The Roman Empire

History 106B

Summer 2011
First 6 Week Session
175 Barrows
Day & Time: 
TuWTh 10-1230P
  • This course satisfies the Pre-Modern Requirement for the History Major.
  • This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Roman Empire from the death of Julius Caesar to the fourth-century emperor Constantine the Great, the great promoter of Christianity. Themes include the means by which Augustus secured power, the struggle between the Emperors and the Senate, slavery, women's roles, ethnic conflict, family life, the economy, population structure, and the "Fall of Rome." Ward's excellent textbook "A History of the Roman People" will provide the overarching narrative with Rodney Stark's "The Rise of Christianity" providing a sociological look at the growth of the strange new religion. We will closely read many superb literary productions of the period such as the sober and sardonic history-writing of Tacitus, the hilarious Petronius and Juvenal, and the bizarre Apuleius, and use other documentary sources such as inscriptions to understand the period.