• Class Number 4076
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Caillan Davenport
    • AsPr Caillan Davenport
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

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.

Field Trips

The lecture slot on Tuesday April 23 (Week 8) will consist of a visit to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House to compare Athenian and Australian democracy from 9am-10.30am. Students will be expected to make their own way to and from the Museum. Further details to be provided on Wattle.

Required Resources

Andrew George, The Epic of Gilgamesh, 2020 edition, Penguin Classics.


This is essential for Tutorial 2 and the Primary Source Analysis (Assessment Task 1).

Whether you are on campus or studying online, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

The use of AI technology for any type of assignment is not permitted in this course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture: The Emergence of Political Organization from the Atlantic to the EuphratesTutorial: Discovering the Political Past Tutorial Participation (ongoing)
2 Lecture: Kings, Gods, and EpicsTutorial: The World of Gilgamesh (basis for primary source analysis)
3 Lecture: Greeks, Hittites, Egyptians: A World in TransformationTutorial: A Religious Revolution: Akhenaten and Nefertiti (presentations) Presentations start this week; tutorial papers due two weeks after presentation
4 Lecture: Clash of Constitutions: The Greek Polis and the Persian EmpireTutorial: Warfare and the Polis (presentations) Primary Source Analysis due Tuesday, March 12
5 Lecture: Sole Rule: Monarchy and Tyranny from the Archaic to Hellenistic PeriodTutorial: Making Room for Women: Dynasties and Courts (presentations)
6 Lecture: The Rise and Fall of Sparta Tutorial: The Spartan Constitution in Theory and Practice (presentations)
7 Lecture: Athenian Democracy and its LimitsTutorial: Who wants to be an Athenian Juror? (presentations)
8 Lecture: Museum of Australian Democracy (MOAD) VisitTutorial: Athenian and Australian Democracy (discussion from MOAD visit, no presentations) Worksheets to be completed during MOAD visit, then discussed in tutorials
9 Lecture: The Roman Res Publica Tutorial: How to Win a Roman Election (presentations)
10 Lecture: The Roman Empire: Authoritarian Regime or Monarchical Republic?Tutorial: The Everyday Experience of Roman Rule (presentations)
11 Lecture: A Lost World? Western States and Societies from Carthage to the CeltsTutorial: Can we Escape the ‘Classical’ West? (presentations)
12 Lecture: After Rome: Republics and Empires Tutorial: Lessons from the Past: Machiavelli and Rome (presentations)

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Primary Source Analysis (15%) 15 % 12/03/2024 1,2,3,4,5
Tutorial Participation (10%) 10 % * 1,2,3,5
Tutorial Presentation (10%) 10 % * 1,2,3,4,5
Tutorial Paper (35%) 35 % * 1,2,3,4,5
Popular History Article (30%) 30 % 11/06/2024 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to attend lectures. Lecture recordings are provided in the event of illness, misadventure, unavoidable clashes with other university commitments. Attendance at and participation in tutorials is compulsory. Students should come prepared having completed the assigned readings ready to engage in discussions, especially after peer presentations. Students are expected to take part in the Museum of Australian Democracy visit and the following discussion in tutorials.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 12/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Primary Source Analysis (15%)

700-word analysis of The Epic of Gilgamesh as a source for ancient political organization (see required resources). Full details to be provided on Wattle. Due 11.59pm Tuesday, March 12.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Tutorial Participation (10%)

Students are expected to attend, and participate actively in, all the tutorials for this course. Participation includes, but is not limited to: asking questions in class, especially after presentations from peers; answering questions in class; and participating in whole-class, small group, or paired discussions. Participation in all these activities should show awareness of completing the assigned readings. For the Week 8 tutorial, participation will include completion of the worksheet and discussion following the Museum of Australian Democracy Visit.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Tutorial Presentation (10%)

8-minute tutorial presentation on a question relating to the week's tutorial topic. Full details, including how to select a topic, will be provided on Wattle. Topics and dates to be assigned by start of Week 2.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 35 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Tutorial Paper (35%)

2000-word research paper on the presentation topic (assessment task 3). Full details to be provided on Wattle. This must be submitted 2 weeks after the presentation.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 11/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Popular History Article (30%)

1,000-word article on ancient systems of government and their modern relevance suitable for a general audience. Full details to be provided on Wattle. Due 11.59pm on Tuesday, June 11.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Caillan Davenport

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AsPr Caillan Davenport

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AsPr Caillan Davenport

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AsPr Caillan Davenport

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