• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Classics
  • Areas of interest Classics and Ancient History, Latin, Ancient Greek
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Estelle Strazdins
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2025
    See Future Offerings

As we have seen from recent debates over whether statues of controversial historical figures should stand or topple, culture is a constant collective decision-making process about what we should remember and what we should forget. The cultures of the Roman empire were no different. In the Greek east, authors and monument-makers of the ‘second sophistic’ looked back to culturally defining memories like the Trojan war, the Persian wars, and the high watermark of classical Athens; in the Roman west, equivalent writers and artists looked back to the myths of early Rome and the problematic benchmark of the Late Republic. At the same time, recent pasts could be rubbed out or overwritten at the drop of a hat: when an unpopular emperor died, their trace could be swept away via official memory sanctions decreeing the decapitation of their statues and the erasure of their inscriptions. In this course, you will learn about how and why Greeks and Romans of the imperial period decided to memorialise certain things and suppress others; you will read texts and study monuments, but also learn how the imperial-era ancients conceived of these very technologies as media of memory with different capabilities and characteristics; and you will go deep not only into ‘the past of the past’, but into how that past pictured its future: the confidence of endurance mixed with the fear of oblivion.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. engage critically with the commemorative cultures of the Roman empire, both in the Latin-speaking west and the Greek-speaking east;
  2. become familiar with and analyse various modes and methods of preservation of memory or the facilitation of forgetting in the Roman empire;
  3. analyse and evaluate a range of ancient sources related to the preservation of memory or the facilitation of forgetting in the Roman empire;
  4. formulate logical arguments based on ancient evidence; and
  5. engage and evaluate scholarly arguments and theories of ancient memory in a critical manner.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Source Analysis (approx. 800 words) (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Seminar Participation (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Independent Research Exercise (approx. 1500 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Research Essay (approx. 3000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 12 hours of lectures and 24 hours of seminars

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed a minimum of 12 units of ANCH, CLAS, GREK, LATN, or HIST courses.

Prescribed Texts

Not required. List of readings to be made available through the library and/or on Wattle.


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:
6 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.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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
3436 17 Feb 2025 24 Feb 2025 31 Mar 2025 23 May 2025 In Person N/A

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