Logo Students

AHIS2210 – Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Macedonian Empire

2020 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

General Information

Pdf icon Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Ian Worthington
See iLearn Syllabus
See iLearn Syllabus
Angela Abberton
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
40cp at 1000 level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This course deals with Greek history from 359 to 323 BC (reigns of Philip II and Alexander the Great of Macedonia), as well as Alexander’s exploits in Asia. We will address questions of what did Alexander do in order to be called 'great' and how great was he? Did he really think he was a god? How did he topple the vast Persian Empire and march as far as India in a decade? What are his failings as a king, commander, and man? What were his achievements and his legacy compared to those of Philip? Why does he continue to play a prominent role in history as well as in literary and movie imagination?

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: consolidate knowledge in relation to the historical processes and fundamental historical developments in this period in 4th century b.c.
  • ULO2: develop sophisticated research skills and articulate approaches to evaluating ancient source material and, in particular, to critically use ancient sources and evaluate modern interpretations of these sources.
  • ULO3: appreciate the larger issues that engage historians of the ancient world and of the learning experiences encountered in the Ancient History Major as well as understand connections between the ancient world and the modern

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status


Schedule: Internal: Campus Sessions (Weeks 1-13) - mandatory. External: listen to lectures and online decision form (not marked).

Method: AHIS2210 is delivered in blended mode as a Macquarie University unit of study.

Webpage: Online units can be accessed at: http://ilearn.mq.edu.au/

Technology used and skills required: PC and Internet access are required. Basic computer skills (e.g., internet browsing) and skills in word processing are also a requirement.

Please contact IT staff (NOT Ian Worthington!) for any further, more specific, requirements, to do with technology.

It is a requirement of this unit that students who are enrolled in Internal mode attend on-campus lectures. Students enrolled in External mode may attend campus sessions. All lectures will be recorded for digital upload.

Required and recommended resources

Required books:

Ian Worthington, By the Spear. Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire (Oxford University Press 2014)

Ian Worthington (ed.), Alexander the Great: A Reader2nd edition (Routledge: 2011)

Prescribed text(s):

eReserve readings (see 'Unit Readings' in iLearn Sylabus for information).

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Week 1: Introduction; Macedonia and Greece before Philip; Macedonian Society; Sources.

Week 2: Philip's accession and reign, 359-c.354

Week 3: Athenian Movements and Imperialism; Philip II from c.354-346.

Week 4: Philip from 346-338.

Week 5: Battle of Chaeronea (338); League of Corinth; death of Philip (336); Alexander, Youth and Accession to 334.

Week 6: Vergina Tomb II (that of Philip?); Alexander's Invasion of Persia (1).

Week 7: Alexander's Invasion of Persia (2).

Week 8: Alexander and Central Asia.

Week 9: Alexander and India.

Week 10: Alexander's Final Years and Death; Alexander's Afterlife.

Week 11: Greece in Alexander's Absence; After Alexander's Death, and the Wars of the Successors.

Week 12: The Hellenistic World 1: The kingdoms to 146 BC.

Week 13: The Hellenistic World 2: Rome and Greece to 30 BC.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes from Previous Offering

The unit is renumbered in a accordance with the new curriculum structure of the university.

The unit has a change in assessment weighting and the replacement of the long essay by a final examination (2 hrs).

The final two weeks of the unit will be given over to a discussion of major aspects of the Hellenistic era since the 3rd-year unit on that period was cancelled at the end of 2019. This two-week study was not included in the submission for this unit as at the time the Hellenistic Age course had not been taken off the books. Note that the period still falls under the 'Macedonian Imperialism' part of this unit's title as the Hellenistic kingdoms were the product of Alexander's successors.