Stephen Harrison is a Greek historian with a particular interest in kingship, empire, and identity. He came to Swansea in 2016 after completing his PhD at Cambridge; the thesis, entitled Achaemenid Kingship, Alexander the Great, and the Early Seleucids challenges traditional periodization and offers new insights into the representation of monarchy. He is currently preparing a heavily-revised version of the thesis for publication. His research ranges across chronological and geographic boundaries, with a particular focus on cultural interaction. At Swansea, Dr Harrison teaches widely on subjects in Greek and Near-Eastern history, across the Classical and Hellenistic periods.

Publications

  1. Harrison, S. Changing spaces, changing behaviours: Achaemenid spatial features at the court of Alexander the Great Journal of Ancient History 6 2 185 214

Teaching

  • CL-M09 Dissertation in Ancient History and or Classical Literature

    Dissertation in Ancient History or an approved Classical subject.

  • CLD300 Classics, Ancient History, Egyptology Dissertation

    Dissertation module for students doing single honours or joint honours degrees in Classics, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or Egyptology. The aim is for students to do detailed research, to work on a project for several months and to produce a scholarly study of c. 8000-10000 words. The dissertation topic can be chosen freely, in consultation with a member of academic staff and subject to compatibility with a student's degree scheme and availability of supervisors and library material. This is a chance for students to pursue an area in which they are especially interested, and to deal with it in depth. Students may choose to do museum-based research. There are two preparatory pieces of assessment: an abstract, outline and bibliography, and an analysis of crucial source material and/or secondary literature. Work on the dissertation itself takes up most of the two semesters. Students are expected to do research independently, but there is a series of lectures in the first semester to provide advice on research and scholarly writing, Every student will be assigned a supervisor who will be organising group sessions with his/her supervisees and who will also be available for one-to-one supervision sessions.

  • CLH100 Greek History and Society

    The module introduces Greek history, focusing principally on the Classical period. The chronological limits of the course are provided by the Persian War and the conquests of Alexander the Great, so essentially covers c.499 to 323, though some sessions will range beyond these limits to provide appropriate context. While the module is framed by political narrative, the module will pay due heed to social and cultural concerns, such as gender. It will also introduce the principal sources for Greek history, especially Herodotus and Thucydides. Potential Topics Main topics in Political History ¿ Herodotus and the Persian War ¿ Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War ¿ The early fourth century ¿ Philip II and Alexander the Great Main topics in Social and Cultural History ¿ Social organisation ¿ Slavery ¿ Religion ¿ Daily life ¿ Gender, Sexuality ¿ Identity; Greeks and others ¿ Warfare

  • CLH268 Beyond Mainland Greece: Asia in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods.

    This module explores Asia during the Classical and Hellenistic periods, offering students the opportunity to place Greek history and culture into its wider context. At the core of the module are six regional case studies reaching across the continent, which examine local experiences across some 400 years of history. This was an age of empires (Persian and Macedonian) and we examine how foreign rule affected local culture and, in turn, how local cultures shaped these imperial powers. A number of thematic studies explore key issues across the whole continent, introducing students to comparative history whilst examining the challenges of ruling a multi-cultural empire. We also investigate the relationship between the Greek mainland and Asia, exploring how ideas were exchanged, how the Greeks described Asia, and how this Greek view has influenced our own. The course will give students the skills required to analyse an array of sources ¿ literary, archaeological, artistic ¿ focusing particularly on understanding the relationship between written evidence and material culture.

  • CLH297 Alexander and the Hellenistic world

    This module focuses on Alexander¿s conquest of the Persian Empire and the impact it had on culture and politics of the ancient world. The first half of the module looks at the Macedonian campaign; the second half deals with the struggle among Alexander¿s successors and then deals with some of the cultural and political developments which defined the Hellenistic world.

  • CLH368 Beyond Mainland Greece: Asia in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods.

    This module explores Asia during the Classical and Hellenistic periods, offering students the opportunity to place Greek history and culture into its wider context. At the core of the module are six regional case studies reaching across the continent, which examine local experiences across some 400 years of history. This was an age of empires (Persian and Macedonian) and we examine how foreign rule affected local culture and, in turn, how local cultures shaped these imperial powers. A number of thematic studies explore key issues across the whole continent, introducing students to comparative history whilst examining the challenges of ruling a multi-cultural empire. We also investigate the relationship between the Greek mainland and Asia, exploring how ideas were exchanged, how the Greeks described Asia, and how this Greek view has influenced our own. The course will give students the skills required to analyse an array of sources ¿ literary, archaeological, artistic ¿ focusing particularly on understanding the relationship between written evidence and material culture.

  • CLH372 Monarchy: Ancient and Medieval

    This thematic module explores the institution of monarchy in the ancient and medieval periods. It will address a number of overlapping questions, and take a concerted comparative approach toward comparing the nature of kingship in both eras. What made a king a king? How did a monarch interact with his (or her) subjects? How was royal power reflected in the palaces and buildings constructed by monarchs? Could queens exercise power in the same way as kings? The module draws on modern theoretical observations about monarchy and explores specific examples from across the ancient and medieval world from the Achaemenid kings of Persia and Alexander the Great, to the Carolingians and the monarchs of the new Latin kingdoms founded during the expansion of Europe after 1000, with examples along the way from Egypt and Rome. Students will develop the skills required to work with a range of primary evidence including royal inscriptions, monuments and art, coins, archaeological remains, political treatises, administrative and legal texts, and manuscript illuminations. Students will also gain expertise in modern scholarship on the subject, engaging with key modern debates on the nature of kingship in the ancient and medieval epochs. Ultimately, the module will give students a framework for assessing monarchy which can be applied productively to monarchy in any period of history.

  • CLH397 Alexander and the Hellenistic world

    This module focuses on Alexander¿s conquest of the Persian Empire and the impact it had on culture and politics of the ancient world. The first half of the module looks at the Macedonian campaign; the second half deals with the struggle among Alexander¿s successors and then deals with some of the cultural and political developments which defined the Hellenistic world.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Outreach Officer - Department of Classics, Ancient History, and Egyptology

    2017 - Present

  • Employability Officer - Department of Classics, Ancient History, and Egyptology

    2017 - Present

External Responsibilities

  • Council Member, Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

    2017 - Present