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Level 6

6AACAR09 From Barbarian to Roman?  Living and Dying in Rome's Western Provinces (100 BC to AD 500)

Credit value: 30
Module convenor/tutor 2019/20: Dr John Pearce
Teaching Pattern: 20 x 2-hour seminar (weekly) with some museum visits
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment 2019/20: 2 x 1,000 word commentaries (15% each); 2 x 2,000 word essays (35% each)
Prerequisites: None, although it will help to have taken 4AACAA01.

Assessment patterns pre 2019/20

Undergraduate: 2 x essay (20% each) and 1 x 3-hour exam (60%)

Graduate Diploma: 3 x 3,000-word essay (100%, each essay worth 1/3)

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 Roman empire provides a case study in the archaeology of oppression and opportunity and is a critical formative period for the landscapes and cultures of Europe and the Mediterranean. This course investigates through archaeological evidence the impact of the Roman empire on the societies, cultures and economies of north-west Europe (Gaul, Germany and Britain) and the western Mediterranean (Italy, Spain, North Africa) from the first century BC to fifth century AD. It explores how very diverse societies became Roman, from Celtic and Germanic ‘barbarians’ to Hellenized and Punic city states and considers the models which have been proposed to explain this process. After investigating the process of conquest and the creation of provinces, it studies different facets of provincial communities. These include the civic, religious and recreational routines of cities and villas, working lives and landscapes, cuisine, dress and bodily decoration and death rituals and markers. It assesses the impact of political instability and religious change, including the establishment of Christianity, among the transformations of these societies in the late Roman period.

Suggested introductory reading

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

  • Alcock, S. and Osborne, A. (eds) 2012. Classical Archaeology (2nd      ed.), Hoboken: Wiley and Sons.
  • Carroll, M. 2001. Romans, Celts and Germans: The German Provinces of Rome, Stroud: Tempus
  • Hingley, R. 2005. Globalizing Roman Culture: Unity, diversity and empire, London: Routledge
  • Mattingly, D. J. 2011. Imperialism, power, and identity: experiencing the Roman empire, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Pitts, M. and Versluys, M.J. (eds) 2015. Globalisation and the Roman world : world history, connectivity and material culture, New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Revell, L. 2010. Roman Imperialism and Local Identities, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Woolf, G. 1998. Becoming Roman: the Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


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