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CL1560: Roman History and Society: The Julio-Claudians




Introduction: Politics and Society

Politics and Power

The Augustan Inheritance

Tiberius: The Politics of Friendship

Gaius: The Politics of Madness

The Accession Debate

Claudius: The Politics of the Household

Nero: The Art of Politics

Being Roman Emperor

Empire and Resistance: What have the Romans Ever done for us?

Empire and Resistance: New Gods, Other Worlds

Essays and Essay Writing

The Household: Reconstructing the Roman Household

The Household: Sex and Society

Religion and Society

The Household: Slavery and Violence

Land, Power and Food: Farming

Provincial Views

Land, Power and Food: the Roman Poor

Imagining the Roman Empire: Empire and Politics


Exam 100%. One Essay (Formative).

Course Books

Tacitus, Annals (Penguin)

Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars

R. Alston Aspects of Roman History AD 14 – 117 (Routledge, London, New York, 1998)


This course aims to

  • Introduce students to a range of source material
  • Introduce some of the key problems and methodologies faced by ancient historians
  • Inform students about the social and political history of Rome and its empire AD 14 – 69
  • Explore the main themes of political history of the period
  • Develop students’ skills in writing
  • Develop students’ ability to analyse ancient literary material as a historical source
  • Develop students skills in oral presentation and argument


By the end of this course students should be better able to

  • Analyse source material
  • Argue a historical point
  • Understand historical methodology
  • Present historical material in oral or written form

Course Summary

What was a Roman emperor? Was there resistance to the empire? What was Roman civilization? How did the Roman household work? Why did the Romans not abolish slavery?How did the Romans feed themselves? Why do we keep thinking about Rome?


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