CLAN3009 Religion, Society and the Divine in the Roman World: From Augustus to Augustine

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
The Roman Imperial period saw radical changes in the ways in which men and women conceived their relationship to the divine. These changes all took place within the framework of the Roman Empire. From the first to the fifth century, there were profound transformations in thinking about God or the Gods in philosophical discourses; the relationship between men and gods; the role of ritual and religion in everyday life, as well as in ethics, history, and their sense of community. This unit examines the evidence for these changes in the literature and material culture from the Roman World, from the religious revival of Augustus, through the ‘age of anxiety' of the second and third centuries, to the triumph of Christianity. Topics that will be covered over the course of this unit will include, the establishment of the Roman imperial cult, the transformation of the Jewish Community following the destruction of the Second Temple, religious syncretism in the provinces, ‘eastern' cults at Rome, and the evolution of Christianity and the attempt to create Christian orthodoxy.
Students are able to (1) describe and identify the key features of the religions and cults of the Roman Empire in the period under discussion
; (2) interpret the connections between religion and politics in the Roman Empire
; (3) evaluate different types of evidence (literary, documentary, and archaeological) that contribute to our understanding of the religious history of the period
; (4) comprehend and critically evaluate modern scholarship relevant to the area of study; (5) research using print and electronic resources; and (6) demonstrate reasoning and analytical skills.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) gobbet tests; and (3) research assignment. 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
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week across 10 weeks; seminar classes: 2 hours per week across 10 weeks.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • 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.