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At the height of its power and splendour, the mighty Roman Empire stretched from the Syrian borders to the Portuguese Atlantic and from the Sahara to the hills of Scotland, and comprised many peoples, from Germans to Greeks and Arabs, from Celts to Jews. This hotchpotch of peoples and cultures thus constituted history’s first and only Mediterranean superpower, a startling achievement lasting some four hundred years. This lecture series will introduce students to imperial Rome’s social, political, cultural and religious history. First we will discuss the Julio-Claudian period (44 BCE-68 CE), including the aftermath of Caesar’s assassination and Octavian’s stunning rise to absolute power. The second part concerns the long second century (69-192 CE), the apex of Empire. Part three highlights the Severan Dynasty and the crises of the third century (193-284). Last but not least, we will scrutinize the last century of the Mediterranean Empire, from its reinvention by Diocletian to the definitive separation of West and East at the death of Theodosius I in 395 CE.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject will:
- should have acquired a broad insight into the varied and rich history of the Roman Empire.
- have developed their skills to select and analyze relevant material from the ancient sources and synthesize the findings of this inquiry into a consistent and structured argument
Students who successfully complete this subject should:
- develop research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources.
- demonstrate critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
- be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion.
- demonstrate written communication through essay preparation and writing.
- develop time management and planning through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.
Last updated: 30 July 2023