HIST 404B - History of Rome: The Empire through the Reign of Constantine the Great 001


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Course Syllabus

Course Description: 

This course will focus on the history of Rome under the emperors, from approximately the 40s B.C.E. to the deterioration of the western Empire in the fifth century C.E. Special emphasis will be given to concepts of power and how these are demonstrated in politics, gender ideals, material culture and religious practices of the imperial period. Students will make use of the primary sources of evidence, both ancient texts and archaeological material, to increase their understanding of the ancient Romans and to gain greater familiarity with the techniques of the historian in analysis and communication.


Required Course Materials: 

F. M. Heichelheim, C. A. Yeo and A. M. Ward, A History of the Roman People (6th edition)

N. Lewis and M. Reinhold, Roman Civilization: Selected Readings (vol II)

Apuleius, The Golden Ass (Oxford World Classics translation)

Lives of the Later Caesars (Penguin translation)

Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars (Oxford World Classics translation)

Tacitus, Annals (Oxford World Classics translation)

Tacitus, Agricola and Germany (Oxford World Classics translation)

Vergil, The Aeneid (Oxford World Classics translation)

Petronius/Seneca, The Satyricon and The Apocolocyntosis (Penguin translation)

All other assigned readings are available through the D2L website.

Course Requirements: 

Participation: Students are required to attend class, listen thoughtfully, and take part in classroom activities. Students must purchase of a pack of 3" x 5" lined index cards and bring it to class every session; this is necessary for the documentation of participation. PLEASE TURN OFF CELL PHONES DURING CLASS.

Source Analyses focus on detailed analysis of the ancient evidence available for specified topics, considering such issues as agenda and rhetoric of the ancient author and how the treatment of material in the primary evidence affects our historical awareness.  Guidelines and protocol will be circulated  in advance. ALL SOURCE ANALYSES MUST BE SUBMITTED VIA D2L DROPBOXES.

Examinations: midterm and final will each be a combination of identification and essay; you will choose four identification terms and one essay topic among several presented to you. Study guides will be distributed in advance, consisting of a number of essay topics from which those appearing on the exam will be selected. Terms for identification will also be drawn from these essay topics, in order to allow you to focus your preparation better. A successful essay must present a thesis and well-organized supporting arguments, making use of primary sources as documentary evidence; a successful identification must give the meaning of the term, place it in the appropriate chronological, geographical, and historical context  and explain the significance of the item for the history of the Roman Imperial period. Final examination will NOT be cumulative.          

Graduate Students: The 504B component of the course will require participation in a Historiography Project. Students will assemble a journal of major primary authors for the period covered by the course. Journal will include biographical information, description and assessment of texts, and a short annotated bibliography for each author of selected secondary literature. Specific protocol will be circulated at the beginning of the semester.


Course Grading: 

404B Evaluation:

Participation: 10%

Midterm: 30%

Source Analyses: 30%

Final: 30%


504B Evaluation:

Participation: 5%

Historiography Journal: 10%

Midterm: 25%

Source Analyses: 30%

Final: 30%


Grade Calculation

88-100%                       A

78-87%                          B

68-77%                          C

58-67%                          D

below 58%                   E

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Contact Us

Department of History
Cesar E. Chavez
Main Office, Room 415 
1110 James E. Rogers Way
Tucson, AZ 85721
Tel: (520) 621-1586
Fax: (520) 621-2422