Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

CLAS241 Alexander the Great

A study of the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great, exploring in particular the military, political and social issues of his reign and campaigns.

Alexander the Great was one of the most influential generals in Western history, conquering vast portions of the Mediterranean world and beyond. Yet even now he remains an elusive figure: he was both a founder and a sacker of cities; he spread Greek culture but also adopted Persian customs and married a foreign princess; he was worshipped as a god but was also a victim of human vices; he was a remarkable general, yet led his men into a desert where they died by the thousands. This paper explores the achievements and paradoxes of this fascinating historical figure.

Paper title Alexander the Great
Paper code CLAS241
Subject Classical Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $810.90
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,390.00

^ Top of page

(18 CLAS, GREK or LATN points) or 54 points
CLAS 334
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Lecturer: Dr Pat Wheatley
Arrian, Alexander the Great trans. M. Hammond (Oxford World's Classics 2013)Plutarch, The Age of Alexander trans. I. Scott-Kilvert (Harmondsworth, Penguin 2011)
A.B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great (Cambridge University Press, 1988, paperback; repr. Canto 1993)
Teaching Arrangements
This paper consists of 2 lectures per week and one tutorial per fortnight
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, information literacy, critical thinking, self-motivation, teamwork, critical thinking, global perspective. View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • To investigate the nature of ancient history and the methods and sub-disciplines used to analyse it
  • To analyse and understand how Greek and Eastern cultures interacted when brought into confrontation by Alexander's expedition
Suitable for all people interested in history, historiography, and ancient personalities.
More information link
This paper focuses on the study of the Ancient Texts which record Alexander's life and conquests, and examines the nature of the evidence we have, and how we can interpret it. View the Department of Classics website

^ Top of page


First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Weeks: 9-14,16-22 Wed : 15:00-15:50
Weeks: 9-14,16-17,19-22 Mon : 15:00-15:50


Weeks: 11,13,16,18,20,22 Thurs : 11:00-11:50
or Thurs : 14:00-14:50
or Thurs : 16:00-16:50