Rome's Empire: Law and Power in the Provinces CLASSIC4061

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the Roman Empire and its provinces: the ways in which the Romans acquired and administered these territories and how the locals experienced the Roman presence. The course offers students the chance to study a range of source material such as inscriptions, coinage and texts, and the opportunity to engage with the eastern and western part of the empire in both the republican and imperial periods.


2x1hr lectures (one online); 6x2hr seminars as scheduled on MyCampus; Museum tour with introductory session (2 hours); 2 x2hr online sessions. This is one of the Honours options in Classics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Classics, Greek or Latin, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.


Museum report (1500 words): 30%

Extended essay (5000 words): 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to

■ study the Roman empire from Roman and provincial perspectives, during republican and imperial periods, and in eastern and western provinces;

■ explore the experiences of Roman governors, Roman officials and non-officials, local elites and lower strata of provincial society through a number of case studies;

■ understand the various ways in which the Romans imposed their power and influence on local peoples, including the use of Roman law;

■ investigate the interplay between politics at Rome and activities in the provinces

■ analyse a wide range of sources: textual, epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological;

■ discuss diverging modern theories on the nature of Roman imperialism.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ describe Roman provincial government from a practical and theoretical view point;

■ discuss the sources in an informed and perceptive manner, both at a very detailed level (discussion and museum report) and in relation to wider material, historical, social, political, economic, and cultural contexts (discussion and essay);

■ develop and formulate their own arguments on the nature of Roman provincial administration and its variant forms;

■ carry out a detailed study of a relevant object and produce a museum report;

■ complete an extended writing project to a deadline and produce at the end a lucid, well-argued and well-researched document;

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.