CLAS214-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Imperial Rome

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


Roman history, society and culture under the early emperors as represented by the literary sources and material remains.

In CLAS214 “Imperial Rome” you will be introduced to the first Emperors of Rome. We will begin with Augustus and his establishment of the ‘principate’, before analyzing the reign of each emperor through to Hadrian’s death in 138 CE. This allows us to see how imperial rule is established, as well as how political forms and systems are shaped and developed by successive emperors. We will also analyze some of Rome’s conflicts, from Caligula’s failed invasion of Britain to success under  Claudius. Rebellions and resistance to Roman rule, such as that undertaken by Boudicca in Britain are also discussed. We acknowledge how Trajan extended the empire to its greatest extent, before his successor Hadrian consolidates the frontier pulling it back to natural boundaries and establishing defensive structures such as Hadrian’s wall. The course will focus on events in the reign of individual emperors, from which we can make comment on the execution of power.

In the process, we will observe some bizarre antics, such as whether Caligula really tried to elect his horse as consul! Or does this simply make him insane? Did Vespasian actually tax urine? Why, and how?! The events and personalities we highlight also provide an opportunity to investigate aspects of Roman imperial society. Prominent, active and visible women of the imperial family are introduced, their influence and power are discussed. We also look at the lives of ordinary Romans, what was it like to live in a Roman City in the First Century CE? We ask ‘what can Pompeii tell us?’ At the end of the course you will understand more of Roman emperors and the Roman World of the first century CE.

Learning Outcomes


Either 15 points of CLAS at 100-level with a B pass; or 30 points of CLAS at 100-level; or any 45 points from the Arts schedule



Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 12:00 - 13:00 E16 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 E16 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 Jack Erskine 031 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Course Coordinator

Gary Morrison


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Assignment 40% Two assignments, each worth 20% of the final grade.
Essay 30% One essay of no more than 2,000 words.
Final test 30% Duration two hours.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* 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.

All CLAS214 Occurrences

  • CLAS214-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018