The World of Late Antiquity (CLA3108)
|Staff||Dr Richard Flower - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;|
The course will provide students with an understanding of the history of the later Roman empire from a variety of different approaches, concentrating on two central historical themes during this period: the rise of Christianity as a significant religious and cultural movement in the ancient world; and the emergence of barbarian groups, in particular the Goths, who played a role in the collapse of the western Roman Empire and its transformation into early medieval kingdoms. The seminars are designed to help the students develop a real depth of understanding about this period by reading and discussing both ancient material and modern scholarship, as well as by giving presentations to the group on their own interpretations of late-antique history.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Knowledge and critical understanding of the main sources for the period, including the ability to interpret differing approaches to the writing of history, especially as part of the development of Christianity, and the creation of new systems of cultural values that engaged with, transformed and, on occasions, conflicted with traditional, Greco-Roman society.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 2. Students will develop their skills at reading, and reading between the lines of, sophisticated texts. They should be able to analyse the ways in which the representation of historical reality is conditioned by the various standpoints of the writers of texts and of the audiences/readership for which they were intended. They should grasp the impact of a radical change in ideology on social and political behaviour
- 3. Analysing the ways in which the representation of historical reality is conditioned by the various standpoints of the writers of texts and of the audiences/readership for which they were intended.
- 4. Grasping the impact of radical (re)definitions of ideologies on social and political discourse and behaviour.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 5. Developing analytical reading skills of different (and sometimes overlapping) types of text and identifying and pursuing the implications of their most significant characteristics.
- 6. Producing concise, accurately documented and cogently argued discussions of complex issues in written form.
- 7. Presenting complex ideas lucidly in oral discussion.
- 8. Criticising and evaluating conflicting modern theories relating to the subject matter being studied.
The module will include some seminars which are defined around key events/periods within its chronological span (e.g. the Tetrarchy, the conversion of Constantine, the reign of Julian, ‘barbarian invasions’, the sack of Rome, the end of the western empire, the Justinianic reconquest). These seminars will be placed in the schedule at appropriate places, in order to give a chronological spine to the course. The other seminars will be thematic, incorporating a range of topics (such as the transition from ‘Principate’ to ‘Dominate’, changes to late Roman government, interactions between paganism and Christianity, transformations of urban landscapes, heresy and schism, economic change/decline, ‘barbarians’ and ethnicity, new literary genres, social shifts, the impact of ‘Christianisation’, competing historiographical grand narratives, the birth of medieval/Byzantine Europe).
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||44||Seminars (22 x 2 hours)|
|Guided independent study||256||Private study|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Two Presentations||20||15-20 mins||1-8||Mark, written and verbal feedback|
|Essay||30||3000 words||1-8||Mark, written and verbal feedback|
|Exam||50||3 hours||1-8||Mark, written and verbal feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Presentations||Transcript of the presentation that would have been given with accompanying hand-out and/or visual aid||1-8|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Averil Cameron, The Later Roman Empire , 1993.
Averil Cameron, The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity, AD 395-700 , 2nd edn, 2012.
S. F. Johnson, The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity , 2012.
S. Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire, AD 284-641 , 2nd edn, 2014.
P. Rousseau (ed.), A Companion to Late Antiquity , 2009.
A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire , 1964.
G. Halsall, Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568 , 2007.
Volumes XII, XIII and XIV of the Cambridge Ancient History , 2005, 1998, 2000.
Module has an active ELE page?
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date