• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Ancient History
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Paul Burton
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course examines the institutions, organisation and society of the Roman Empire during the first century A.D. to the beginning of the second century.  The approach to the period will be primarily through literary sources in translation, including especially Tacitus and Suetonius.

Course Syllabus

This course will cover the following topics in tutorials and lectures:

  • 1. Tacitus and the historiography of the early Roman Empire.
  • 2. The reign of Tiberius.
  • 3. The reign of Caligula.
  • 4. The reign of Claudius.
  • 5. The reign of Nero.
  • 6. The reign of Vespasian.
  • 7. The reigns of Titus and Domitian.
  • 8. The reigns of Trajan and Hadrian.
  • 9. Roman Realities I: The Rich and the Poor.
  • 10. Roman Realities II: The Aristocracy and Social Mobility.
  • 11. The Urbanization of the Roman Empire.
  • 12. The destruction of Pompeii.
  • 13. The Colosseum. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. critically engage with the political and social history and culture of the early Roman Empire;
  2. analyse and evaluate primary historical sources;
  3. conduct research using the primary sources and modern scholarship on the period;
  4. formulate logical arguments based on the primary source evidence
  5. communicate clearly and effectively in both oral and written modes
  6. develop a sophisticated knowledge of the geography of the provinces of the Roman empire

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5]
Geography quiz (15 mins. 10%) Learning Outcome 6]
Terms and concepts quiz (15 mins. 10%) Learning Outcomes: 1,2]
2,500 word essay (40%) [Learning Outcomes: 1-5]
2-hour final examination (30%) [Learning Outcomes: 1-5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two lectures per week (1 hour each) and one tutorial (1 hour) per week for 13 weeks. Students are expected to undertake a further 7 hours of independent study per teaching week (total 130 hours).

Prescribed Texts

Readings posted on Wattle.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4257 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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