The Fall of Rome: The Western Empire in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (HIH1602)
|Staff||Dr Levi Roach - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks;|
This module aims to acquaint students with the changes which western European society underwent in the fourth and fifth centuries by means of a close examination of contemporary sources. These sources will serve as a point of introduction to broader historiographical debates regarding the ‘Fall of Rome’ and the ‘Transformation of the Roman World’. The attempt will not be to ‘settle’ these debates definitively, but rather to gain an appreciation for the evidence behind the many different (and often very polarised) opinions expressed. A particular focus will be on continuity and change (and what we mean by these terms), as well as the implications of such debates for the modern world.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Demonstrate an understanding of some of the theories that underpin approaches to the end of Roman rule in the early medieval West and to apply them to specific case-studies.
- 2. Assess critically the range of sources emerging from the late Roman and early medieval West.
- 3. Assess the sources in relation to the numerous debates surrounding this period.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and to compare the validity of different types of sources.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Present work orally, to respond to questions orally, and to think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
- 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
- 10. To write to a very tight word-length.
The Fall of Rome: Historiographical Perspectives
The Later Roman Empire: Continuity and Change
The Barbarian Invasions: Cause or Symptom?
Ethnicity and its Discontents: The Nature of the ‘Barbarian Hordes’
The Fate of Italy: Theodoric and the Ostrogoths
Spain and Provenance under Visigothic Rule
From Gaul to Frankia: The Merovingians and the Franks
Catastrophe across the Channel? England and the Anglo-Saxons
A Mad, Bad and Dangerous People? Vandal Rule in North Africa
The Eastern Alternative: Justinian and the Byzantine Empire
Concluding Debate: Did Rome Fall?
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|
|Lecture||2||Introduction to module|
|Workshop||10 x 2 hour seminars||At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.|
|Guided independent learning||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing a weekly source essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-9||Oral|
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|
|Portfolio of seven essays||77 (11% per essay)||400-500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
|Essay||23||1000 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
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|
|Portfolio of seven 400-500 word essays||Portfolio of seven essays||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referred/deferred period|
|1 x 1000 word essay||1 x 1000 word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referred/deferred period|
You will be required to submit the same written work as for the summative assessment; if you are referred your mark will be capped at 40%.
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Callander Murray, A., trans., From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader (Peterborough, ON, 2000)
Cameron, A. and P. Garnsey, ed., The Cambridge Ancient History,XIV: Late Antiquity: Empire and Successors AD 425-600 (Cambridge, 1998)
Brown, P., The World of Late Antiquity (London, 1971; repr. 1997)
Brown, P., The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, AD 200-1000, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2003)
Fouracre, P., ed., The New Cambridge Medieval History, I: c.500–c.700 (Cambridge, 2005)
Geary, P., The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe (Princeton, NJ, 2002)
Halsall, G., Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376–568 (Cambridge, 2007)
Heather, P., The Fall of the Roman Empire (London, 2005)
Innes, M., An Introduction to Early Medieval Western Europe, 300–900: The Sword, the Plough and the Book (London, 2007)
Maas, M., ed., Readings in Late Antiquity: A Sourcebook, 2nd ed. (London, 2010)
Ward-Perkins, B., The Fall of Rome and the End of Western Civilization (Oxford, 2005)
Wickham, C., The Inheritance of Rome (London, 2009)
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Halsall, G., ‘Translations of Primary Sources, c.300-c.800: A Handlist’:http://600transformer.blogspot.co.uk/p/translations-of-primary-sources-c300.html
Halsall, P., ed., ‘Internet Medieval Sourcebook’: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.asp
Available as distance learning?
30 June 2012
Last revision date
1 October 2012