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Module

CAH3033 : The Fall of the Roman Republic

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Federico Santangelo
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

In this module we study the historical developments that led to the collapse of the Roman Republic and the advent of the monarchic rule of Octavian, later known as Augustus. It was a long and complex process, which spanned over more than a century and coexisted with the expansion and the development of Roman hegemony throughout the Mediterranean.

One of the central contentions of this course will be that the fall of the Roman Republic cannot be read simply as a process of decline. On the contrary, it was a dramatic and violent period of creative change, which was part of a wider process of reaggregation and reorganisation of the Roman State and of the Empire as a whole.

This module intends to offer an opportunity to:

- Gain a sound general knowledge of the period, both of the narrative of the last two centuries BC and of the main historical issues of the period;
- Read widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature about the period;
- Develop further the capacity for independent study.

Outline Of Syllabus

Our discussion will start in 168 BC, when the Roman victory at Pydna against a coalition of Greek forces made clear to everybody that there was no alternative to Roman hegemony in the Mediterranean. We will then embark on an analysis of the economic and social situation in Rome and Italy in the second century BC, and we will look at the changes that intervened in Roman politics as a consequence of that. We will then move on to a discussion of the role of the Italian Allies in this period and to the Social War, and to the consequences that this process had on the competition within the Roman elite. We will cover the main developments from the age of Sulla and Marius to the clash between Caesar and Pompey, and to the final clash between Octavian and Mark Antony. At the same time, we will show that these events must be explained against the background of complex economic and social processes, by looking at a wide range of evidence – literary, epigraphical, numismatic, and archaeological. The study of the political and military developments will be intertwined with the discussion of the key historical themes of the period. The seminars will be devoted to the close scrutiny of important pieces of evidence.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable