Introduction to Roman Civilisation - CLAS3690

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Christopher Burden-Strevens checkmark-circle


This module is an introduction to Roman history, culture, and literature. Spanning almost 1,500 years from pre-Roman Italy to Late Antiquity, classes will cover the major events, developments, and themes of Roman history and introduce you to the key evidence. You will also be introduced to the major works and genres of Roman literature. You will also be asked to consider and discuss the role of literature as a vehicle for public debate throughout Roman history, and its treatment of themes such as power, justice, war and peace, class and social mobility, identity, slavery, and gender roles.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Comparative Source Analysis (800 words) -- 35%
Short Essay (1000 words) – 35%
Evidence & Implications Exercises (7-10, two sentences each) -- 10%
Handbook Knowledge Quiz -- 20%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Identify the main contexts, genres and conventions of Roman literature and history;
2. Develop an understanding of the main chronology of Roman history;
3. Discuss literature's role as a vehicle for the treatment of major areas of public debate in the Roman, including power, justice, war and peace, class and social mobility, identity, slavery, and gender roles;
4. Draw together a wide range of evidence for Roman history, politics, art, and drama, and everyday life (legal, literary, historical, art and biographical).

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of types of evidence in an independent and critical manner, through case studies examined in seminars;
2. Select, gather and synthesise relevant information from a wide variety of sources to gain a coherent understanding;
3. Study and reach conclusions independently through preparation of written assignments;
4. Select and apply appropriate methodologies in assessing data, such as bibliographical research;
5. Deploy evidence and information, and show awareness of the consequences of the unavailability of evidence" in critical discussions of evidence for different topics in essays;
6. Marshal argument lucidly and communicate interpretations using the appropriate academic conventions, through working independently to produce historical reconstruction based on primary data.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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