Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code CLAH268
Coordinator Dr AM Hirt
Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information



The aim of the module is to introduce students to the key political practices, policies, political institutions and actors and provide insights into the wider social and religious context in which political events and structures are rooted through the examination of written sources:

The module also aims to familiarize students with the current debates and controversies on the driving actors and factors of politics and the political transformation of the Republic.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Knowledge of the social, economic, and political institutions of the Late Republic and to be able to summarize the impact of imperial expansion on these institutions.

(LO2) A critical understanding of current scholarly debates

(LO3) The capacity to critically read, contextualise, and interpret documentary and literary evidence

(LO4) The ability to write a coherent essay on a set topic based on the critical analysis of written evidence and an awareness of current scholarship,

(LO5) The acquisition of written / oral communication and presentation skills, time management, and team working capabilities

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - academic writing (including referencing skills)

(S2) Time and project management - personal organisation

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - critical analysis

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - creative thinking

(S5) Research skills - all information skills

(S6) Skills in using technology - using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The module consists of 20 lectures and seminars. The lectures are divided into three groups:
Firstly, students are introduced to the literary sources, coins and inscriptions, and the problems of their interpretation; a general survey of the archaeological evidence for Republican Rome; and they are provided with an outline of the main questions and debates currently shaping scholarly discourse.
Secondly, the physical environment, religious, social, legal, and political institutions (ranging from religious practices and communal festivities to the practice of Roman law) are examined more closely.
Finally, the lectures cover the political history of the Late Republic from the Gracchi to the downfall of Caesar.

The seminars allow students to broaden and deepen their understanding of the written evidence and scholarly debates in communal discussion and to improve their communication and analytical skills. This allows students to study source s and scholarly papers independently and to practice reasoned argument. They will also learn how to explain a complex issue to a non-academic audience.



The lectures and seminars of the module cover two aspects: A detailed account of the political events from the Gracchi down to the murder of Julius Caesar (133-44 BC). The focus is thereby on the increased ‘dysfunctionality’ of Roman political institutions, the loss of legitimacy of the aristocratic elite by the people of Rome (as perceived by Cicero or Sallust); the rise of individuals such as Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar; the political strife promoted by public figures like Catilina, Clodius, Milo; and the role of imperialist projects of Pompey or Caesar (Numidia, Gaul, Britain, Asia Minor/Syria etc.) in further promoting the demise of the Republican system; Political actions and the rise of individual political actors need to be contextualised; in order to fully understand the significance of events, the political structures, institutions , and practices are thoroughly examined , and complemented with descriptions of the cultural backdrop in Rome and I taly during the Late Republic is closely analysed. Lectures and seminars focus on the senate, people’s assemblies, magistracies, elections and electioneering, policial ‘culture’ and the contio, rhetorical skills, political thought, Roman social hierarchy and values of the elite. An survey of the impact of the history of the Late Republic and Roman political institutions on later European and American political thought during Renaissance and/or Enlightenment will round off the survey.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 16


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 130


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalties will apply. This is an anonymous assessment.  -2500 words    50       
Coursework There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Standard UoL penalties will apply.  -2500 words    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.