Imperial Rome: Mediterranean Superpower

Subject ANCW30021 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 29 hours - 1 x 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and 11 x 1 hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Frederik 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.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • 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 mid-term exam, partially completed online, equivalent to 1000 words, held in week 6 (25%)
  • A 2000 word research essay due in the second half of semester (40%)
  • A final exam, equivalent to 1000 words, held in the end of semester examination period, note that questions will be circulated prior to the exam (25%)
  • Tutorial attendance and contribution throughout the semester, note that students will be required to personally submit their tutorial participation template sheet at the close of every tutorial (10%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

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)

Subject readings will be available on line

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:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • 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.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies
Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Major
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Classical Studies and Archaeology
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Classical Studies and Archaeology
Related Breadth Track(s): Ancient Civilizations A
Roman Studies

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