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Classics & Ancient History   >   Ancient Thebes

Mycenaean Thebes

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Ancient Thebes

In this course, Professor Paul Cartledge (University of Cambridge) explores the history of Thebes from the Mycenaean period (1600-1100 BC) to its destruction at the hands of Alexander the Great in 335 BC. In the first module, we think about the ‘prehistory’ of the city of Thebes in the Mycenaean Age, including its location in Greece and the earliest mentions of the city in Greek (and non-Greek) literature. After that, in the second module, we think about cult in ancient Thebes, before turning in the third and fourth modules to consider the prominence of Thebes in the Greek epic tradition and in Greek tragedy. In the final four modules, we trace the history of Thebes in four key periods – the Greco-Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian, the fourth century BC up to the death of Epaminondas at the Battle of Mantinea, and the final decades of Thebes’ existence before its destruction in 335 BC.

Mycenaean Thebes

In this module, we think about the prehistory of the city of Thebes, focusing in particular on: (i) the foundation of Thebes in myth; (ii) the location of the city of Thebes in Greece and Boeotia; (iii) the archaeological remains of Mycenaean Thebes; and (iv) the first mentions of Thebes in literature, both Greek and non-Greek.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Cartledge, P. (2021, February 17). Ancient Thebes - Mycenaean Thebes [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Cartledge, P. "Ancient Thebes – Mycenaean Thebes." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Feb 2021,


Prof. Paul Cartledge

Prof. Paul Cartledge

University of Cambridge