Skip to main content


CAH1015 : The Roman World from Romulus to Trajan

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Don Miller
  • Lecturer: Dr Rowland Smith
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this module is to provide students with a broad overview of Roman history from the foundation of the city to the reign of Trajan, which marked the stage of greatest expansion of the empire. The focus is on providing a general overview of chronology and of important themes and problems across the centuries.
The module will focus on key issues, including Rome’s imperial expansion, the rise and fall of the Republic, the emergence of the Principate, and the quality and scale of cultural transformation in the Mediterranean world.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module explores the following key themes and periods:
•       the origins of Rome and the problems of using later traditions.
•       the development of the early Republic and the struggle of the orders.
•       Rome’s expansion in Italy and the Mediterranean: conquest and settlement.
•       the fall of the Roman Republic and the Augustan settlement.
•       the Hellenisation of Rome and the Romanisation of the Mediterranean.
•       the Principate from the Julio-Claudians to Trajan.
•       the neighbours of the Roman empire, esp. the Germans and the Parthians

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures on core historical topics and themes.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion501:0050:00Assessment preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Course introduction and revision session.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading771:0077:00Research and study based on the module reading lists.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities75:0035:00Research and reading activities on the seminar topics.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching71:007:00Seminar discussions devoted to exploring set readings relating to core historical questions.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Q&A sessions on the assessment components.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity100:305:00Weekly Canvas quizzes - formative assessment
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and associated readings will introduce students to key historical topics and how to approach them. Lectures are not merely intended to provide them with answers. Instead, they will provide students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to both formulate and answer their own questions. Listening, reading and note-taking skills will play a key role in this process. The seminar discussions are an opportunity to develop their understanding dynamically, e.g. by engaging in discussion of how they should go about addressing historical questions, the relative merits of different types of evidence or approach to the sources or by gaining clarification of any points that may prove elusive. In doing so they will develop analytical skills, oral communication skills and ability to work as part of a team. Two Q&A sessions will provide guidance on the assessment components for this module, and will also be the opportunity to cover important study skills points.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M401,500-word written assignment: 1) a commentary on a text or image (500 words) and 2) an essay (1,000 words)
Case study2A602,000-word written assignment: 1) a commentary on a text or image (500 words) and 2) an essay (1,500 words)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

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 written assignments, which have the same format but are weighted differently (40% and 60%), test the students' ability to analyse an ancient source (part 1: commentary) and to engage in depth with key primary evidence and modern scholarship and construct a reasoned argument on the basis of these (part 2: essay).

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, as well as providing them with prompt and tangible feedback on the progress they are making.

Reading Lists