolemaic Propaganda, Tορόντο/Μπάφαλο, κεφ.5:”Arsinoe II and the importance of perception”. κεφ. 6: “Propaganda and the role of the Ptolemaic queen”.
Hölbl, G., A History of the Ptolemaic Empire, New York 2001.
Jones, P., Cleopatra. A Sourcebook, Norman OK, 2006.
Kleiner, D.E.E., Cleopatra and Rome, CambridgeMass. 2005.
Μa, J., Antiochοs III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor, Οxford 1999.
Macurdy, G., Hellenistic Queens. A Study of Women-Power in Ancient Macedonia, Seleucid Syria and Ptolemaic Egypt, Baltimore 1932.
Ogden, D., Polygamy, Prostitutes and Death. The Hellenistic Dynasties, London / Swansea 1999.
Powell, A., “Spartan women assertive in politics?”, στο A. Powell & S. Hodkinson (eds), Sparta. New Perspectives, Λονδίνο/Σουόνσι 1999, σσ.χχ
Quaegebeur, J. 'Cleopatra VII and the cults of the Ptolemaic queens', στοCleopatra's Egypt. Age of the Ptolemies, 41-54.
Rostovtzeff, M., A History of the Ancient World, vol. II: Rome, trans. E. Bickerman, Oxford 1960.
Sartre, M., L’Anatolie hellénistique, de l’Égée au Caucase, Paris 20032.
Savalli, I., “Il ruolo publico delle regine ellenistiche” στοΙστορίη, Studi offerti dagli allievi a Giuseppe Nenci, Lecce 1994, 415-32.
Shipley, G., The Greek World after Alexander, 323-30 B.C., London / New York 2000.
Van Looy, H., “Apollonis, reine de Pergame”, AncSoc 7, 1976, 151-65.
Wehrli, Cl., “Phila, fille d’ Ántipater et épouse de Démétrios, roi des Macédoniens », Historia 13, 1964, 140-6.
Whitehorne, J.E.G., Cleopatras, Λονδίνο/Νέα Υόρκη 20012.
3 hour weekly seminar (39 hours in total) based on the study of ancient literary sources and inscriptions. The syllabus includes passages from Diodorus, Pausanias, Appian, Arrian, Polyainos, Justin and the following Plutarchean Lives: Alexander, Demetrios. The students will have to answer questionnaires related to the sources and the subjects examined each time. The aim is for the students to acquire a basic knowledge of the sources and thus proceed to analysis in class. Additionally, they will have to present, orally, articles and / or chapters of books.
Assessment of the students is based on their answers to the afore-mentioned questionnaires and/or the oral presentation of articles and/or book chapters (30%), composition of a long essay (c.2000 words; 35%) and a written examination (35%). In the case of failure in either the long essay or in the written examination, students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment in September.