Rome in Transition 49-27 BC (PGT) CLASSIC5118

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is an in-depth study of the period of transition at Rome from republican government to monarchy, from the outbreak of civil war in 49 to the assumption of the name 'Augustus' by the victorious Octavian. Working with a range of ancient sources, the course explores both the political and military events, which led to Octavian's final victory, and the cultural and social transformation, which accompanied it.


10 lectures shared with CLASSIC4038 Rome in Transition, 49-27 BC, and 10 seminars either shared with CLASSIC4038 or separately depending on student numbers.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Research project (4000 words) - 75%

Article critique (1000 words) - 25%

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Explore the triumviral period at Rome and the emergence of Augustus as sole ruler.

■ Analyse a range of literary and non-literary sources for the period.

■ Understand the processes of political change which transformed republic into monarchy and the alternative forms of government which Romans experimented with during this period.

■ Explore the connections between cultural innovation and political change during this period.

■ Engage critically with a range of modern interpretations of this period, with a particular focus on the concept of 'the triumviral period'.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Illustrate detailed knowledge of the events in Roman history in the period 49-27 B.C and their interrelationships.

■ Apply detailed knowledge of the primary sources for these events and an understanding of the challenges in their use.

■ Analyse processes of political and cultural change in the Roman world during the period 49-27 B.C.

■ Analyse current scholarly debates on the period 49-27 B.C

■ Develop and critique written arguments in relation to this period of history.

■ Formulate and implement a research project on a topic or question relevant to the course.

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.