Since Gibbon’s publication of "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", discourse on the later Roman Empire, and the era that followed, has been dominated by narratives of deterioration and decay — and yet a close examination of Late Antiquity reveals a vibrant, innovative confluence of cultures that produced a nexus of philosophical, literary and artistic triumphs. This was also the period in which Roman laws were codified, promulgated and copied as never before, while Europeans adapted to the new faiths of Christianity and Islam. In many ways, modern Europe began in Late Antiquity. This course will offer students a chance to interact critically with that moment when classical civilization evolved into medieval Europe.
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:
- Read sources from Late Antiquity critically.
- Research and write about Europe during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages.
- Construct and criticise arguments.
- Effectively present material orally and in writing.
- Understand the ways other societies differ from our own.
- Understand the ways in which Roman practices (especially law, literature, philosophy and theatre) passed into European culture.
Indicative AssessmentTutorial participation (10%) — LO 1, 3, 5 and 6.
Tutorial presentation (10 mins) and written report (1–2 pp) (10%) — LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Mid-semester test (1-hr) (15%) — LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
2000-word research essay (35%) — LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
2-hour examination (30%) — LO 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsRoger Collins, Early Medieval Europe 300–1000 (London: Palgrave, 2012)
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