Not currently offered
Course code



10 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.

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): AHIS3220. Students who have successfully completed AHIS3220 are not eligible to enrol in AHIS3221.

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

3. Analyse the culture of Early Imperial Rome, seeing its differences and similarities to other cultural and political models, both ancient and modern.

4. Construct arguments that evince 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


Students cannot enrol in this course if they have previously successfully completed AHIS3220.

Assumed knowledge

20 units in Ancient History

Assessment items

Literature Review: Discussion of Relevant Literature 30%

Essay: Major Essay 40%

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: One Tutorial Paper 30%

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.