HST6091: Migration in the Ancient World

HST6091 Image

15 credits (Semester 2019-20: Spring)

Module Leader: Dr Casey Strine

Module Summary


This module explores the role migration played in the classical and ancient world. Study is divided into five areas: the social scientific basis for historical reconstruction through migration; economic migration; migration and the formation of communal identity; forced migration as imperial policy; the forced migrants’ voice in antiquity. This module draws primarily on ancient texts (e.g., Mesopotamian annals and myths, the Hebrew Bible, ancient Greek histories). Students will develop skills and knowledge relevant to the study of migration broadly conceived (both in the humanities and social sciences), but is especially relevant to those interested in forced migration.


Module aims

This module aims to:

  1. Deepen your knowledge of 1st millennium BCE history and literature through a focus on migration
  2. Familiarise you with the social scientific literature on the study of migration (especially forced migration)
  3. Introduce you to a range of methods for historical reconstruction and textual exegesis
  4. Further develop your critical reading and thinking skills
  5. Improve your ability to conduct independent research

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you should (be able to):

  1. Describe key figures and events in 1st millennium BCE history, politics, and literature (Aim 1)
  2. Describe the role migration played in the classical and ancient world, especially in Mesopotamia and the Levant during the 1st millennium BCE (A1)
  3. Demonstrate the capacity to do critical literary analysis of ancient texts in translation (i.e. primary texts) (A3)
  4. Describe and analyse key concepts from the social scientific literature on migration (A2)
  5. Exhibit the ability to read, understand, and critically analyse secondary literature on ancient texts and history (A1, 2, 3, 4)
  6. Evaluated the main issues in scholarly debate on the relevant primary texts (A1, 2, 3)
  7. Show proficiency in verbal/written debate of scholarly issues in a respectful, constructive and intellectually critical way (A4, 5)
  8. Present a coherent and well-argued piece of independent research, with accurate referencing and bibliography (A4, 5)


Learning hours
Seminar hours Tutorial hours Independent Learning
10 1 139

The seminar format will encourage active student engagement with issues, themes, theories, and even the positions taken by the module leader (Learning objectives 1, 2, 5, 6). The format allows students the opportunity to express ideas and develop their ability to make arguments supported by evidence. Critical thinking skills will be deepened through the modelling of analysis by the module leader and other students (LOs 3, 4, 5, 7). Knowledge of key issues and concepts will be reinforced and expanded through the seminar discussions. The independent work required to prepare for the seminars will enhance students ability to read primary and secondary literature critically while also increasing their proficiency in conducting independent research (LOs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

The tutorial session will support the seminar format by providing each student with time to discuss in depth the research that will lead to their essay.



Assessment methods
Assessment % of final mark Length
Coursework 100% 3000 words

The module will be assessed by a single 3,000-word essay on a topic to be determined by the student in consultation with the module coordinator. The essay will measure the student’s ability to conduct independent research and to present the results in a well-argued, well-written essay that uses correctly formatted footnotes and bibliography (LOs 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8).


Selected reading

To follow



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