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CLAN2002 The Foundation of the Roman Empire: 44 BC-AD 68

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Classics and Ancient History major sequence
  • Level 2 elective
This unit provides an introduction to Roman history from 44 BC to AD 68, a period which began with the assassination of Julius Caesar and finished with the death of the Emperor Nero. This was a period of profound cultural and political change at Rome and in the wider Mediterranean world, which coincided with the drift towards the establishment of a monarchical system of government at Rome, led by a 'princeps', or 'first citizen'. Moreover, with the completion of Rome's conquest of the Mediterranean, the inhabitants of once independent kingdoms and communities had now to adapt to life under Roman hegemony.

In addition to charting the major political and administrative developments of the time, the unit also explores the interactions between Romans and the subject peoples of the Empire. The unit aims not only to impart knowledge about this seminal period in world history but also to interpret and explain key features of it.

The unit offers a carefully structured program of lectures, identifying and tracing the development of the major political, social and cultural aspects of the ancient Julio-Claudian period, and a complementary series of tutorials and take-home assignments that examine some of these aspects in depth. Tutorial participation is a vital part of the learning process and in the development of reasoning and analytical skills. The unit emphasises the collection, analysis and criticism of the ancient source material and a written in-class assignment and tutorial discussion of this assignment deals specifically with this crucial aspect of ancient historical study. The unit aims to encourage students to develop critical abilities in the process of exploring and evaluating particular events and personalities throughout this period. Another important part of learning is for the student to be able to develop and articulate his or her views on the unit itself.
Students are able to (1) identify, interpret and describe key events from the Julio-Claudian period; (2) identify, interpret and describe the development of major political, social and cultural aspects of the ancient Roman world; (3) identify and analyse key personalities in the Julio-Claudian period; (4) identify and analyse the main ancient writers of the period; (5) read and comprehend primary and secondary sources concerning the period; (6) analyse and critique the writings and motivations of ancient writers of the period; (7) skillfully research using print and electronic resources; and (8) develop reasoning and analytical skills.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written assignments; (2) participation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Christopher Mallan
Unit rules
any Level 1 CLAN unit
CLAH1102 Julians and Julio-Claudians
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week (over 12 weeks); tutorials: 2 hours per week (over 10 weeks)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.