The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



20 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Students will study aspects of the rule of the Roman emperors from the accession of Tiberius to the fall of Nero. There will be an in-depth examination of various interpretations of the historical evidence for the period, and there will be an emphasis on the political change in Rome, from a Republic to a court-centred society, based on the development of a dynastic system. Students will examine all the evidence for the period in depth: literary, numismatic, epigraphic, artistic and monumental.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2015.

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): AHIS3120. Students who have successfully completed AHIS3120 are not eligible to enrol in AHIS3220.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Critically discuss early imperial Rome by isolating the most important sources on the Julio-Claudians, both literary and non-literary

2. Understand the strengths and the limitations of all types of evidence, in particular because of the biased and fragmentary nature of ancient evidence

3. Appreciate and understand how different are the styles evident in the literary and epigraphic sources

4. Appreciate and understand how writers living in a Republican or Imperial system report historical events differently, in terms of freedom of expression, and to make valid comparisons to the problems confronting contemporary writers

5. Display a critical approach to the culture of Early Imperial Rome, seeing its differences and similarities to other cultural models, both ancient and modern

6. Appreciate the operation of imperial politics on all levels of society; and how participation in the political system changed from the more democratic modes in place during the Roman Republic to the less democratic system of the Empire

7. Appreciate the operation of court society, its strengths and limitations, and its impact on social structure, with particular reference to the role of women, slaves and ex-slaves

8. To express such appreciation and criticisms succinctly and accurately.


  • The emergence of the Roman Imperial system: a study of the literary sources
  • The Senate, the Emperor and the people: a study of literary, epigraphic and numismatic evidence
  • Social Change in the Empire: literary, epigraphic, engineering and architectural evidence
  • Imperial Succession: a study of literary, epigraphic and numismatic evidence
  • The Roman army and the Provinces: a study of literary, epigraphic and numismatic evidence
  • Change in the age of the Julio-Claudians: all types of evidence


This course replaces AHIS3120. If you have successfully completed AHIS3120 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

20 units of Ancient History

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Two or more written assignments