BA Latin and Linguistics / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
The Early Roman Republic

Unit code CLAH30041
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Classics & Ancient History
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course focuses on the creation of the Roman Republic, covering the period from pre-Roman Italy down to the start of the Second Punic War, Rome’s great struggle against its early enemy, Carthage. The course investigates the origins of Rome as a city, how we reconstruct the regal period before the birth of the Republic, and how Rome developed as a Republic in its first two and a half centuries. The course will cover topics such as: the Conflict of the Orders; the rise of the plebeian and patrician nobility; Rome’s expansion across Italy; early developments in Roman slavery; the difficulties of the source tradition for early Roman history; and the Roman and Greek reception of Rome's early history. The course also looks forward to later Roman history to demonstrate the connections between the early Roman Republic and the problems and challenges that eventually resulted in the rise of the Roman Empire. 

Pre/co-requisites

Available on all UG programmes administered by Classics and Ancient History, including Joint Honours programmes.

None (although CLAH10022 and CLAH20051 are helpful)

 

Aims

This course aims to investigate the birth of the Roman Republic and the creation of the Roman state that would become one of the world’s most powerful empires. This course aims to make students aware of the nature of the early Roman Republic, the problems of the source traditions for this period, and the connections between the early Republic and the problems that caused the civil wars of the late Republic.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • show detailed knowledge of the period;
  • examine and synthesise the scattered evidence for the early Republic
  • conduct sustained individual inquiry into different aspects of the course;
  • construct a cogent and persuasive idea of early Rome.

Syllabus

This course aims to introduce students to the world of the early Republic, and to make students aware of and able to deal with aspects of the early Republic’s culture, politics, and history. The course investigates the development of the early Republic, and focuses especially on the different ways in which the fragmentary evidence for the period has been understood by modern scholars. Particular emphasis will be placed on ancient evidence, including inscriptions and archaeological and visual material.

Topics may include: the Conflict of the Orders; the rise of the plebeian and patrician nobility; Rome’s expansion across Italy; early developments in Roman slavery; the difficulties of the source tradition for early Roman history; the Roman and Greek reception of Rome early history; the modern reception of the early Republic; and the creation of national memory.

Teaching and learning methods

  • 2 x 1 hour lectures per week;
  • 1 x 1 hour seminar per week;
  • 1 dedicated consultation hour per week;
  • Blackboard: will be used as a repository for course materials and digitised readings, as well as a source of relevant web links, etc.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will have/be able to:

  • demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the development of the early Republic;
  • an understanding of the politics and society of the early Republic;
  • identify and explain the lasting effects of this period on the rest of Roman history;
  • demonstrate understanding of the different modern approaches to the study of the early Republic.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • construct an argument in written and oral form;
  • pose questions about complex issues;
  • assimilate and summarise large quantities of evidence.

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • locate and retrieve relevant information from primary sources;
  • conduct bibliographic searches;
  • present results in a professional manner with appropriate reference to sources and modern published scholarship.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • construct an argument in written and oral form;
  • pose questions about complex issues;
  • assimilate and summarise large quantities of evidence;
  • locate and retrieve relevant information from primary sources;
  • conduct bibliographic searches;
  • present results in a professional manner with appropriate reference to sources and modern published scholarship;
  • use e-resources and gain knowledge of research methods and resources;
  • manage time and resources;
  • engage in critical discussion.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%

Feedback methods

  • Written feedback on summative assessment (see above); all summative coursework feedback is designed to contribute formatively towards improvement in subsequent assignments. Students are encouraged to seek formative feedback ahead of the first assignment of the unit by discussing work plans and approaches during seminars (where appropriate) and in consultation hours.
  • Additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment).

Recommended reading

  • Cornell, T.J. (1995), The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000-264 BC), London and New York.
  • Holloway, R.R. (1994), The Archaeology of Early Rome and Latium, London and New York.
  • Santangelo, F. and Richardson, J.H. (2014), eds, The Roman Historical Tradition, Oxford.
  • Wiseman, T.P. (2004), The Myths of Rome, Exeter.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Supervised time in studio/wksp 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 154

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Peter Morton Unit coordinator

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