Imperial Rome: Mediterranean Superpower

Subject HIST30007 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 8.5 hours per week: Total time commitment 102 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 131-234 or 131-334 or 131-043 Roman History: Three Centuries of Empire
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Frederik Vervaet


Frederick Vervaet
Subject Overview:

At the height of its power and splendour, the mighty Roman Empire stretched from the Syrian borders to the Portuguese Atlantic and from the Sahara to the hills of Scotland, and comprised many peoples, from Germans to Greeks and Arabs, from Celts to Jews. This hotchpotch of peoples and cultures thus constituted history’s first and only Mediterranean superpower, a startling achievement lasting some four hundred years. This lecture series will introduce students to imperial Rome’s social, political, cultural and religious history. First we will discuss the Julio-Claudian period (44 BCE-68 CE), including the aftermath of Caesar’s assassination and Octavian’s stunning rise to absolute power. The second part concerns the long second century (69-192 CE), the apex of Empire. Part three highlights the Severan Dynasty and the crises of the third century (193-284). Last but not least, we will scrutinize the last century of the Mediterranean Empire, from its reinvention by Diocletian to the definitive separation of West and East at the death of Theodosius I in 395 CE.

  • should have acquired a broad insight into the varied and rich history of the Roman Empire.
  • have developed their skills to select and analyze relevant material from the ancient sources and synthesize the findings of this inquiry into a consistent and structured argument  

A written essay 2500 words, 50% (due mid-semester) a final exam 40% (end of semester). and tutorial attendance and contribution 10 %.

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five days, no late assessment will be accepted. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Lewis, Naphtali & Reinhold, Meyer, Roman Civilization. Selected Readings. Volume 2: The Empire, 3rd edition, 1990, Columbia University Press. ISBN: 0-231-07054-3 (set) or 0-231-07055-1 (paperback

Recommended Texts:

A History of the Roman People (Allen Ward, Fritz Heichelheim &amp. Cedric Yeo) Fourth Edition (Prentice Hall 2003)

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • develop research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources.
  • demonstrate critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion.
  • demonstrate written communication through essay preparation and writing.
  • develop time management and planning through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.
Notes: Formerly available as 131-234/334 and as 131-043 Roman History: Three Centuries of Empire. Students who have completed 131-234 or 131-334 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Major
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology
History Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Roman Studies

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