Department of Ancient History

The founder of Moscow University, M.V.Lomonosov attached great meaning to the study of ancient traditions, and within the first ten years of the University's existence the academic development of issues in classical philology, ancient history, and Roman law began.

The independent department of ancient history was created in the structure of the faculty of history in 1934. Such renowned specialists as V.S.Sergeev, N.A.Mashkin, V.I.Avdiev, A.G.Bokshchanin have taught here. Currently, courses in the department are conducted by professor S.I.Kuchera, Distinguished professor of Moscow State University I.L.Mayak, associate professors I.A.Gvozdeva, S.V.Novikov, S.S.Solov'eva, A.V.Strelkov, N.N.Trukhina, senior teachers O.V.Tomashevich, I.A.Ladynin, and junior research assistant V.O.Nikishin. Laureate of the Lomonosov premium, distinguished professor of Moscow University, V.I.Kuzishchin is department chair.

The department's staff offer intro courses on the history of the Ancient East, the history of Ancient Greece and the history of Ancient Rome in MSU's faculty of history, and also conduct intro courses on the history of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome in the classical, Byzantine and modern Greek branches of philology in MSU's philological faculty; The History of the Ancient East, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome in MSU's philosophical faculty; the history of the Ancient East within the framework of the course on the history of Asian and African countries (part I); the History of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome within the framework of the course on the history of European and American countries at the Institute of African and Asian Countries. Among the disciplines in which it is possible to concentrate are: source studies, historiography, numismatics, papyrus studies, historical geography, Greek epigraphy, Latin epigraphy, history of ancient world culture, Latin, ancient Greek and ancient eastern languages.

The department provides the following special courses: "ancient classical slavery as an economic system", "methodological problems of ancient history" (V.I.Kuzishchin); "the land and property in Ancient Rome" (I.A.Gvozdeva); "archaeological culture of Ancient China", "political history of Ancient China" (S.I.Kuchera); "Ancient Roman: the citizen and man", "Rome from Caesars to consuls" (I.L.Mayak) etc.

The department offers majors in a number of rare historical disciplines.

Within the framework of a concentration in Egyptology (senior teachers O.V.Tomachevich and I.A.Ladynin) students receive instruction in ancient Egyptian languages; the original hieroglyphic texts are read and commented on. The department's staff, students, and post-graduate students regularly participate in Russian archaeological work on an expedition in Giza.

A concentration in the history of Ancient China includes an intro course on the history of Ancient China, and special courses "the history and culture of Ancient China" and "the military history of Ancient China". The major provides for the study of ancient Chinese and ancient Japanese languages (S.I.Kuchera).

The department offers a concentration in historical-legal problems, which includes the lecture course "sources of Roman law" (Dr. of Law D.V.Dozhdev), the intro course "Roman civil law", where "the doctrine of Roman lawyers about the rights of the physical and legal person", "the doctrine about property and possession", "the obligations of law" and "the hereditary of law" are examined (V.I.Kuzishchin, I.A.Gvozdeva).

The concentration in ancient civilizations of New light includes the study of ancient Mayan, listening to the special courses "the history of Mayan culture", "Mayan military history" and "ancient Mayan cults" (G.G.Ershova).

Students majoring in the department take pro-seminars, special courses and compose term papers and theses in various subjects: "Assyrian society and state in the II-I centuries B.C.", "military affairs of the Scythians in the VII-V centuries B.C. in the context of Pre-Asian military history", "some aspects of the legal and religious life of ancient Egyptians" (S.S.Solov'eva); "the life of the upper class of Egyptian society in written sources of the era of the Ancient and Middle empires", "the world view of the ancient Egyptians (from didactic literature)" (O.V.Tomashevich); "the fundamental problems of the history of eastern Hellenism" (S.V.Novikov); "the way of life of an Athenian citizen in the V-IV centuries B.C. (from the comedies of Aristophanes and the compositions of Xenophont)", "the way of life of the ancient Greeks in the V-VI centuries B.C. (work, leisure, property, faith)", "the Olympic games as a factor of ancient and global culture", "religion and public life in Athens" (V.I.Kuzishchin); "Roman land surveying", "ownership and property in the system of Roman agrarian land surveying", "the woman and authority in Rome of the era of Principate (I.A.Gvozdeva), "the Roman religion in the archaic era", "state institutes of Rome (the end of the Republic - beginning of the Empire)", "Italian cities in the era of the Roman Republic" (I.L.Mayak), "the formation of the tradition of the four Gospels", "class structure of the Roman republic" (N.N.Trukhina).

The last five years have proven to be fruitful for the preparation of the textbooks and manuals: the publishing house "High School" issued a series of university textbooks: "History of the Ancient East" (1999), "History of Ancient Greece" (2000), "History of Ancient Rome" (2000). The department's staff has published "Anthology of Sources on the History, Culture and Religion of Ancient Greece" (2000), and a "Reader on the History of the Ancient East" and "Reader on the History of Ancient Rome" have been prepared. The department's staff has actively worked on the creation of the textbooks "History of Ancient Civilizations" (I.A.Gvozdeva, 1998), "General History. Student Directory" (co-authored by S.V.Novikov - chapter on "Antiquity", 1999), "Reader on the History of Ancient Greece" (N.N.Trukhina, 2000).

The fundamental directions of the department's academic activities are connected with source studies, socio-economic and political problems of the history of the ancient world, historiography, the history of culture, and the history of legal establishments. Among the concrete directions of research - international relations and law in the Ancient East; Religion of ancient Egypt; the history of Russian oriental studies; Central Asia and Iran in the Hellenistic era; historical geography of Lower Asia and the ancient Mediterranean; private and public property in Rome; the history of the Athenian state in the classical era; classical slavery as an economic system; Rome of the era of Caesars and republic (socio-political device); cults of early Rome; research of the magistracy of the Roman republic; early Christianity; the social structure of Roman society; the position of woman in the ancient world and in the Ancient East; Roman civil law; state law of Rome (era of the Republic); the economy of Rome in the period of the Principate; veteran land ownership in Rome; property and ownership in agrarian relations of Ancient Rome; the Greek religion; problems of psychology and world outlook in antiquity.

The department's staff has prepared and issued the following works: "The Ancient East and the Ancient World" (issues 1-3, 1998-2000), "The History of Ancient and Middle Ages China" (1996, S.I.Kuchera), "Man and Society in the Ancient World" (the chapter "Roman in Life and in the Public Field", 1998, I.L.Mayak), "The Olympic games as a Phenomenon of Ancient and World Culture" (1997), "The Olympic Games as a Peacemaking Factor in the Political History of Greece V-IV centuries B.C. (Institute Ekeherie - sacred armistice)" (2000, V.I.Kuznishchin).

The department carries out the preparation of candidate dissertations in all academic directions conducted in the department, in part, on the history of culture of many regions of the Ancient East (from Egypt to China), the history and culture of Ancient Greek city states (including the northern Black Sea region) and the history and culture of the Roman Mediterranean (from the founding of Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire), on the history of the beginnings and development of early Christianity. The work of PhD students is regularly published in collections of the department's work "The Ancient East and Ancient World."

The department enjoys vast international connections. Its staff regularly participates in conferences and symposiums in Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, has participated with lectures and papers in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Germany. In turn, professors from universities in Germany, Greece, France, the Netherlands and Mexico have given lectures in the department. The staff, students, and PhD students frequently work and study abroad. International students and PhD students regularly study in the department.