Available in 2018

Course handbook


This course will introduce students to a selected range of ancient historians from key periods in ancient history. Options in any one semester will focus on one or more major ancient historians from the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Themes will include the methodology of ancient historians, their reliability, the literary aspects of their work, the portrayal of other cultures, the role of the audience, the impact of their own intellectual and cultural environments, and the question of 'truth' versus fiction.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of ancient historiography

2. Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the way ancient historians can persuade and manipulate their audiences

3. Show an appreciation of the cultural and intellectual environments that produce ancient historiography

4. Demonstrate an understanding of the roles that individuals play in shaping history

5. Demonstrate an ability to read critically and to express appropriate ideas out orally in tutorials

6. Demonstrate an ability to synthesise relevant evidence and to express appropriate ideas in written form

7. Develop effective strategies to identify problems requiring research and to initiate, plan and participate in either individual or team projects

8. Demonstrate advanced study skills including identifying and defining individual questions within the context of a given set of historical and historiographical issues


Major historians from Classical and Hellenistic Greece as well as Rome will be chosen in any one semester. Authors may include Thucydides and 5th century Greece, Xenophon and the fourth century, the Historians of the Age of Alexander, Polybius, Livy, and the Rise of Rome, Cicero, Sallust, Caesar and the Roman Republic, Tacitus and the World of Imperial Rome, Suetonius and Plutarch; 'Great Men and History'.

Topics applicable to any option will include:

the methodology of ancient historians and their reliability

the literary aspects of their work

the portrayal of other cultures, the role of individuals in shaping history, the audience, the impact of historians' own intellectual and cultural environments, and the question of 'truth' versus fiction.

Assumed knowledge

This is the compulsory/capstone 3000 level course for the Ancient History and Classical Languages major within the Bachelor of Arts program. This course will consolidate the knowledge and skills that students have acquired in previous courses for this major. Enrolment in this 3000 level compulsory course is based on the expectation that students have successfully completed the 1000 and 2000 level compulsory courses for this major, or have successfully completed at least 20 units of 3000 level directed courses from this major.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Source Analysis

Presentation: Seminar Presentation

Essay: Major Essay

Literature Review: Modern Literature Review

Contact hours


Individual Supervision

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 5 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks