Classics (Classical Civilisation) MA/MA(SocSci)

Rome In Transition, 49-27 BC CLASSIC4038

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

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.


Two hours per week; 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.

Excluded Courses





Examination ( 90 minutes ) - 50%

Essay (2,500 words) - 50%

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:

■ 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;

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;

■ Describe 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;

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.