Universiteit Leiden

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Classics and Ancient Civilizations (research) (MA)

About the programme

The Research Master in Classics and Ancient Civilizations covers two years (120 EC) and provides intensive and comprehensive training across the entire range of present-day research on the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome and the Ancient Near East.

You may specialize in one of four tracks:

  • Assyriology (Research): gives you the opportunity to explore the rich history of ancient Mesopotamia alongside top researchers in the field.
  • Classics (Research): ranks among the best programs in the world, with teachers who will expose you to innovative research on Greek and Latin literature, ancient history and philosophy.
  • Egyptology (Research): focuses on Ancient Egypt as a major player in world history.
  • Hebrew and Aramaic Studies (Research): gives you the opportunity to specialize in the languages and culture of ancient Syria-Palestine.

About our Common Courses
The specializations of the Research Master Classics and Ancient Civilizations share two compulsory Common Courses. These courses are geared towards connecting the various disciplines and cross-fertilizing work in your own specialization. Students of all specializations  examine cultural phenomena that transcend their own discipline and engage in discussions with fellows from neighbouring fields. Since classes in the Research Master level always follow recent trends in research, specific topics presented in the Common Courses may change every year.

Common course 2019-2020
The Common Course is titled Libraries in the Ancient World. All ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern civilizations had their archives and libraries. Kings, priests, philosophers and private persons organized collections of documents, in order to preserve knowledge and to make it available for contemporary or future readers. Famous ancient libraries include the Royal Library of Ashurbanipal, temple libraries in Egypt, the Qumran Library, the library of Alexandria, and the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum. But what were the functions of these libraries? Who founded and who funded them? Who had access to the collections, and how were these buildings organized? In answering these questions we will be comparing the different forms that libraries adopted in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine, Greece and Rome.

Tuturial and Elective
Next to the Common Courses, you will follow a tutorial which serves as a first step in the planning of your thesis. Additionally, you take another elective course within your specialisation area.

Thesis and Thesis Seminar
In the fourth semester, you are expected to start writing your thesis. In addition to individual guidance by your supervisor, the Seminar Thesis Presentation and Research Proposal will bolster up your work on the thesis by training you in specific writing and presentation skills. You will also learn, based on your thesis preparation, how to write a research proposal on the basis of academic requirements used by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Internship + study abroad options
  • Thesis
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays, reports and final thesis
  • Oral presentations

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, please see the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Jurgen Zangenberg

Professor of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity

Jurgen Zangenberg

"We all think we know how things are, or at least have preconceptions or - for the worse - prejudices. So I just confront students with "the obvious". Is this really what we can find in the sources? How far do they take us? Motivation comes from curiosity. So make students curious, and then you can see how they start thinking."

Preparing students for jobs

"We help our students prepare for the job market by teaching and coaching them. Make every student an expert in their field and coach them how to communicate and organize. If students understand that their field of study is not just an interesting academic discipline, but that they have something to tell which makes a difference in our societies, they will stand their ground."

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