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Programme and learning outcomes

Exploring the Mediterranean to get acquainted with the ancient, Byzantine, Islamic and medieval European worlds through various perspectives and disciplines.

The Mediterranean has become the centre of attention in recent years, as the stage on which connections and divisions between East and West, North and South are played out. This is nothing new. Centuries ago, the Mediterranean was the heart of the ancient, Byzantine, Islamic and medieval Western Worlds. It was the seat of some of the greatest empires and civilisations in history and, by joining three continents, played a strategic role in their development. Emperors and republics, popes and crusades, caliphates and metropoles all flourished around its shores. So too did the greatest cities of this long period - Rome, Constantinople, Cairo, Damascus and Cordoba – jostle for supremacy in a rapidly changing world.

This unique Master’s programme explores questions in ancient and medieval Mediterranean history, including the transformation of the ancient to medieval world. Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean Worlds offers a unique programme covering ancient and medieval history, as well as Byzantium, the Islamic world and Western Europe in contact and conflict. Taught by a group of specialists who are internationally renowned in their fields of expertise, the programme will offer you a broad treatment of the major questions in Mediterranean history, looking at:

  • Cultural identity, cultural memory and imagined communities
  • Regionalism, colonialism and conquest
  • Continuity and change over the ancient and medieval periods
  • Tradition and ideology
  • Economic history and trade, including numismatics
  • Intercultural exchange, influence and acculturation

As you analyse the Mediterranean and its impressive legacy, you will become acquainted with several specialist areas of research, such as ancient history, medieval history, art history, classical philology, archaeology, and literary theory. Each field offers different perspectives and methodologies that will both expand your knowledge and ideas of Mediterranean history, and deepen your insight into many questions relevant for the functioning of our modern society.

The programme is coordinated by dr. Lien Foubert, l.foubert@let.ru.nl

Learning outcomes

The graduate of the Master's programme Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean Worlds:

  1. has - in addition to the knowledge acquired in the Bachelor's programme - an understanding of the political and cultural significance of the Mediterranean in the ancient and medieval periods from antiquity to the present and of the theory and historiography related to these core considerations;
  2. knows how to analyse a historical debate on the role of the Mediterranean in ancient and medieval history and to form an opinion based on diverse points of view. The scholarly attitude of the graduate and the methodological and critical processing of expert knowledge related to the field of study are reflected in this analysis and its foundations;
  3. knows how to identify and contextualize the enduring impact of the Mediterranean, and the diverse perceptions of the Mediterranean as a political, religious and cultural centre, from antiquity to the present. The graduate is able to recognize how and why connotations attached to Rome and the Mediterranean were appropriated by different users throughout the centuries;
  4. is able to tackle a problem related to the ancient and medieval history the Mediterranean by means of suitable concepts and research methods. Proceeding from a research question, the graduate knows how to select, analyse and interpret pertinent information;
  5. knows how to present, in writing and orally, the results of his or her research in a well-founded and academic manner, in accurate English;
  6. knows how to organize his or her activities, either individually or as a member of a team. The graduate is able to use the feedback of others to evaluate and adjust these activities. He or she can detect gaps in his or her own expertise and knows how to fill in these through goal-oriented actions. The graduate is able to make well-considered career choices;
  7. knows how to participate in scientific discussions and contribute to public debates in a well-founded manner.