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Unit information: Responses to the Roman Empire in 2020/21

Unit name Responses to the Roman Empire
Unit code CLAS30046
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Hannah-Marie Chidwick
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The Roman empire has long attracted attention and fascination for its size, longevity and apparent success at imposing imperial rule. It is often seen as the ultimate example or point of comparison for those themselves involved in imperialist enterprises or for those critiquing the imperial enterprises of others. This is particularly the case for those responsible for the British empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and for our current thinking about our own imperial past and our ascription of imperialist intentions to contemporary situations. There has thus been, and there continues to be, a complex interaction between our own attitudes to empire and our understanding of the Roman empire. This course will be concerned with how these ancient and modern perspectives interact with one another and together shape our view of the nature of Roman imperialism and of Roman imperial culture.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman responses to the Roman empire;
  2. Analyse the ways in which Roman imperialism has been characterized in contemporary scholarship, and how these characterisations have shaped scholarly debate;
  3. Construct coherent, relevant and persuasive arguments on different aspects of the subject;
  4. Communicate in writing at a level appropriate to level H/6

Teaching details

3 hours/week

(1x two-hour seminar and 1x one-hour seminar)

Assessment Details

One summative 3,000-word essay (50%). [ILOs 1-4]

One summative two-hour exam (50%). [ILOs 1-4]

Reading and References

Please see Blackboard for all reading and referencing information