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Level 6

6AACHI09 Rome in the Age of Cicero

Credit value: 30
Module convenor/tutor 2019/20: Professor Henrik Mouritsen
Teaching pattern: 20 x 2-hour seminars (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 1 x 3-hour examination (100%)

Assessment pattern for Graduate Diploma students

2019/20 onwards: 2 x 3,000-word essays (higher marked essay is weighted at 60%, while the lower is weighted at 40%)

Pre 2019/20: 3 x 3,000-word essay (100%, essays worth 1/3 each)


Prerequisites: none, although it will help to have taken 5AACHI05 and 4AACAH1B

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 module focuses on the last generation of the Roman republic, as seen through the eyes of Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106-43 BC. His speeches, treatises and personal letters present one of the fullest historical records preserved from any single period of antiquity. As such it offers a unique opportunity to trace the gradual disintegration of a political system through the day-to-day records of one of its leading protagonists. The module is broadly structured around the life of Cicero, following his Italian background, his rise to power via the courts, his manoeuvrings between the leading men of the day, trying to realise his political ideals, which finally led to his death at the hands of the triumvirs. The aim is to apply a more holistic approach to the period. So apart from political history, the course also covers a range of social and economic issues: the Roman family, the status of women, wealth and poverty, leisure and entertainment, as well as the physical world inhabited by Cicero: the urban topography, private housing and public monuments.

Suggested introductory reading

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

  • M. Beard and M. H. Crawford, Rome in the Late Republic (second edition 2000)
  • M. Fuhrmann, Cicero and the Roman Republic (1992).
  • C. Habicht, Cicero the Politician (1990).
  • H. H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero (fifth edition 1982)
  • T. Wiedemann, Cicero and the end of the Roman republic (1994).
  • T. P. Wiseman (ed.), Roman Political Life 90 BC - AD 69
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