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AHIS220 – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Andrew Gillett
Contact via 9850 9966
Building W6A room 502
Wednesdays 3.00-4.00
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
12cp at 100 level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
The collapse of the Roman empire, after five centuries of domination of the Mediterranean world, represents a major shift in the political, military, and cultural forces of antiquity. Rome's fall is also a key concept in contemporary understanding of the ancient and indeed modern world, arguably the defining idea of the European historical tradition. This unit studies the politics and culture of the Roman and post-Roman period from the fourth to the sixth centuries (segueing into early medieval Europe) through close examination of texts ranging from historical narratives to imperial documents to saints' lives. We also consider how modern thinkers have defined this period and used it as a paradigm for later history, from Gibbon's "triumph of barbarism and religion" to more recent views of Rome's fall as "an interesting experiment that got a little out of hand".

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge of the historical period and its modern study: Students should gain a broad understanding of major historical developments in the western half of the Mediterranean and Europe from the late fourth to late sixth centuries; acquire a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period; gain a broad understanding of historiographic debates and constructs concerning the ‘Fall of Rome,’ ‘barbarian invasion,’ and related historiographic themes; and gain a detailed understanding of a particular historical issue or event examined in the student’s Research Essay.
  2. Understanding of historical materials: students should develop skills in analysing and discussing different types of documents, in order to identify their technical or genre-based aspects, to understand different types of discourses, and to extract data from them.
  3. Disciplinary research skills: students should develop skills at identification of sources of information (such as research tools, databases, and online resources), and problem-solving skills in dealing with these resources.
  4. Communication skills: Students should develop their oral and written communication skills, with particular emphasis on the abilities to discuss complex material in public, to reflect on research and organise one’s ideas, and to comprehend alternative views and respond to them profitably; and on the ability to construct sustained arguments in writing, supported by clear logic and detailed research.

General Assessment Information

Submission of Written Assignments

 

Submission of Tutorial Paper and Research Essay: The Historical Genre Study and Research Essay are to be submitted through TurnItIn via the iLearn unit website.

Policies on Written Assessment: Extensions, Late/Early Submission, Length

Extensions can only be granted in exceptional cases and may only be sought by consulting your tutor and before the assignment is due.

Late assignment policy

Barring genuine emergencies, extensions will not be granted without a valid and documented reason (e.g. medical certificate), and must be arranged in advance with your tutor. Late submissions will be penalised by 2% for each day (including weekends) the assignment task is late. No assignments will be accepted after assignments have been corrected and feedback has been provided.

Length policy: Essays exceeding or falling short of the specified word lengths will attract a penalty: divergences of more than 10% will attract a penalty of 10%.

Assignment tasks handed in early will be marked and returned with other papers (i.e. not before the due date).

For Disruption of Studies Policy see under Policies and Procedures.

__________________________________________________________

EXTENSION REQUESTS

 Extensions for the two written assignments will only be granted in the case of overwhelming personal circumstances or  medical situation, with supporting documentation (e.g. medical certificate, counsellor statement).  Barring genuine major emergencies, extensions must be sought in advance of the due date, not retrospectively.  Spats with lovers and computers don’t count; multiple back-ups must be kept of all work.  Bear in mind that all written assessment (document studies and essays) should be begun long before the due date; generally, an extension can’t be given because of a problem which arises a day or two before the due date.  If it is necessary to request an extension, please contact the lecturer well before the due date.

 

Where an extension is granted, proof of work already undertaken already may be required.  Generally extensions will be made on a day-for-day basis (i.e. a medical certificate or counsellor statement for three days will be basis for three days’ extension).

 

Remember, restrictions on extensions exist not because your lecturer is mean and sadistic, but for fairness to other students who have worked to submit their items within the common restrictions.

 

Please see under "Policies and Procedures" for policies on plagiarism.

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Historical Genre Study 30% Week 7, Monday 10 April 9.00am
Research Essay 30% Week 13, Monday 5 June, 9.00am
Tutorial Participation 10% Weeks 2-6, 8-12
Examination 30% Central Examination period

Historical Genre Study

Due: Week 7, Monday 10 April 9.00am
Weighting: 30%

This is a study of types of genres of late Roman literary texts, which historians employ as historical sources, exploring is necessary to know about works written in a particular genre in order to be able to use examples of it for historical research.  Full details of the assignment will be provided on the unit iLearn site.  Submission will be via Turnitin on the unit iLearn site.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understanding of historical materials: students should develop skills in analysing and discussing different types of documents, in order to identify their technical or genre-based aspects, to understand different types of discourses, and to extract data from them.
  • Communication skills: Students should develop their oral and written communication skills, with particular emphasis on the abilities to discuss complex material in public, to reflect on research and organise one’s ideas, and to comprehend alternative views and respond to them profitably; and on the ability to construct sustained arguments in writing, supported by clear logic and detailed research.

