• 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, History, Philosophy, European Studies, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Caillan Davenport
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings
Democrats, Tyrants, and Emperors: The Art of Government in the Ancient Mediterranean (CLAS2014)

This course examines the different types of government which existed in the Mediterranean world (encompassing Europe, North Africa, and the Near East) between the Bronze Age and the Early Medieval Period. Monarchy was a dominant form of government: there were great empires ruled by kings and queens, from Assyria and Pharaonic Egypt to the territories conquered by Alexander the Great and the Romans, as well as smaller states and territories ruled by Greek tyrants, Bosphoran kings, or Persian satraps. But this period also witnessed the rise of different forms of government that challenged the monarchical paradigm in different ways, such as Greek oligarchy, Athenian democracy, and the Roman republic. This course will explore how these different systems of government emerged, interacted with each other, disappeared, and transformed into other constitutional forms, as well as the ways in which they have shaped modern political systems. It will be of interest to students studying History, European Studies, Politics, Philosophy, and Classical Studies, and many other areas.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. comprehend the evolution and significance of different forms of government and political ideas in the ancient Mediterranean world;
  2. think critically about the legacy of these government systems and political ideas in subsequent periods of history up to the modern day;
  3. analyze and evaluate primary historical sources and modern scholarship;
  4. conduct scholarly research and construct logical arguments based on that research; and
  5. express ideas and arguments about government systems and political ideas clearly and effectively in both oral and written modes.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Primary Source Analysis (approx. 700 words) (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Tutorial Participation (ongoing) (10) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  3. Tutorial Presentation (approx. 8 minutes) (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Tutorial Paper (approx. 2000 words) (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  5. Popular History Article (approx. 1000 words) (30) [LO 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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.

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

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed texts: sources and reading lists to be made available through the ANU Library/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
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
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
4076 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

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