Trying and Failing to Rule the World: Imperialism and Society in the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire stretched from Britain to modern-day Syria, from Morocco to Romania. How did Rome control an empire which ranged from the societies of the Mediterranean basin to those of Arabia and temperate northern Europe? How did the peoples of these regions adapt to, or indeed resist, ‘becoming Roman’? This module will give you an opportunity to explore the history of the Roman Empire from the first emperor Augustus in the first century BCE to late antiquity and the rise of Christianity in the 4th century CE. You will study the immense social, economic, and religious changes that occurred across Europe and the Near East in this period, as well as the political and military history of the Empire. You will confront the challenges of writing Roman history from textual sources that are often fragmentary, or have political and rhetorical agenda which are alien to us today. You will also have the opportunity to learn to integrate material evidence, from coins and inscriptions to archaeology, into your understanding of the Roman Empire.