Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitArchaeology and Ancient History
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Gillian E. Bowen


The unit examines aspects of Roman political, social and cultural history from the crucial period when she made the transition from Republic to Empire (30 BCE - 138 CE). It focuses upon the reigns of four emperors: Augustus, Claudius, Nero and Hadrian. Themes include the nature of Roman politics, the role of the emperor within the political system, the manner in which the emperor acquired, consolidated and held his position; the role of the Praetorian Guard; the rise to power of the freedmen, the plight of the aristocrats, and the way in which the populace was treated under, and affected by, the style of rule adopted by each of the four emperors.


On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. A comprehensive understanding of the Roman political ideals of government and the manner in which these ideals were manipulated by each of the emperors.
  2. A sound knowledge of the political, social and cultural history of Rome during the period covered.
  3. The ability to examine critically the evidence relating to the power invested in the emperor and how the form of rule and the fate of the people was determined by the personality of the incumbent, and the manner in which the aristocracy adapted their lifestyle in response.
  4. Critical and analytical skills in dealing with a variety of primary, secondary and tertiary sources, in particular the development of skills in source criticism.
  5. Communication and collaborative skills through group tutorial presentations.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.