Module Catalogue 2022/23

CAH3039 : Rome: the Enemy

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Federico Santangelo
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



In this module we study the relations between Rome and other communities and polities across a wide geographical and chronological span. We will start by exploring the Roman conquest of Italy, and we will conclude our discussion with the fall of the Roman empire in the West, after focusing on the relations between Rome and the Greek world, Carthage, the Gauls, the Jews, the Parthians, and others. We will try, insofar as possible, to adopt the viewpoints of those with whom Rome competed and clashed: of those who, at various points in history, came to regard Rome as their enemy.

One of the central contentions of this course will be that the history of the populations and states with which Rome clashed is an integral part of the history of what we call the 'Roman world', and can offer unique insights into the strategies through which the Roman empire was built and operated. In tackling this brief we will be exploring the intellectual and historiographical dimension of the problem, and will be discussing the significance that insights and methodologies drawn from postcolonial thought and global history approaches can have to its study.

This module intends to offer an opportunity to:

- Gain a sound general knowledge of the relations between Rome and other communities and polities;
- Read widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature about the topic;
- Further develop the capacity for independent study.

Outline Of Syllabus

After a brief introduction to the topic and to the modern debates on Roman imperialism we will proceed through a series of interconnected case-studies. We will open the discussion with the Roman conquest of Italy, turning to the position of the Etruscans and Samnites in that process; we will then discuss the key moments in Mediterranean expansion of Rome, focusing on Carthage, the Macedonian monarchy, the Greek poleis, and Mithridates of Pontus. We will then be turning west - to Gaul and to Britain - and east - by discussing the responses to Rome in Egypt, and the emergence of a major power such as the Parthian empire. In the final part of the module we will turn to the major population movements that led to the fall of the Empire in the West, and their complex connections with wider patterns of political and religious change, including the rise of Christianity.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of the module, students will have acquired the ability:
•       to describe and discuss the nature and scope of the relations between Rome and other communities and polities
•       to identify, describe, and assess the relevant primary sources
•       to identify and describe the problems in dealing with this primary evidence
•       to demonstrate an up-to-date knowledge of the secondary literature on the subject, and familiarity with the key historiographical and theoretical approaches

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completion of the module, students should have enhanced (to a level higher than they are expected at Stage 2):
• their skills in analysing and interpreting ancient sources (in translation, if written), with regards to details of the source and overall issues of interpretation
• their skills in evaluating modern scholarship and in testing the validity of its historiographical and theoretical approaches against the ancient evidence
• their adaptability in applying these skills to issues other than those discussed in class, both ancient and modern
• their skills in offering a clear presentation of their views and analyses in written form
• their capacity for independent study

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion671:0067:00For two assessment components
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Introduction to the module
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:002 lectures per week
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading113:0033:003 hours of reading per week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:001 hour per seminar
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities102:0020:002 hours preparation per seminar discussion
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity100:305:00Weekly Canvas quizzes - formative assessment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study421:0042:00Student research activity related to the topics introduced each week (e.g. reading lists).
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide the students with a structured outline of core knowledge and methodologies that are essential for approaching the key historical topics of the module. They also offer the students the necessary instruments to independently analyse and discuss the primary evidence and secondary literature.
Seminars are specifically designed to provide the students with in-depth discussion and further analysis of a selected number of topics, issues, and pieces of primary evidence that have been presented in the lectures.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M501,800 word essay.
Essay2A501,800-word essay.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MFrom Week 2 multiple choice quizzes relating to each week's topic will be posted on Canvas on a weekly basis.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The two 1,800-word essays assess the students' ability to conduct independent research on a chosen topic. They test their analytical skills and ability to discuss complex material (primary evidence and secondary literature) critically and succinctly.

The formative assessment is intended to support students in becoming acquainted with a wide range of topics and problems, and with a rich and diverse set of primary evidence and secondary material, and to provide them with prompt and tangible feedback on the progress they are making.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.