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CAH3038 : Running a Roman City: Urban Administration and Society in Italy, 89 BC-AD 284

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Franco Luciani
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of this module are:
- to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of Roman politics, society and culture;
- to offer an overview of the geographical and chronological spread of Roman citizenship and urbanism in Italy;
- to provide students with an insight into the local government and the social organisation of Roman cities;
- to advance students’ knowledge and understanding of the topography and the archaeology of a typical Roman urban and non-urban settlement.

Outline Of Syllabus

In this module we will consider the development of the cities in Roman Italy, focusing on the civic administrative and the urban society, from 89 BC, when the process of municipalisation began, to AD 284, before the Tetrarchic reform, which changed the previously existent administrative system.
The course will not only account for the importance of cities to the Roman rulers and the local élites, but will also seek to shed light on the geographical and chronological spread of citizenship and urbanism, including the associated public monuments (e.g. basilicas, temples, amphitheatres, and baths). Finally, it will draw attention to the most important aspects of the Roman urban society.
Topics and issues to be discussed might include Roman and Latin citizenship, foundation of colonies and centuriation, Romanisation, urbanisation and urban culture, elections and struggle for power, magistrates and local assemblies, élites and non-élites, urban structure and public buildings, organisation of civic territories and rural settlements.
This module will engage students, whether their interests lie in ancient history, Roman archaeology, or the wider history of urbanism.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture281:0028:00Lectures, including revision classes
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CAH8038Running a Roman City: Administration and Urban Society in Italy, 89 BC-AD 284
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with a structured outline of core knowledge and methodologies, which are essential for approaching the key historical topics of the module. Primary sources will be read and interpreted, and general topics will be discussed as they emerge from these readings. Lectures also offer the students the necessary instruments to analyse and discuss secondary literature independently.
Seminars are specifically designed to provide students with in-depth discussion and further analysis of a selected number of topics, issues and pieces of primary evidence which have been presented in the lectures.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M402,000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship


Reading Lists