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Queen's University

*Please note that course syllabi are updated each year in late August 
Prior to August, syllabi on the Classics Department website will reflect the courses as they were offered in the last term or year.  Significant changes in emphasis in course material may occur from year to year, including grading methodology, grade weighting and assignments.   Up-to-date syllabi will be available to students by the first day of class.

CLST 331*/0.5 
Hellenistic Culture and Society 
Winter 2014


The information in this document supersedes that provided in any previous
course description.

NB. CLST 331* is a lecture seminar course intended for students in their third and fourth year. Successful completion of one of CLST 201*, CLST 207*, or CLST 208*, each of which provides some familiarity with the world of this course, is highly recommended for students intending to take CLST 331*.


Dr. C. Falkner
Office: Room 509, Watson Hall
Phone: (613) 533-6000, ext. 78834

Office Hours:Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:30 AM or by appointment

Teaching Assistant

Daniel Mitchell -  

Class Schedule

  • Mondays 8:30 - 10:00 AM
  • Thursdays 10:00 - 11:30 AM

Location: Watson 217 (WATS-217)

Course Description

Lectures and discussion of issues in the period from the death of Alexander in 323 to the first century BC, e.g., the creation of the Hellenistic world; cities and communities; kings and kingship; bureaucracy and administration; Hellenism; cult; family life.


Weeks 1 and 2:Events from the death of Alexander (323) to the battle of Corupedion (281). Errington 13-62
Weeks 3 - 12:
Student presentations and class discussions on topics in Macedonian, Syrian, and Egyptian history, and the dealings of the Hellenistic kingdoms with Rome, with appropriate readings from Errington (Part II). A list of topics for presentation will be placed in the Classics office (Watson Hall 505) in the first week of the semester. You must sign up for one of these topics by 4 pm on Monday, January 13.

Reading Week: February 18 -21

Required Texts

R. Malcolm Errington, History of the Hellenistic World, Blackwell, 2008, available at Campus Bookstore or on

Stanley M. Burstein,  The Hellenistic Age from the Battle of Ipsos to the Death ofKleopatra VII,  available at Campus Bookstore or on . This book must be brought to each class session.

Any additional material and information about this course will be posted on the CLST 331 Moodle course page.  


  • Presentation:  15%
  • Test 1: 15% - in class, January 30 (fill in the blanks and/or short answer
  • Test 2: 15% - in class, February 27 (fill in the blanks and/or short answer)
  • Final Exam: 15%  April Exam Period (fill in the blanks and/or short answer)
  • Research Paper: 20 % - approx. 2250 words, due no later than the last day of the semester. The essay topic will be listed on Moodle in the first few weeks of the semester. Detailed instructions about formatting for this essay will also be provided on Moodle.
  • Attendance, class behaviour and participation in discussion: 20%

  • You are expected to achieve a passing grade in all the above assignments in order to pass this course.
    Regular attendance and timely completion of assigned readings are important to your understanding and performance in this course. Remember that 20% of your final course mark relies on a combination of attendance, preparation, class behaviour, and regular demonstration of your understanding by active participation in any discussions.
    Regular attendance means not missing more than one session of the course during the semester.

    MIDTERM TEST and FINAL EXAM: The tests and final exam are to be taken at the scheduled times and dates. In certain exceptional circumstances (e.g., a medical emergency, a death in the family, but not in the case of demands in another course or from an extracurricular activity), the instructor may grant the student the opportunity to write a midterm outside the regularly scheduled time.
    Any arrangement made for exceptional circumstances must be agreed by the instructor by the day before the time of the regularly scheduled test or exam and will require appropriate documentation. The format of any such special accommodation will be determined by the instructor and may differ considerably from that of the test or exam written by the rest of the class, although the course material on which it will be based will remain the same. These measures are intended solely to be fair to students who complete all course components, not to punish those who encounter some misfortune or hardship.

    Students who require special accommodation, such as a computer-assisted test, must consult and follow the information available under Special Arrangements on the department’s website.

    Note in particular that no deferrals will be given to students who are out of town during a test/final exam .   Do not make travel arrangements until you know your exam and test times .   


    Class Objectives

      Students who complete this course are expected to have demonstrated:

      1. Knowledge and understanding of:

    • the main events, personalities and developments of Hellenistic history 
    • the geographical areas and dynasties of the Hellenistic World 
    • the interaction between the Hellenistic and the Roman worlds
    • some current academic interests in the Hellenistic period

    2. The ability to analyze primary source material
    3. The ability to research and present material orally in a clear, coherent and organized fashion
    4. The ability to present and maintain an argument in a structured and scholarly essay

      Grading Methodology

    All components of this course will receive numerical percentage marks.  The final grade you receive for the course will be derived by converting your numerical course average to a letter grade according to Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale:  

    Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale  


    Numerical Course Average (Range)


























    49 and below


      Electronic Devices in the Classroom

      The departmental policy on electronic devices is included below. Please note the specific policies for CLST 331:

    • All cell/smart phones must be turned off before the class begins and not turned on again until the class has ended. If you need to keep your phone on because of an emergency, speak to me at the start of class and get my permission to use your phone. If you get a call during class under these circumstances you are expected to leave the classroom to answer it.
    • No laptops or other digital devices, e.g. touchpads, are to be used except when you require them for your presentation. If you have special requirements please discuss your needs with me at the start of the course, but note that, even under special circumstances, all net access must be disabled during class.
    • The use of other recording devices, such as microphones, for classes is not allowed unless you have requested and been given the instructor's express permission beforehand.

    The departmental policy on electronic devices is :
    The Department of Classics believes that maintaining an atmosphere of respect and consideration in the classroom is an important part of the pursuit of free intellectual enquiry. The use of electronic devices in the classroom can be disruptive to both the instructor and to other students, and thus we are introducing guidelines on their use. These guidelines will follow the procedure explained in Section 14 of the Student Code of Conduct and are in force starting January 2011:

    1.   Non-course related use of electronic devices (e.g. playing games, watching movies, social networking and texting), including smartphones, tablets and laptops, is regarded by the Department of Classics as disruptive pursuant to Section 14 of the Student Code of Conduct. The use of these devices may be restricted at the discretion of the instructor;
    2. In some courses in CLST, LATN or GREK laptops may not be permitted. You will be told in class by your instructor if this is the case. If the use of laptops is permitted, please understand that their use is restricted to note-taking;
    3. The use of recording devices for lectures is not allowed unless you have requested and been given the express permission of the instructor of the course. 

      Academic Integrity

      Academic integrity is constituted by the five core fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility (see These values are central to the building, nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the community will thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a foundation for the "freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas" essential to the intellectual life of the University (see the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities).

      Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations concerning academic integrity and for ensuring that their assignments conform to the principles of academic integrity. Information on academic integrity is available in the Arts and Science Calendar (see Academic Regulation 1), on the Arts and Science website (see Faculty`s Academic Integrity page), and from the instructor of this course.

      Departures from academic integrity include plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials, facilitation, forgery and falsification, and are antithetical to the development of an academic community at Queen's. Given the seriousness of these matters, actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a warning or the loss of grades on an assignment to the failure of a course to a requirement to withdraw from the university.

      Disability Accommodations

      Queen's University is committed to achieving full accessibility for persons with disabilities. Part of this commitment includes arranging academic accommodations for students with disabilities to ensure they have an equitable opportunity to participate in all of their academic activities. If you are a student with a disability and think you may need accommodations, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Disability Services Office (DSO) and register as early as possible. For more information, including important deadlines, please visit the DSO website at: .


      The material in this outline is copyrighted and is for the sole use of students registered in CLST 331.  This material shall not be distributed or disseminated to anyone other than students registered in CLST 331.  Failure to abide by these conditions constitutes a breach of academic integrity under the University Senate's Academic Integrity Policy Statement.

      This page was last updated 09 January 2014.

    Department of Classics, 505 Watson Hall
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6.
    P: 613.533.2745 | F: 613.533.6739