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Level 5

5AACHI05 From Sulla to Caesar: the fall of the Roman Republic

Credit value: 15
Module convenor/tutor 2017/18: Dr James Corke-Webster                      Module convenor/tutor 2018/19: Professor Henrik Mouritsen
Teaching pattern
: 10 x 2-hour seminar (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 2 x essays of 2,000 words (the higher marked essay is weighted at 70% while the lower is weighted at 30%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

The course covers the last generation of the Roman republic, primarily focusing on the political and military events between 88 and 43 BCE. It traces the process which led to the replacement of the traditional system of shared aristocratic government by a hereditary monarchy.

Central themes include the rise of the late republican dynasts, above all Marius, Sulla, Pompey and Caesar, the role of the army in politics, the gradual destabilisation of domestic politics, and the challenges posed by the expanding empire as well as its socio-economic impact. The current debate about the nature of the ‘fall’ of the republic – accidental or inevitable - will also be analysed and placed in a wider historiographic context.

Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

  • A Companion to the Roman Republic (2006) eds. N. Rosenstein and R. Morstein-Marx (Oxford)
  • Beard, M. and M. H. Crawford (1985) Rome in the Late Republic(London).
  • Brunt, P.A. (1971), Social Conflicts in the Roman Republic(London).
  • Cambridge Ancient History Vol. IX: The last age of the Roman republic 146-43 BC 2nd ed. 1994.
  • Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic (2004) ed. H. Flower (Cambridge).
  • Scullard, H. H. (1976) From the Gracchi to Nero (London).
  • Crawford, M. H. (1992) The Roman Republic(London).
  • Gruen, E. S. (1974), The Last Generation of the Roman Republic(Berkeley).
  • Lintott, A. (1994), The crisis of the republic: sources and source-problems’, CAH IX: 1-15.
  • Wiedemann, T. (1994) Cicero and the end of the Roman republic(London).
  • Jehne, M. (2006), Methods, models and historiography’, in A Companion to the Roman Republic eds. N. Rosenstein and R. Morstein-Marx (Oxford) 3-28.
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