Research Essay

Due: Week 13, Monday 5 June, 9.00am
Weighting: 30%

A close study of a particular topic within the scope of the unit.  Full details of the assignment will be provided on the unit iLearn site.  Submission will be via Turnitin on the unit iLearn site.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Knowledge of the historical period and its modern study: Students should gain a broad understanding of major historical developments in the western half of the Mediterranean and Europe from the late fourth to late sixth centuries; acquire a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period; gain a broad understanding of historiographic debates and constructs concerning the ‘Fall of Rome,’ ‘barbarian invasion,’ and related historiographic themes; and gain a detailed understanding of a particular historical issue or event examined in the student’s Research Essay.
  • Disciplinary research skills: students should develop skills at identification of sources of information (such as research tools, databases, and online resources), and problem-solving skills in dealing with these resources.
  • Communication skills: Students should develop their oral and written communication skills, with particular emphasis on the abilities to discuss complex material in public, to reflect on research and organise one’s ideas, and to comprehend alternative views and respond to them profitably; and on the ability to construct sustained arguments in writing, supported by clear logic and detailed research.

Tutorial Participation

Due: Weeks 2-6, 8-12
Weighting: 10%

Tutorials will consist of group-work or whole class-work activities, and some very short written activities may be undertaken in some tutorials. Attendance at tutorials, which will be recorded, is only a threshold for the tutorial mark: active participation, demonstrating significant preparation, is necessary to secure a mark.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Knowledge of the historical period and its modern study: Students should gain a broad understanding of major historical developments in the western half of the Mediterranean and Europe from the late fourth to late sixth centuries; acquire a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period; gain a broad understanding of historiographic debates and constructs concerning the ‘Fall of Rome,’ ‘barbarian invasion,’ and related historiographic themes; and gain a detailed understanding of a particular historical issue or event examined in the student’s Research Essay.
  • Disciplinary research skills: students should develop skills at identification of sources of information (such as research tools, databases, and online resources), and problem-solving skills in dealing with these resources.
  • Communication skills: Students should develop their oral and written communication skills, with particular emphasis on the abilities to discuss complex material in public, to reflect on research and organise one’s ideas, and to comprehend alternative views and respond to them profitably; and on the ability to construct sustained arguments in writing, supported by clear logic and detailed research.

Examination

Due: Central Examination period
Weighting: 30%

The examination will be scheduled centrally.  It will consist of unseen short-answer and essay format questions.  The format will be discussed in lectures.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Knowledge of the historical period and its modern study: Students should gain a broad understanding of major historical developments in the western half of the Mediterranean and Europe from the late fourth to late sixth centuries; acquire a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period; gain a broad understanding of historiographic debates and constructs concerning the ‘Fall of Rome,’ ‘barbarian invasion,’ and related historiographic themes; and gain a detailed understanding of a particular historical issue or event examined in the student’s Research Essay.
  • Communication skills: Students should develop their oral and written communication skills, with particular emphasis on the abilities to discuss complex material in public, to reflect on research and organise one’s ideas, and to comprehend alternative views and respond to them profitably; and on the ability to construct sustained arguments in writing, supported by clear logic and detailed research.

Delivery and Resources

Set Readings and Text:

      It is essential to buy these two items from the Coop Bookstore on campus:

· AHIS220 Readings  (this is essential for all tutorials): from the Coop Bookstore on campus

· Stephen Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire, 2nd ed. (Blackwell; Malden MA, 2015): from the Coop Bookstore on campus or (if sold out) from online booksellers

Using Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire:

     This text-book is set as a supplement to the lectures.  One chapter (Chapter 2, “The Nature of the Evidence”) is also required reading for the Document Study.

     The examination questions will be based on information from the text-book as well as from lectures and tutorials.

     Students are expected to read the suggested chapters as self-guided reading throughout the semester.  The unit Program (on the unit iLearn site) includes a recommended schedule for when particular chapters should be read in relation to the lecture program.

     The book covers the eastern as well as western half of the Roman empire, from the late third to mid-seventh centuries, and so not all of the book is directly relevant to this unit.  The unit Program recommends reading chapters 1-6.  Most of Chapter 3 (one of the two main narrative chapters) covers material prior to the time-period examined in this unit; information from this chapter will not be included in the examination, but it is useful background to the period of this unit.

Using the Unit Reader:

     The Reader contains translations of texts from the period of this unit.  Texts for Tutorials Weeks 3 to 6 (also an extra text in the readings for Week 9) relate directly to the topic of the first written assignment, the Historical Genre Study.

