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Ancient Empires before Alexander, Short Course

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Ancient Empires before Alexander is your opportunity to finally complete your knowledge of the ancient world with a comprehensive look at history's first empires. Professor Robert L. Dise Jr. of the University of Northern Iowa examines these fascinating kingdoms as their own unique subjects, ones that reflect the struggles, successes, and failures of establishing an empire. 


How Do Empires Rise? Why Do They Fall?

Until 200 years ago, these empires were little more than names. Some had even been entirely forgotten. Recently, however, profound advances in archaeology and history have vastly improved our knowledge about the world's first empires—those that provided the foundation for future empires to follow.

As Ancient Empires before Alexander is a course on the rise and fall of history's earliest empires, you spend much of the course immersed in the political, administrative, and military details of these thrilling civilizations. While social and cultural issues are not unimportant to the rise and fall of empires, they often play secondary roles, according to Professor Dise; rather, the aim of his lectures is to place each of these empires within a larger exploration of empire building.

Employing a wealth of archaeological and archival evidence, Professor Dise brings the ancient world's diverse empires to life through an analysis of three basic questions:

  • How did this particular empire emerge?
  • How was it governed and defended?
  • How and why did it ultimately fall?

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date 36 lectures - 30 minutes per lecture
  • Programme intensity Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

36 Lectures:
  1. A Meditation on Empire
  2. Lands, Seas, and Sources
  3. Sargon and the Dawn of Empire
  4. The Third Dynasty of Ur
  5. The Empire of Hammurabi
  6. Mitanni and the Kassites
  7. The Rise of Hatti
  8. The Government of Hatti
  9. Hatti at War
  10. The Climax and Collapse of Hatti
  11. The Rise of the Egyptian Empire
  12. The Imperial Army and Administration
  13. The End of the Egyptian Empire
  14. The Minoan Thalassocracy
  15. Mycenae and the Dawn of Greece
  16. The Collapse of the Mycenaean World
  17. The Birth of Israel
  18. The Empire of David and Solomon
  19. The Dawn of Assyria
  20. The Rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
  21. The Government of Assyria
  22. Assyria at War The massive military machine of the Neo-Assyrian Empire was essential to combating the many threats along its weak frontiers. Focus on the Assyrian army's organization, its weaponry, its battle tactics and strategies, and its rationale for waging war against the Aramaeans, Babylonians, and others.
  23. The Climax and Collapse of Assyria
  24. The Neo-Babylonian Empire
  25. The Rise of the Persian Empire
  26. The Outbreak of the Greek Wars
  27. Xerxes and the Invasion of Greece
  28. From Plataea to the Peace of Callias
  29. The Persian Empire from 450 to 334
  30. The Government and Army of Persia
  31. Alexander and the Fall of Persia
  32. The Origins of Carthage and Its Empire
  33. Ruling and Defending Carthage's Empire
  34. The First War with Rome
  35. Hannibal and the Fall of Carthage
  36. Ancient Empires before Alexander, and After


Ph.D. Robert L. Dise Jr.

University of Northern Iowa

Dr. Robert L. Dise Jr. is Associate Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches highly popular courses on the history of the ancient Near East, Greece, Rome, and classical civilization. He earned his B.A. in History from the University of Virginia and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Before joining the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, Professor Dise taught at Clinch Valley College-now the University of Virginia's College at Wise. Professor Dise has delivered numerous papers at a variety of conferences on ancient history, classical studies, and archaeology. Additionally, he is the author of Cultural Change and Imperial Administration, which examines the origins and evolution of ancient Roman provincial administration. Although he is widely published, Professor Dise regards teaching as the single most important activity that a college faculty member undertakes.

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    199 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 199 USD per module and a duration of  .
  • National Applies to you

    199 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 199 USD per module and a duration of  .
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