Global Opportunities

CAH2017 : The Roman World from Hadrian to Heraclius

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to introduce students to a broad sweep of Roman history across centuries of crisis and transformation - political, military, religious and cultural. Continuing on from where CAH1015 (From Romulus to Trajan) finished, the period starts with Hadrian (AD117-138) and the empire at its zenith. The module will take the student through the significant shift from “Principate” to “Dominate”, the loss of the western provinces, the Justinianic “revival” and the catastrophic losses of the seventh century, taking the death of Heraclius (AD641) as a suitable terminus. Important themes will include, but are not limited to: the development of the emperor’s office and role; structures and strategies of Roman imperialism and responses to it; the shift of focus from Rome to Constantinople; religious transformation, especially the rise to dominance of monotheisms; cultural developments in literature and art, including the relationship of Greek and Latin; the “falls” of Rome; historiography of Rome and her legacy, ancient and modern.

Outline Of Syllabus

Themes and topics (the list below does not necessarily reflect the sequence and structure through which these are treated):

•Historiography (ancient and modern) and periodization.
•Ancient evidence, textual and material, and its interpretation.
•The development of the imperial office, powers and ceremonies, collegiate rule, dynasties, and succession.
•Imperial capitals and residences from Rome to Constantinople.
•Central administration and palatine offices, including imperial finance.
•The elites of the empire, senatorial and equestrian, imperial and local.
•Provinces and cities, local administration, and resistance to empire.
•Social life, law and citizenship.
•Religions in the empire, in particular the spread and establishment of Christianity across the Mediterranean and beyond, including topics such as Church Councils, bishops, monastic life, Christology.
•Armies and frontiers.
•Cultural life, including the relationship between Latin and Greek and other languages, and changes in literary and artistic traditions.
• Rivals and neighbours, particularly Parthia and Persia (2nd to 7th centuries).
• The successor states in the west (5th to 6th centuries)
• The rise of Islam and the great Arab conquests.
• The decline and fall of Rome or the transformation of the ancient world?

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Completion of summative assignments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00In-person lectures
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Recorded videos or other material totalling 1 hour per week. These count as CONTACT HOURS.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities126:0026:00Tasks and guided reading
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading135:0035:00Exploration of topics, documents and bibliography in the Module Handbook and on Canvas
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Seminars (every week, except first and last)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities92:0018:00Reading and other work preparatory for seminars
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity60:303:00Bi-weekly quizzes (formative assessment)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:0025:00Independent study going beyond the module handbook
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Introductory and concluding sessions
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures, live (allowing for some interactive engagement) or recorded (for more intensive learning), highlight the most important themes and approaches and clarify information, building also on preparatory reading. These, plus the seminar preparation, facilitate the flipped classroom seminars, during which students, singly or in groups, lead discussion and analysis of key ancient source materials or modern scholarship. Tasks across the module build up relevant skills. Module talks explain how the module is run, how to approach assessments and how to use feedback. Quizzes (formative assessment, via Canvas) help to consolidate learning and identify areas of weakness. These all feed into both assignments.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M50Source analysis (400 words) and essay (1500 words)
Written exercise1A50Source analysis (400 words) and essay (1500 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MBi-weekly quizzes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assignments will allow, in the source analysis, the display of skills of source-criticism, while, in the essay part, extensive engagement with a major topic of the module and the development of considered and coherent arguments bolstered by critical use of appropriate detailed evidence and engagement with modern scholarship. The choice of passages and questions will mean that the students will have to demonstrate knowledge and understanding from across the breadth of the module.

The regular quizzes (every two weeks), conducted via Canvas, help consolidate learning and alert students to areas of weakness or lack of engagement.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. Where an exam is present, an alternative form of assessment will be set and where coursework is present, an alternative deadline will be set. Details of the alternative assessment will be provided by the module leader.

Reading Lists