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The history of the Roman world from the Etruscans to the late Roman Empire.
In this course we will explore the history of the Roman world from the initial settlement of Rome as a small collection of huts on some hills by the Tiber river, to the elaborate and vast empire ruled by a succession of emperors from Augustus to Constantine. Without doubt we cover a vast time period, but we also investigate a variety of interrelated themes. Using the myths that represent Rome’s early history we discuss Rome’s initial development and its political transition from a monarchy to republic. We will examine the social and constitutional structure of Rome around 300 BCE, the strains put on this structure by Rome’s conquest of the Mediterranean (ca.200 BCE), followed by the republic’s ultimate demise in the face of social and political upheaval. Prominent individuals — such as Marius, Sulla, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra — loom large in this discussion. Finally, we will study the principate of Augustus and some of his successors up to the reign of Constantine. Our investigations are not only concerned with the emperor, military campaigns and politics; we are also interested in social issues. What role, for example, did women play in Roman society? We will look at sex in society to better understand relationships, gender roles and status. The rise of Christianity is also explored, all in the socio-historical context of the Roman world.This course will introduce you to ancient source material, as well as the assessment and interpretation of that material. This will develop skills in problem solving, analysis, and argument development and expression. We will also look at some key events, places and peoples in Roman history. We will see that colonial expansion and treatment of other peoples can find recognisable echoes in more contemporary events. This course will give you a good grounding for further studies in Classics or other related fields in the social sciences.
Students who are successful in this course will:1. Have an appreciation of Rome’s evolution from a small village to the centre of a vast empire2. Be able to read, understand, analyse and interpret ancient sources (historical texts, literature and material culture) about Roman history.3. Be introduced to ways in which the topics, concerns and images in Roman History are manipulated in modern times and media.4. Become familiar with basic reference works relevant to the discipline of Classics.Transferrable (employment) skills developed in this course: 5. Improved communication of knowledge and opinions verbally and in writing. 6. Confidence in expressing opinions and discussing ideas in groups. 7. Improved ability to write concisely in grammatically correct and properly punctuated English8. Time management skills and self-discipline.9. Gain greater skills in critical thinking, argument development and problem solving.UC Graduate Profile10. Basic understanding of how the Romans perceived their past through, e.g., stories about Roman ancestors, and how this process helped shape and promote Roman values.11. Basic understanding of how Māori concepts (mana, mana whenua, rangatira, utu, turangawaewae) and ideas about social structure (e.g. importance of whanau and whakapapa) and leadership can help reveal aspects of Roman Society.12. Basic understanding of how Roman colonization extends Roman presence, influence, and power over other peoples.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Boatwright et al;
The Romans: From Village to Empire;
Oxford University Press, 2012.
Domestic fee $761.00
International fee $3,188.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
Humanities and Creative Arts.