The Lords of Asia

Ref: C2341887

We will briefly examine the nature of the wars of the Successors down to 286 BC, and the pivotal role played by the Seleucid kingdom during that period. We will then go on to look at the latest archaeological and written evidence for the nature of Greco-Macedonian colonisation in the Middle East, and attempt to define the essential features of the Hellenistic polis, and what relationship (or tensions) existed between the Macedonian elite and the native populations of the Middle and Near East. The course will also examine closely the character and extent of the Macedonian military and administrative machine within the Seleucid Empire and its wider strategic designs, contrasting this with evidence from other parts of the Hellenistic World. Some analysis will also made of the early kings of the Seleucid Empire, their known policies and intentions. Students will be made aware of the latest literary and archaeological evidence available for the period concerned.

Course aim

This course aims to explore the early development of the Seleucid Empire and examine its essential character, its early achievements and its role in the wider Hellenistic World, following the death of Alexander the Great.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe the rise of the Seleucid Empire and its position in the Hellenistic world
  • Analyse and attempt interpretations of the character of early Seleucid kingship and administration
  • Describe the establishment of Macedonian and Greek colonisation across the Middle East, and its cultural impact.
  • Provide an outline of typical urban life and society in the Hellenised Near East in the 3rd century BC.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The Hellenistic World (Fontana History) - Frank W. Walbank (1992)

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Lords of Asia


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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