Current Trends in Roman History - CLAS8003

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 7 30 (15) Christopher Burden-Strevens checkmark-circle


This module inculcates an advanced understanding of the latest critical debates in the study of Roman history. Deploying a range of literary and material evidence (numismatics, epigraphy, archaeology, small finds, canonical and fragmentary texts), students will demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of key problems in contemporary research surrounding the political, social, and cultural history of Rome, and will articulate their own informed responses to those problems.
Themes and approaches to the Roman world broached in this module may include (but are not limited to): imperialism; Roman law; culture and identity formation; economic history; autobiography and propaganda; naval and military history in its political context; Roman constitutional and institutional theory; and the reception and/or interpretation of Roman history across diverse intellectual perspectives.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Total Private Study Hours: 280
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Presentation (30 minutes) – 20%
Research Paper (3,500 words) – 80%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework (5,000 words)

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:

Indicative reading:
The Cambridge Ancient History, Volumes 5–13, 2nd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1992–2005).
Frolov, R. & Burden-Strevens, C. (eds.) (2022), Leadership & Political Initiative in Late Republican & Early Imperial Rome. Leiden & Boston: Brill
Erdkamp, P. (ed.) (2013), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Mathiesen, R. W. (2018), Ancient Roman Civilisation: History and Sources, 753 BCE to 640 CE (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Morrell, K., Osgood, J., & Welch, K. (eds.) (2019), The Alternative Augustan Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
Plessis, P. J. du, Ando, C., & Tuori, K. (eds.) (2016), The Oxford Handbook of Roman Law and Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Steel, C. & Blom, H. van der (eds.) (2013), Community & Communication: Oratory and Politics in the Roman Republic (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of a range of current debates in the study of Roman political and social history;
2. Deploy critical analysis of a variety of ancient evidence in order to answer sophisticated research questions, in conversation with modern scholarship on the topic chosen;
3. Command a range of techniques and methodologies, such as bibliographical and library research skills, a range of skills in reading and textual criticism, and formal analysis of material evidence;
4. Identify areas for expansion in current scholarship on the subject and propose original answers to these areas through the rigorous application and analysis of primary evidence and secondary literature;
5. Show an advanced understanding of the use of subject-specific research resources, including specialist databases, encyclopaedias, and compendia and periodicals.

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

1. Communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means;
2. Evaluate their own academic performance and develop an ability to learn independently to ensure ongoing professional development;
3. Exercise initiative and take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development;
4. Manage time, prioritise workloads and recognise and manage stress;
5. Utilise appropriate information management skills, e.g. IT skills.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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