ATS3346 - Imperial Rome: Power and perversion in the age of Augustus and Nero - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Centre for Ancient Cultures

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Andrew Connor


Dr Andrew Connor

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.




The unit examines aspects of Roman political, social, and cultural history from the crucial period of transition from Republic to Empire (ca. 59 BCE to 138 CE). It focuses on a number of powerful individuals, especially Julius Caesar and the emperors Augustus, Claudius, Nero, and Hadrian, as well as the court that grew up around them-rivals, wives, freed slaves, bodyguards, and the sometimes resentful members of the Roman elite. Themes include the nature of the Roman political system and the role of the emperor, the literature and material culture of the imperial state, the rise to power of the Praetorian Guard and imperial freedmen, and the realities of Roman rule in the provinces of the empire. We take as case studies the Roman provinces of Britannia and Judea, examining the events and context of the bloody revolts against Roman power-Boudicca's revolt in Britannia and the Revolt of 66 and Bar Kokhba's Revolt in Judea-and their effects on provincial life and imperial Rome.


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. identify and understand the Roman political ideas of government and the manner in which these were used and manipulated by those seeking power;
  2. describe the political, social, and cultural history of Roman during the period covered;
  3. examine the evidence relating to the role of the emperor and how the manner and impact of the imperial position was shaped by the individual personality of the incumbent, and the response from across the Roman social spectrum, from aristocrats to rural poor, freed slaves, and provincial subjects;
  4. evaluate cultural, political, military, religious, and archaeological aspects of life in the imperial provinces, especially in Britannia and Judea;
  5. analyse and approach critically the variety of ancient (documentary, archaeological, and literary) and modern sources, in particular through the development of skills in source criticism;
  6. collaborate and defend interpretations and arguments concerning the Roman Empire through group tutorial presentations and individual research.


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

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