30109 - Greek Institutions (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students will learn how to arrange and update knowledge concerning some of the most important public and private Greek institutions. They will learn how to use different historical sources (literary, documentary, archaeological, iconographic) and how to select the most appropriate methodologies for the explanation and the interpretation of data.

Course contents

1. Sources and tools for the study of Greek institutions (lectures 1-2).

2. Institutions of the Hellenistic age: the legacy of the institutions of Classical Athens, the reception of the Athenian model in the Hellenistic cities and the institutions of Hellenistic kingdoms.

Training for institutional topics will be offered through:

a. the analysis of selected inscriptions concerning the institutions of the Hellenistic age (lectures 3-10);

b. a collaborative exercise concerning an epigraphic source of the Hellenistic age assigned by the teacher and to be presented by the students during the course (lectures 11-15).

A detailed list of inscriptions and sources will be provided in the first lecture and will be included among the teaching materials online (cf. virtuale.unibo.it).


It should be noted that knowledge of ancient Greek language (reading and understanding a text with the dictionary or at least understanding the correspondence with the translations offered), if not already acquired, must be reached before the oral examination.

First lesson: Novembre 8, 2021; last lesson: December 13, 2021


Students who have no prior knowledge of Hellenistic history are invited to read F. Muccioli, Storia dell'ellenismo, Il Mulino, Bologna 2019 or A. Chaniotis, Età di conquiste. Il mondo greco da Alessandro ad Adriano, Hoepli, Milano 2019. 

Attending students are required to study the followings:

1. M.H. Hansen, La democrazia ateniese nel IV secolo a.C. (trad. it.), LED, Milano 2003, from chapter 4 to chapter 12.

2. M. Mari (a cura di), L'età ellenistica. Società, politica, cultura, Roma 2019, from chapter 1 to chapter 7.

3. Inscriptions and sources analyzed during the course.

Students who won't be able to attend lectures must study:

1. M.H. Hansen, La democrazia ateniese nel IV secolo a.C. (trad. it.), LED, Milano 2003, from chapter 4 to chapter 13.

2. M. Mari (a cura di), L'età ellenistica. Società, politica, cultura, Roma 2019, from chapter 1 to chapter 8.

3. J. Ma, Antiochos III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999.

Bibliographic resources are available at the DiSCi Library of Ancient History (Bologna, via Zamboni 38).

Teaching methods

The course consists mainly of workshops: students will take part in lessons and practise studying institutions and solving related problems.

Those who never studied ancient Greek language and alphabet before are strongly recommended to start immediately. The knowledge of ancient Greek will be strengthened through the reading of selected inscriptions.

Assessment methods

Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.

The oral examination will test the knowledge of the course contents (including selected inscriptions) and of the individual study texts. It will take place in two steps: 1. a question about the individual study texts with discussion of related problems; 2. students will be required to read, translate and explain one of the Greek inscriptions studied during the course and to answer a question about the lessons' contents (in case of non- attendant students, a question about the additional study text, cf. Readings/Bibliography, point 3).


The assessment will test:

- the basic knowledge of the discipline;

- the critical approach to ancient sources and modern historiographical interpretations;

- the ability to communicate orally, in particular skills in synthesis and in logical organization of the topics and the mastery of an appropriate vocabulary.


If the student achieves a complete vision of the topics discussed in class and required for the discipline, provides an effective critical commentary, shows mastery of expression and of the specific language he obtains very good or excellence in the evaluation (28-30L).

Average marks (satisfactory-good) will be awarded to a student who has memorized the main points of the material and is able to summarise them satisfactorily and provide an effective critical commentary, while failing to display a complete command of the appropriate terminology or contents (22-27).

An incomplete command of contents and/or inappropriate language and terminology, albeit in a context of minimal knowledge of the course material, will lead to a 'pass' mark (18-21).

A student will be deemed to have failed the exam if he displays significant errors in his understanding and failure to grasp the overall outlines of the subject, together with a poor command of the appropriate terminology (< 18).


Students enrolled in the course as part of an Integrated Course (I.C.) are required to pass the oral examination of the two parts – Greek Epigraphy (1) (LM) and Greek Institutions (1) (LM) – in the same date (the final grade will result from the arithmetic average of the marks obtained in the two parts).

Teaching tools

Original sources and sources to be read will be supplied online (cf. virtuale.unibo.it).

Office hours

See the website of Alice Bencivenni