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More in this section SecondandThird Year Courses

The Later Roman Empire


Value: one unit


Dr David Gwynn


Taught through weekly two-hour seminars 


3-hour exam (70%), best two of three coursework essays (20%), oral presentation (10%) 

This course opens with the transformation of the Roman Empire under Diocletian (284-305) and Constantine (306-337) and with the conversion of Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, in AD 312. Students will explore the fundamental political, social and religious developments of the fourth century and then examine the contrasting fortunes of the western and eastern regions of the Empire in the fifth and sixth centuries. In the west imperial power collapsed, to be succeeded by the Germanic kingdoms of the Goths and Franks, yet in the east the Empire survived and reached a new peak in the reign of Justinian (527-565) whose attempted reconquest of the west began the final phase in the history of the ancient Mediterranean world.


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