CL2TTT-Option in Roman Historical Topic

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Andrew Souter


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will explore the concepts of Imperial ideology and propaganda through a study of the built environment of Augustan Rome. It examines the topography, development and function of the ancient city and analyses selected monuments in terms of their structural history, their architectural characteristics, their place in the development of the urban plan, and their political, religious and social function. Through consultation of specific literature and in-class discussion, we will consider the ways in which the development of Augustan iconography and architecture made a profound contribution to the monumental landscape of the Imperial city.


This module will provide students with the opportunity to investigate the rise of the Augustan regime and the impact made on the urban development of Rome, approximately from 44BC through to AD14. The political, social and historical significance of specific buildings and monuments will be examined, in chronological order, thereby revealing the means by which Augustus transformed the city.  Specific focus will be given to architectural and art historical material, in addition to extracts from the ancient sources, thereby providing students with a balanced understanding of this fascinating and profoundly important era of Roman history. By the end of this module students will have a clear grasp of the development of Imperial Roman architecture and the means by which this was used to communicate ideology and propaganda.  

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate and identify the impact of the Augustan regime on the built environment of Rome.

  2. Assess and debate the ways in which we can detect Imperial ideology and propaganda in the urban landscape.

  3. Be familiar with key historical developments and the political transition from Republic to Empire.

  4. Demonstrate an informed understanding of the Augustan city and, ultimately, its significance for subsequent developments in Imperial Rome.

  5. Show a comprehensive ability in the integration of diverse forms of evidence in the analysis of archaeological, architectural and ancient sources relating to Augustan Rome.



Additional outcomes:

Collation and synthesis of diverse sources of information through development of library skills and interrogation of reliable web sites. Development of verbal presentation and argument skills in classes. Promotion of independent study skills, focussed on specific themes, and presentation of in-depth, critical and cogent written argument through assessed coursework.

Outline content:

Forming the political, cultural and religious heart of the Roman world, Rome has provided an incredible wealth of iconic monuments and buildings whose legacy is still felt today. Through a combination of weekly lectures and seminars, we will follow the development of this fascinating city from the middle of the 1st century BC through to the early 1st century AD, thereby focusing on a profoundly important era of Roman history. Detailed discussion and analysis of key monuments and buildings will provide students with an informed understanding of Augustan developments within the urban landscape and the levels of architectural sophistication and innovation that were achieved: weekly set reading followed by in-class discussion will investigate the concepts of ideology and propaganda, and the means by which Augustan monuments were used to support and promote the ideology of the ruling regime. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours

Teaching consists of five one-hour lecture sessions and a total of five hours of small group work (seminars). All sessions presume preparatory reading by students. There will be 2 contact hours per week with the module convenor.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5
Seminars 5
Guided independent study 90
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write one essay of 2500-3000 words.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:


    Reassessment arrangements:

    resubmission in August

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Beard, M., and Henderson, J., 2001. Classical Art. From Greece to Rome

    Claridge, A. 2010. Rome: an Archaeological Guide.

    Coulston, J. and Dodge, H. (eds) 2000. Ancient Rome. The Archaeology of the Eternal City

    Favro, D., 1996. The Urban Image of Augustan Rome.

    Galinsky, K., 1996. Augustan culture. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

    Henig, M., (ed.) 1990. Architecture and architectural sculpture in the Roman Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology; no.29.

    Huskinson, J., (ed.) 2000. Experiencing Rome: culture, identity and power in the Roman Empire.

    Sear, F. 2008. Roman Architecture.

    Zanker, P., 1990. The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus.

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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