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Roman Europe - ARC00098M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Maureen Carroll
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module traces the development and physical manifestation of Rome as a world city and superpower in the Republican and Imperial periods, with an impact on neighbouring and distant regions and populations. It investigates public and private architecture, physical mobility, social structure, religious practices, economic exchanges, and ethnic and cultural identities in Italy, the Mediterranean, continental Europe, and Britain.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

This module aims:

  • To introduce students to current archaeological debates about Roman Europe
  • To critically evaluate different types of archaeological and historical evidence for the ideological, political and cultural development of Rome and to explore its impact on provincial societies
  • To explore a range of themes related to Rome and its place within the ancient world
  • To develop research, analytical and presentation skills

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module the students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the diversity of Roman culture and its expression in Italy, the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Critically assess primary data of different types, including those drawn from material culture, documentary sources, iconographic representations, and archaeological science
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the archaeology of Roman sites and monuments, as exemplified in a selection of case studies
  • Evaluate critically upon a range of interpretations of archaeological and historical evidence
  • Convey complex ideas in an analytical framework through essay writing

Module content

This module traces the development and physical manifestation of Rome as a world city and superpower in the Republican and Imperial periods. The module investigates class structure and the ways in which power was expressed and maintained by the elite and the middle classes through benefaction, patronage, and religious practices, and it explores themes such as the Roman family as the essential building block of Roman society. It studies population mobility and the relationship between the inhabitants at the centre of empire and the provinces, the implications of social mobility, and the visual and material expression of cultural and ethnic identities, in life and in death. Domestic and public architecture is examined as a forum for social interaction and status display. Trade, commerce and economic connectivity between Rome and its near and distant neighbours are evaluated through the study of transport networks and the material remains of commodities exchanged. The module is interdisciplinary and integrates primary data of different types (artefactual, pictorial, documentary, epigraphic, scientific). The module will explore key sites in Roman Italy and Europe, with comparative material from North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. Teaching will comprise lectures and seminars with student input and discussions.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative: oral feedback from module leaders

Summative: written feedback within the University's turnaround policy

Indicative reading

A. Wallace-Hadrill (2008), Rome’s Cultural Revolution.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

S. Bell, I.L. Hansen (eds) (2008). Role Models in the Roman World. Identity and Assimilation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press

L. de Ligt and L.E. Tacoma (eds) (2016). Migration and Mobility in the Early Roman Empire. Leiden: Brill

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.