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Ancient Studies

Was Caesar the first populist? Can Harry Potter be regarded as a mythological hero? In the Bachelor’s programme Ancient Studies, you will gain insight into the ancient origins of political systems and themes such as identity and migration, which remain relevant far beyond the time of the Persians, Athenians and Romans. Your expertise in the field of Ancient Studies will thus also allow you to develop a critical outlook on contemporary events.

Study choice

If you have any questions or doubts about starting the programme in September, please contact the programme coordinator Dr Mathieu de Bakker.

Registration information session Bachelor’s Day

In order to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, the UvA Bachelor's Day on 14 March was unfortunately cancelled. However, we did make video recordings of the information sessions that took place with no audience present. Below, you can view the information session for Ancient Studies. Although an online information session is not on par with an actual information session at the UvA itself, we still hope the video will give you enough information in order to take the next step in your study choice process.

Watch the information session of Ancient Studies

Antiquity in perspective

The Ancient Studies programme investigates the Classical cultures that lie at the roots of our modern world. You will be given an overview of the most important works of art, literature, philosophy, history and mythology of Antiquity, among which are such things as the pyramids, Greek tragedies, Cleopatra, the epics of Gilgamesh, and Hannibal’s conflict with Rome. As such, you will gain a critical perspective on cultural contact and conflict: between the ancient Greeks, Romans, Persians and Egyptians, but also between past and present. Can our present-day democracy draw any lessons from that of ancient Athens? As an Ancient Studies scholar, you will not only learn to conduct solid research into Ancient topics, but you will also use your historical knowledge to grasp contemporary issues and phenomena.

A combination of disciplines

Ancient Studies is a varied and many-faceted programme (from participating in excavations to deciphering manuscripts). History, archaeology and Classical languages converge within this programme. This innovative combination of disciplines gives you a unique overall perspective on Antiquity and its impact throughout the ages, as well as teaching you to reason from various types of sources and theories.

Furthermore, you will specialise in one of the following subjects: ancient history, Greek or Latin, archaeology, or Ancient Near Eastern Studies. As such, you will unite a broad, critical perspective with depth and expertise.

Is Ancient Studies right for you?

  • You are fascinated by history, mythology and Classical languages, but you are also interested in present-day, universal themes such as democracy, discrimination and gender relations;
  • You would like to delve deeper into cultural exchange and confrontations between, for example, East and West, pagans and Christians, and Antiquity and the present;
  • You would love to go on a study trip and apply your knowledge of Antiquity in a practical setting.

Why study Ancient Studies in Amsterdam?

  • In the Ancient Studies programme in Amsterdam, you are trained by the largest group of Ancient Studies specialists in the Netherlands. This is due to the UvA-VU collaboration in the fields of ancient history, archaeology and Classical languages.     
  • This programme is home to a combination of disciplines that is unique to the Netherlands: Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Classical languages, philosophy, archaeology and ancient history.
  • The sense of community is strong: the groups in which you are taught are mostly quite small in size, and you will benefit from lots of personal contact with the lecturers.
  • You will study in the cultural heart of Amsterdam, with its many museums and cultural institutions such as the Allard Pierson and the Rijksmuseum.
  • The programme is highly international in character. It is, of course, fully taught in English, but it also includes excursions to interesting locations such as Sicily.
Copyright: UvA
So many themes from the Ancient world can be used as a sort of lens through which to look at the present. It was always frustrating to me that this did not happen much, for instance in academic literature about Antiquity or during secondary school classes. The Ancient Studies programme at the UvA is a programme that actually does try to connect the past and the present. Koen Vacano, PhD candidate

Degree certificate

Ancient Studies is an accredited degree programme. After completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Bachelor's degree in Ancient Studies and the title Bachelor of Arts (BA).

Ancient Studies
Diploma BA Ancient Studies
Vorm Voltijd
Studielast 180 EC, 36 maanden
Voertaal Engels
Start September
CROHO-code 56704