CLAN3006 The Roman Revolution

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Classics and Ancient History major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
This unit studies one of the most important 'events' in world history—the so-called Roman Revolution, a period traditionally running from 133 BC to the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra in 31–30 BC. The unit is concerned with the final generations of the Roman Republic, during which the four centuries of political and social stability gradually evaporated in political murder, civil war, the collapse of moderation and consensus and the transformation of society, all happening against a backcloth of dramatic conquests and imperial expansion that took Roman armies as far as Britain and Iraq. The period saw the consequences of 'success' undermining the institutions of the state and the emergence of powerful figures, often motivated by personal ambitions at the expense of the state and society. It is the period of the Gracchi, Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Crassus, Julius Caesar, Brutus, Antony and Cleopatra, and Octavian, the ultimate victor who emerged as the Emperor Augustus. A century earlier that would have seemed unthinkable.

The unit aims to impart knowledge about one of the most significant periods in the history of western civilisation, the transition of Rome from a republic to an empire. Students are introduced to both the political and social history of the period and develop an appreciation of the importance of the relationship between the social and political mechanisms in the ancient Roman world. Students are encouraged to make independent analysis and criticism of such fundamental aspects as political alliances, personal alliances, the stratification of society, the division of wealth, etc. The unit emphasises the importance of the ancient written evidence, such as the personal correspondence and forensic speeches of M. Tullius Cicero, the personal accounts of the Gallic and Civil wars by C. Julius Caesar, and the historical monographs of Sallust, among others. As a result, students develop critical abilities in the process of reading and evaluating these.
Students are able to (1) identify, interpret and describe key events from the period under study; (2) identify, interpret and describe the development of major social and political events and processes of a key period in history; (3) identify, interpret, describe and evaluate different types of evidence that contribute to our understanding of the period; (4) read, comprehend, analyse and critique the primary and secondary written sources; (5) research using print and electronic resources; and (6) develop reasoning and analytical skills.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) sources tests; (2) a major essay; and (3) tutorial performance. 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 2 CLAN unit
CLAH2222 The Foundation of the Roman Empire
Contact hours
lectures: 10 x 1 hour; tutorials: 10 x 1 hour
  • 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.