I do not offer any courses in the winter semester 2022.
The course is an interdisciplinary cooperation with Jana Hock, Mag. Theol. from the Chair of Old Testament and Biblical-Oriental Languages.
After the death of Alexander the Great, his great empire disintegrated and several of his commanders, the so-called Diadochi, divided the dominion among themselves. The largest of these diadochic empires in terms of area was the Seleucid Empire, which originated with Seleucus I Nicator. In this seminar we will focus on the 2nd century BCE, in particular on the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his relationship with the province of Judea. Judeo-Seleucid relations were fraught with conflict in this era. In the context of these disputes, one group gradually gained influence in Judea: the Maccabees. Their history is recorded in the First and Second Books of Maccabees.
In this interdisciplinary course we will examine selected relevant source texts using two methodological approaches: the historical-critical and the narratological method.
The course will take place in block format. The first two sessions will be devoted to methodological and content-related introductions, while the remaining two sessions will be devoted to student presentations followed by discussion.
Germanicus Iulius Caesar was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and the most famous general of his time. When Augustus arranged his succession in favour of Tiberius in 4 CE, this was only on the condition that he adopted Germanicus at the same time. He was thus the heir apparent to the throne.
In 17 CE, Germanicus was recalled to Rome after a military campaign in Germania that lasted several years. There he celebrated a pompous triumph. The Roman public, who revered the heir apparent in the highest degree because of his closeness to the people, lay at their favourite’s feet. Shortly afterwards he was given a comprehensive imperium, which placed him legally above the provincial governors and only subordinate to that of Tiberius, and sent to the Orient. There he was to order the political conditions in the eastern provinces. Less than two years later, he died unexpectedly in Antioch on the Orontes. The Roman population then fell into a state of unprecedented mourning and clung to conspiracy theories surrounding the alleged murder. The suspected mastermind behind the plot was none other than the emperor himself.
The seminar offers an overview of the tradition concerning Germanicus’ stay in the Orient as well as the circumstances and consequences of his death.
The course also provides a general introduction to the research methods and auxiliary disciplines of Ancient History.
Antioch on the Orontes was the seat of the provincial governor of Syria and the most important city in the east of the Roman Empire: as the former capital of the Seleucid Empire, it was not only a central trading hub since its incorporation into the Roman Empire by Cn. Pompeius, but also functioned as a residence city for emperors or members of the imperial family when campaigns were conducted on the eastern border of the empire.
The event will focus in particular on late antique Antioch. Late Antiquity was an age of transformation – in addition to increasing foreign policy challenges, the rapid rise of Christianity marked a turning point on the imperial level.
The seminar will focus on selected key events in the city’s history, the development of relations with imperial representation and various local groups, especially the Christian and Jewish communities.
The course will also provide a general introduction to the research methods and auxiliary disciplines of Ancient History.