Start a new search?


HIST211: Trying and Failing to Rule the World: Imperialism and Society in the Roman Empire


Department: History NCF Level: FHEQ/QCF/NQF5//RQF5
Study Level: Part II (any yr) Credit Points: 15.0
Start Date: 07-10-2019 End Date: 13-12-2019
Available for Online Enrolment?: Y Enrolment Restriction: Fully available to all students
Module Convenor: Dr EH Cousins

Syllabus Rules and Pre-requisites

  • Prior to HIST211, the student must have successfully completed:

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

  • The Roman Empire stretched from Britain to modern-day Syria, from Morocco to Romania. How did Rome control an empire which ranged from the societies of the Mediterranean basin to those of Arabia and temperate northern Europe?  How did the peoples of these regions adapt to, or indeed resist, ‘becoming Roman’?  This module will give you a thorough foundation in the history of the Roman Empire from the first emperor Augustus in the first century BCE to late antiquity and the rise of Christianity in the 4th century CE.  You will study the immense social, economic, and religious changes that occurred across Europe and the Near East in this period, as well as the political and military history of the Empire.  You will confront the challenges of writing Roman history from textual sources that are often fragmentary, or have political and rhetorical agenda which are alien to us today.  You will also learn to integrate material evidence, from coins and inscriptions to archaeology, into your understanding of the Roman Empire. 

Curriculum Design: Pre-requisites/Co-requisites/Exclusions

  • Students must have successfully completed HIST100.

Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributes

  • Major/combined/consortial programmes administered by History: History, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, History and Philosophy; History and Religious Studies. 

    Major/combined/consortial programmes administered by others: French Studies and History; German Studies and History; English Literature and History; History and International Relations; History and Politics; History, Philosophy and Politics; Spanish Studies and History.

  • 60% Exam
  • 40% Coursework

Assessment: Details of Assessment

  • * The pattern of assessment follows one of the two main models of assessment followed by the History Department for 2xx modules.

    * The coursework element (summative) will be an essay of up to a maximum of 2500 words, amounting to 40% of the total.

    * Tutors will offer voluntary drop in sessions offering formative feedback with advice on and plans of essays within the designatied office hours (2 distinct hours each week in which the module is running).

    * The examination (60% of the total) will be a summative assessment covering the whole of the module. A revision session in preparation for the examination will be held in Summer Term (usually week 21).

    * Tutors are responsible for maintaining a Moodle VLE on each module with as much teaching and learning material made available to the students as possible. This can and may include, copies of lecture slides, recordings of lectures, course study-guides, weblinks, broadcasts and additional materials.

    * The module being offered for the first time, in a subject which has not been taught in the History department for many years (since the retirement of David Shotter), it is offered in the first instance in the most basic, simple format, with a view to submitting a revised-module CAIT form should it prove necessary in the light of the experience of having run the module.

    The History Department examines all modules, whether taught in MT or LT in the main summer period. Examination papers are turned around such as to be available to the main summer examination board. Feedback on examination papers is offered by the tutor (to those students able to avail themselves of it) at the start of the academic year following within one-to-one voluntary office hours.

Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Students will come to a knowledge and understanding of the political, military, and social history of the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC to the 4th century CE.  They will explore the different responses to Roman rule across the Roman Empire, from Britain to the Near East, and will understand the ways in which the interaction between Roman and local societies resulted in a diversity of cultures across the Empire.  They will gain an understanding of the ways in which Roman government and society changed over the course of the Empire’s history from the 1st century BC to late antiquity.  They will also learn to use a wide variety of evidence, including archaeological material, written sources, and iconography, to write ancient history.

    This module aims to:

    * Give students the factual and chronological framework they need to analyse Roman history

    * Give students a thorough introduction to the dynamics of society, culture, economy and religion across the Roman Empire

    * Enable students to analyse ancient history using a range of diverse source material, including archaeological evidence.

Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Students will have a knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of political, military, and economic power in the construction of empires.  They will be able to assess critically scholarly interpretations of historical processes.  They will learn to use a wide range of primary sources to develop historical arguments. 

    This module aims to:

    * Enable students to understand the processes and techniques of research;

    * Enable students to analyse and prioritize research materials;

    * Enable students to critically assess different historical models and interpretations.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

    * demonstrate a broad knowledge of the themes and events of Roman history;

    * demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the ways in which the history of the Roman Empire illustrates broader themes of the history of the ancient world and of ancient empires;

    * put archaeological, literary, epigraphic, and iconographic evidence together to reconstruct Roman society and culture;

    * think critically about ideas of imperialism, ‘Romanization’, and political, economic and societal forces;

    * think critically about ‘top-down’ versus ‘bottom-up’ histories of the Roman Empire;

Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

    * demonstrate competence in both written and oral analysis and interpretation;

    * think critically, in the above settings, about the use of evidence and the problems of historical interpretation posed by different types of evidence;

    * demonstrate general written competence;

    * understand the processes and techniques of research;

    * analyse and prioritise research materials;

    * use the resources of the university library, its print holdings, cataloguing systems, electronic and digital searches and resource-holdings.

Contact Information

If you encounter any difficulties accessing Online Courses Handbook information please contact the Student Registry:


If you require further details in relation to academic content please contact the appropriate academic department directly.

Related Pages