ABOUT THIS UNIT
This unit concerns itself with the beginning of the Roman Republic's drift towards its political collapse, and in particular with the beginnings of the so-called "Roman Revolution". Special attention will be paid to the period from 168 BC, when Roman troops destroyed the Macedonian army at the battle of Pydna, to the establishment of Sulla's dictatorship (82–80 BC), when the age of the General was at hand and the Republic's days were numbered. Developments in this period, both internal and external, are of critical significance in the history of western civilization. We look closely at traditional political and social institutions, values and practice, and try to assess the effect on these of Rome's emergence as the dominating power in the Mediterranean. The main questions will be how and why the traditional political order was challenged and finally overrun by violence leading to military autocracy and the radical transformation of the Republic. Larger social and economic developments in Italy and the Mediterranean will need to be addressed, and the distinctive features of the moral and political thought of the period will also be considered. The course is largely a study of the Roman nobility and its members' response to change and crisis.
For lecture times and classrooms please consult the MQ Timetable website: <http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au>. This website will display up-to-date information on classes and classroom locations.
Lectures: The lectures for this unit will be recorded and the audio recordings can be downloaded or streamed via the Echo 360 system which can be accessed via the iLearn site.
Tutorials: Topics for discussion and questions to be addressed are set out under the appropriate week on the iLearn unit site. All tutorials will focus upon the historiographical aspects of studying this period and the material covered will form an essential preparation for your responses in Part (i) in the Examination. Preparation for each tutorial is advised, since the material covered in these sessions will be examined. Only by reading the material set for discussion in advance will you receive the full benefit of these sessions.
There are tutorials each week for most weeks of the session (but not in Weeks 2, 8 and 11). We hope that participation in these discussions will be a vital and rewarding part of the unit.
Required Reading and Texts
(i) Ancient Sources
All students are expected to have a copy of the ancient sources listed below. All tutorial exercises which do not draw on material in the Unit Book of Readings (see below) will be based on source material in these works.
Plutarch Roman Lives: A Selection of Eight Lives (Oxford World's Classics)*
Appian The Civil Wars (Penguin Classics)
* Please note that the Lives of Plutarch that are covered in this unit are also available in two Penguin editions: Plutarch Makers of Rome (Penguin Classics) and Plutarch The Fall of the Roman Republic (Penguin Classics). These two books could be purchased as an alternative to the first of the two books above.
Other essential ancient sources to which reference will be made in the lectures have been compiled in a Book of Readings The Roman Republic in Crisis (revised edition) which will be available at the beginning of the session. It should be brought to all lectures and tutorials.
In this course emphasis is placed upon the direct examination of the ancient sources and evidence. Students are expected to base all their work on a personal examination of these sources. It will not be sufficient simply to read modern studies on any topic, however sound and highly recommended these are: it will be essential to look first at the ancient sources on which all modern studies are necessarily based.
(ii) Modern Studies
A useful textbook account for the period will be found in H.H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero (5th edition, 1982) whose notes on pp. 381ff. provide reference to more recent modern studies. It is highly recommended for background reading. An online version of Scullard is available through the Library website via 'Unit Readings' for AHIS110.
Required and recommended texts are available for purchase at the Co-Op bookstore <http://www.coop-bookshop.com.au>.
Shorter paperbacks which provide an introduction to Republican history and a background to the period we are studying are:
Michael Crawford, The Roman Republic (Fontana, 1978); P.A. Brunt, Social Conflicts in the Roman Republic (Chatto & Windus, 1971); David Shotter, The Fall of the Roman Republic (2nd edition, Routledge, 2005); and Catherine Steel, The End of the Roman Republic 146 to 44 BC. Conquest and Crisis (Edinburgh University Press, 2013).
These (the last two especially) are readily available and are recommended for purchase to those wanting a wider perspective.
A stocktaking of modern scholarship and a useful summation of many of the problematic issues arising in this topic will be found in M. Beard and M. Crawford Rome in the Late Republic. Problems and Interpretations (London, 1985). Even more recent introductions to various themes is provided by Harriet I. Flower (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004), designed for readers new to the subject; and Nathan Rosenstein and Robert Morstein-Marx (eds), A Companion to the Roman Republic (Oxford, Blackwell, 2006).
There are two essential works of reference for the course which are to be consulted in the Library:
The Oxford Classical Dictionary (abbreviated OCD) is the standard work of reference in English for Roman and Greek history and culture. It provides reliable and succinct explanations and definitions of technical terms, summary biographies of prominent individuals, and accounts of institutions, etc.
T.R.S. Broughton The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (abbrev. MRR; 2 vols, 1951-2; Vol. 1 covers the period 509-100 BC; vol. 2 the period 99-31 BC), copies of which will be held in Reserve. This is an invaluable book which gives, year by year, a full, systematic list of the known political officials and magistrates, a summary of their actions in office and full references to the known ancient sources. A supplementary volume (vol. III) was published in 1986.
Also to be regarded as a standard work of reference is J.A. Crook et al. (ed.), The Cambridge Ancient History vol. IX2 (Cambridge University Press, 1994).
More detailed reading lists relating to particular topics will be made available electronically on the iLearn unit site. The most important recommended books and articles will be held either in Reserve in the Library or will be available electronically via 'Unit Readings' on the Library website.
UNIT WEBPAGE AND TECHNOLOGY USED AND REQUIRED
This unit will use iLearn: <https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/login/MQ/>. PC and Internet access are therefore required. Basic computer skills (e.g., internet browsing) and skills in word processing are also a requirement. Please consult teaching staff for any further, more specific requirements.
SATISFACTORY COMPLETION OF UNIT
It is expected that students attend lectures and tutorials and that they spend 9 hours per week on individual study and participation in class across the 15 weeks of the session.
There are two lectures a week and one tutorial per week for most weeks of the session, at which attendance is expected. The importance of regular attendance is reflected in the final examination in which questions are drawn directly from material covered in the lectures and tutorials.
Students must attempt each of the 5 assessment tasks and achieve an overall mark of 50% or above to complete the unit satisfactorily.