Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE From Kings to Emperors: A Survey of Ancient Roman History and Literature

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Classics and Archaeology

DESCRIPTION This study-unit surveys the development of Roman civilisation, from the Roman conquest of Italy to the End of the Empire in the West, as reflected in some of the main texts in the Latin literary oeuvre. Importance is given to the geography of the Roman Empire and the impact of Greek civilisation on Roman life. Emphasis is laid on the political development of Rome and the influence of conquered frontiers on Roman life. This study-unit is also meant to expose the student to a wide perspective of Latin literary genres including epic, didactic, elegaic and lyric poetry, satire, drama, history, and oratory.

Study-unit Aims:

1. To familiarise students with the major events in the history of ancient Roman civilization.
2. To help students appreciate the connections between ancient Roman civilization and literature.
3. To provide students with a survey of major Roman authors.
4. To help students to mould a deeper understanding of the present age by a study of the past.
5. To encourage students to learn about Roman civilisation as the foundation of Western civilisation and literature.

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the historical, literary, political and social context of Roman civilization;
2. Recognise the relationship of history, geography, and literature;
3. Distinguish the different genres that comprise ancient Latin literature and highlight the main representative writers and the subject matter of their respective chief works;
4. Identify the causes and effects of major historical events;
5. Apply the legacies of Roman Civilisation onto our own present era.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Analyse historical events in relation to geography and literature;
2. Evaluate historical events in relation to causes and effects and as refelcted in literature;
3. Relate on the major Latin authors and their works;
4. Make observations on the style of different genres while also comparing one author with another within the same genre;
5. Contribute to the present era as the recipient of previous civilizations and a potential beneficiary to future ones.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Cary, M. & Scullard, H. H., A History of Rome [DEG209.C3 1975; DEG209.C3 1975; DEG209.C3 1975]
- Harrison S., A Companion to Latin Literature [PA6004.C66; PA6004.C66]
- Rose, H. J., A handbook of Latin literature: from the earliest times to the death of St. Augustine [PA6003.R6 1949]
- Scullard, H. H., From the Gracchi to Nero: a history of Rome from 133 B.C. to A.D. 68 [DEG254.S35 1970]

Supplementary Readings:

- Feeney, D., Literature and Religion at Rome: cultures, contexts and beliefs.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Workshop SEM2 No 40%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 60%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.