The Augustan Age: Politics, Society and Literature

Course code AHIS2000Units 10Level 2000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

The course will introduce students to key evidence for the age of Augustus (from the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC to the death of Augustus in AD 14), literary, numismatic, inscriptional and archaeological. It will examine the reasons for changes in Roman politics and society brought about by the evolution of an imperial regime from a faltering Republican system. There will also be a focus on developments in the city of Rome that accommodated and represented these changes. Late Republican and Augustan literature will be treated in parallel with historical and societal evidence. Important themes will be explored in the writings of the major litterateurs Cicero, Vergil, Horace, Livy, Propertius and Ovid, and in the works of lesser well-known historical and biographical writers of the period.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 2
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:

1. a knowledge of the ancient literary and non-literary evidence relevant to the period from 44 BC to AD
2. an understanding of how all types of evidence may be used to reconstruct the 'history' of the period
3. a nuanced understanding of the way that the history of the period has been shaped by its sources
4. a knowledge of the main historical events of the period, as well as the political, legal, cultural and societal changes in Rome and Italy as the system evolved from a republic to a principate
5. an understanding of the reasons for change and its dynamics
6. a knowledge and understanding of the religious beliefs of Rome and Italy in this period
7. a sensitivity to the values of Roman and Italian society,
8. an understanding of the stratification of society and of the urban-rural divide, and an appreciation of the different status of and roles played by men and women
9. an ability to gather and synthesise relevant evidence, and to express appropriate ideas in oral form in tutorials
10. an ability to gather and synthesise relevant evidence, and to express appropriate ideas in written form
ContentPolitical, military and social history from the death of Caesar to the death of Augustus; the emergence of a changed constitution, from republic to empire; the development of the court, with a focus on the imperial women; the problem of maintaining the imperial system (succession); moral change and regeneration; legislation on marriage and slavery; the rebuilding of Rome. A range of contemporary and later writers and other evidence will be covered.
Replacing Course(s)AHIS3110
TransitionStudents who have completed AHIS3110 may not enrol in this course.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeN/A
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsSeminar
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsShort essay, worth 20%

Tutorial paper or a source analysis, worth 30%

Major essay, worth 50%
Contact HoursSeminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Tutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for AHIS2000