The Roman Way of Life

Subject ANCW40012 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, 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 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

10 hours per week: 120 hours over the semester


Usually admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in Ancient World Studies, Classics or Classical Studies and Archaeology (or in a relevant program) or enrolment in a relevant coursework Masters program



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have passed 'Major Issues in Roman History' with the codes 131-411 or HIST40006 or 'The Roman way of Life' with the code HIST40006 are not permitted to enrol in this subject.

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:

The Monty Python team pondered many big questions, among them the rather tantalizing one: 'What did the Romans ever do for us?' This research seminar rises to the challenge as it involves discussions of revealing source material on the big issues in Roman social, cultural, political and religious history. Source readings will highlight the structure of Roman society and the plight of the common folk, Roman family life, Roman marriage, housing and city life, domestic and personal concerns, education, occupations, slaves, freedmen and freedwomen, government and politics, the Roman army, the provinces, women in Roman society, leisure and entertainment, and religion and philosophy. By gaining insight into the Roman way of life, students should be in a good position to assess the legacy of Roman civilization and come up with some plausible answers to the original question.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • understand the social, cultural and political structure of Roman society
  • develop skills to critically assess and contextualise the extant source material.

A written research paper of 5000 words, 90 % (due end of semester), an oral presentation of work in progress, 10 % (second half of semester)

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Jo-Ann Shelton, As The Romans Did. A Sourcebook in Roman Social History Second Edition (Oxford University Press, 1998)

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • develop research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources.
  • develop adequate skills to critically assess and reconstruct historical reality on the basis of the extant source material.
  • 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.
  • develop time management and planning through managing and organizing workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies
Ancient and Medieval Studies
Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Classical Studies and Archaeology

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