The Roman Empire

History 106B

Spring 2013
Day & Time: 
MWF 10-11A
  • Note new room.
  • This course offers an introduction to the history of the Roman empire, from the advent of monarchy in Rome in the first century BC to the breakdown of central state authority in the fifth century AD.  Major themes include the overlapping networks of social power in the Roman empire (institutional and personal); the unity and diversity of Roman imperial culture; the changing relationship between state and society; the political economy of the Roman empire; and the geography and ecology of the Mediterranean world.  Lectures will provide an essential historical narrative and interpretations of central problems in Roman imperial history, and discussion sections will give students an opportunity to engage with key texts from or about the Roman empire, from Tacitus to Gibbon.  There are no prerequisites for this course. 

Course Books

Ammianus Marcellinus, The Later Roman Empire (AD 354-378) by Hamilton, W. (translator) Penguin Classics. ISBN: 978-0140444063 Required
Apuleius, The Golden Ass by Walsh, P.G. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199540556 Required
Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars by Edwards, Catharine Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0192832719 Required
Tacitus, The Annals: The Reigns of Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero by Yardley, J. C. (translator) Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0192824219 Required
The Romans: From Village to Empire (2nd edition) by Boatwright, Mary; Gargola, Daniel; Lenski, Noel; Talbert, Richard Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199730575 Required