Roman History: Problems and Sources (CLA1002)

StaffDr Claire Holleran - Lecturer
Dr Claire Holleran - Lecturer
Professor Elena Isayev - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

  • This module is designed to help students gain knowledge and understanding of the grand sweep of ancient Roman history from its earliest times until the end of antiquity. The aim is not only to provide information about important aspects of – and debates about – political, cultural, social and economic history, but also to enable students to develop sophisticated skills of critical analysis and historiographical method through exposure to a variety of relevant ancient material and modern scholarly approaches to the subject.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Detailed knowledge of Roman history
  • 2. Knowledge of approaches to Roman history
  • 3. Familiarity with the sources of Roman history
  • 4. Analysis of historical problems raised by the history of Rome

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Knowledge of historiographical method
  • 6. Critical analysis of ancient historical sources
  • 7. Analysis of the ideas and ideologies of ancient peoples
  • 8. Ability to digest and organise diverse historical information into a coherent argument
  • 9. Experience in formal academic writing in Classics and Ancient History
  • 10. Experience in conducting independent research in Classics and Ancient History
  • 11. Regular contribution to plenary group discussion

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 12. Knowledge of methods of interpreting evidence
  • 13. Critical analysis of written documents
  • 14. Intellectual criticism of ideas and ideologies
  • 15. Ability to digest and organise diverse information into a coherent argument
  • 16. Experience in writing an analytical essay or report
  • 17. Experience in conducting independent research
  • 18. Regular participation in plenary group discussion

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Term 1: Early Rome and the Republic
  • Term 2: The Principate and Later Roman Empire

Lectures will cover a variety of topics within the study of this period and may incorporate an element of discussion from time to time. Seminars will be focused on students performing in-depth analysis of ancient material and modern scholarship, with supervision and guidance provided by module tutors.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching4422 x 2 hour lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching1010 x 1 hour seminars
Guided independent study246Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral contribution in seminars1-12, 18Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 301800 words1-10, 12-17Mark and written feedback
Examination 502 hours1-9, 12-16Mark and written feedback
Written assignment20800 words1-10, 12-17Mark and written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-10, 12-17Referral/Deferral period
ExaminationExamination1-9, 12-16Referral/Deferral period
Written assignmentWritten assignment1-10, 12-17Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Barchiesi and W. Scheidel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Roman Studies (Oxford, 2010).
  • Cameron, The Later Roman Empire (London, 1993).
  • Cameron, The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity AD 395–700, 2nd edn (Abingdon, 2012).
  • T.J. Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome (London, 1995).
  • M. Crawford, The Roman Republic, 2nd edn (London, 1992). 
  • M. Goodman, The Roman World 44 BC–AD 180, 2nd edn (Abingdon, 2011).
  • H. I. Flower (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic, 2nd edn (Cambridge, 2014).
  • S. F. Johnson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity (Oxford, 2012).
  • D. S. Potter (ed.), A Companion to the Roman Empire (Malden, MA, 2006).
  • D. S. Potter, The Roman Empire at Bay AD 180–395, 2nd edn (Abingdon, 2014).
  • N. Rosenstein and R. Morstein-Marx (eds.), A Companion to the Roman Republic (Malden, MA, 2006).
  • Wells, The Roman Empire, 2nd edn (London, 1992).
  • The Cambridge Ancient History, Volumes 7.2-14.

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Key words search

Roman Empire, Roman History