• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Ancient History
  • Areas of interest Archaeology, Art History, Classics and Ancient History, History, European Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

This course is taught on-site in Italy, and will be offered over the Australian summer.  Students will travel to a number of important archaeological sites in the city of Rome and the surrounding region, and will undertake extensive epigraphical coursework on-site and in local museums.   

The course will consider the (long) third century as a period of significant change in the Roman Empire, with particular attention paid to the ways in which those changes are evident in the archaeological record of the city itself.  Regime change in Rome was always marked by monumental building programs, and students will be asked to assess the material remains of the Severan Dynasty (193-235 AD) and the Dominate (from 284 AD) against those of the Principate (from 27 BC) and the Flavians (69-96 AD).  Students will be expected to contextualise their (written) classical sources against the evidence afforded by such sites as the Forum, the Palatine Hill, the Pantheon, the Ara Pacis, the Mausoleum of Augustus, Ostia Antica, the Appian Way, the Colosseum, the Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, the Baths of Caracalla and Diocletian, the Castel Sant'Angelo, and the Arch of Constantine, together with the countless objects in the numerous museums found throughout Rome.  Additional day trips will also be organised to the Etruscan tombs at Civitavecchia, the archaeological sites of Pozzuli and Herculaneum, and the city of Pompeii.

Students will only be permitted to travel upon completion of ANU required documentation, including, where required, the travel to a high risk destination form and the approval of all documentation by the relevant delegate.

Disclaimer: Applicants are advised that due to circumstances beyond the University's control (for example, specific international security concerns and international health crises) it may not be possible for students to commence or complete this course. An alternative lesson plan will be arranged to fulfil the course requirements.

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. Recall significant events in the history of the Roman Empire
  2. Distinguish significant elements in the layout of an ancient Roman city
  3. Relate a site on the ground to maps and other written material about the site, and in broad terms interpret the evidence of an archaeological site
  4. Evaluate the evidence of material in museums as it relates to the history and culture of ancient Rome
  5. Elucidate relationships between landscape, urban settlement, architecture, and cultural memory

Indicative Assessment

On-line Map Test (5%) [Learning Outcomes 3, 4]
20-minute Thematic group-presentation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
2500-word essay (25%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
2-hour examination (15%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
4000-word reflective essay (35%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
Participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 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.


260 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 140 hours of contact: 15 hours of lectures, 35 hours of tutorials and 90 hours of supervised fieldwork
b) 120 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Cassius Dio, Roman History, Trans. E. Cary (Loeb: 1914)
Herodian, History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus, Trans. C.R. Whittaker (Loeb: 1969)
Lives of the Later Caesars, Trans. Anthony Birley (Penguin: 1976)

Preliminary Reading

Olivier Hekster, Rome and its Empire, AD 193-284 (Edinburgh University Press: 2008)

Géza Alföldy, The Crisis of the Third Century as Seen by Contemporaries (Greek, V. 15, I. 1, 2003)
Gonzalo Bravo Castaneda, Other historical myth? The crisis of the third century and its terms in the new debate (Studia Historica Historia Antigua, V. 30, 2012)
Michael Kulikowski, Imperial Triumph: the Roman World from Hadrian to Constantine (Profile: 2016)
Stephen Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire (Blackwell: 2007)
Dario Nappo, The third century AD and the Roman trade in the Red Sea: crisis or transformation? (Studia Historica Historia Antigua, V. 30, 2012)

Assumed Knowledge

This course is designed to create a conversation with other ANCH courses on the Roman Empire, in particular ANCH1014 Rome: Republic to Empire, ANCH2017 The Early Roman Empire, and ANCH2026 Rome: After Empire.  Students who have completed any of these will find this course of particular value.

You will not be given permission to enroll in this course if you have previously completed ANCH6027: Rome, Crisis and Consolidation.



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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $6360
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $9780
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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