     Note that each text has been provided with a short introduction with background information.  These introductions are required reading and are assessable for the examination.  They should not, however, be used as a source for either the Historical Genre Study or the Research Essay.

     Tutorial readings for some weeks include “Optional additional readings.”  These will not be discussed in tutorials or assessed in the examination, but are provided as additional examples of works in genres relevant to the Document Study.  Of course, all students are encouraged to read these additional texts, some of which (such as Sidonius Apollinaris) are of considerable historical significance.

Additional Resources:

     Students who would like to have a more detailed narrative description of the period may wish to access the following book.  Despite its age, it remains the fullest narrative account of events.  It is available in the Library, in a relatively cheap paperback version, and the full text is available on a public site on the Web:

J.B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, 2 vols. (1923)

Available at: Lacus Curtius (Prof. Bill Thayer, University of Chicago)

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/BURLAT/home.html

‘Recommended’ Books:

     The following books are available from the Coop Bookstore.  They are not essential texts, and all are held in the Library (most on Reserve) – so you do not have to buy them.  But should you wish to purchase additional works relevant to particular parts of this unit, these are recommended as useful: 

Two modern studies:

· Roger Collins, Early Medieval Europe, 300-1000, 2nd ed. (New York, 1999) – a broad overview of the period, written as a text-book

· Guy Halsall, Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568 (Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, 2007) – a major new interpretation of the period

Two books with sources: both focus primarily on the Frankish kingdom of Gaul, which we will touch on at the end of the unit:

· Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, tr. Lewis Thorpe (Penguin; Harmondsworth, 1974) – the first major history written in the West after the collapse of the Roman empire

· From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader, ed. A. C. Murray (Broadview; Toronto, 2000) – a collection of a wide range of sources relating to Roman- and post-Roman Gaul, including examples of some of the types of texts addressed in the Document Study (letters, chronicles).

Online resources

This unit has an online presence. Login is via: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/

Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

For technical support go to: http://mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/informatics/help For student quick guides on the use of iLearn go to: http://mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/guides.htm All lectures will be recorded on Echo360, and PowerPoint slides posted (after lectures) on the iLearn site.

Unit Schedule

 

Program:

                           Lecture, Tutorials, Text Book, and Assessment

Session 1, 2017

 

 

Please note that this program may be subject to amendment.

 

Week beginning:

Week 1

27 Feb.

LectureIntroduction: Did Rome Fall or Was She Pushed?

 

(No tutorial this week)

 

                                I:  The Emperor in the Later Roman Empire

Text: Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire, chapters 1, 3, 5

 

Week 2

6 March

LectureThe Later Roman Empire: How It Worked

 

Tutorial I:  Historia :

Ammianus Marcellinus

 

Week 3

13 March

LectureBishops and Emperors

 

Tutorial II:  Letters and Letter Collections:

Ambrose of Milan

 

Week 4

20 March

LectureThe Nature of Our Sources

 

Tutorial III:  Panegyric:

Claudian

 

                                               II:  Romans and Barbarians

Text: Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire, chapters 2 and 4

 

Week 5

27 March

LectureRomans and Barbarians to 376

 

Tutorial IV:  Hagiography:

Constantius, The Life of St Germanus of Auxerre

 

Week 6

3 April

Lecture: Theodosius I and the Generalissimos

 

Tutorial V:  Chronicles:

Hydatius, Chronicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 7

10 April

LectureAlaric and the Sack of Rome

 

(No tutorial this week)

 

 Historical Genre Study due, Monday 10 April 9.00am

 

Mid-semester recess (two weeks)

 

Week 8

1 May

LectureThe Barbarian Settlements

Tutorial VI: Confessio

Augustine, Confessions

Week 9

8 May

Lecture: The Last Generation of the Western Roman Empire

Tutorial VII:  Confessio (and Letters)

Paulinus of Pella, Thanksgiving (Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters)

 

III:  The Barbarian Kingdoms

Text: Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire, chapter 6

 

Week 10

15 May

LectureThe Barbarian Kingdoms: How They Worked

Tutorial VIII:  Historia

The History of Theoderic

 

Week 11

22 May

LectureTheoderic of Italy, Justinian, Cassiodorus, Procopius, Jordanes

Tutorial IX: Consolatio

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy

 

Week 12

29 May

LectureAfter Empire: Identity and Culture

Tutorial X: Media News Columns and online blogs

 

Week 13

5 June

LectureWrap-up: 210 Causes of Rome’s Fall

 

(No tutorial this week)

Research Essay due, Monday 5 June, 9.00am

Examination in Exam Period

 

Learning and Teaching Activities

Unit Requirements: Attendance, Readings, Assessment

Following are the components which you are required to undertake in order to complete the unit: Attendance: · thirteen weeks of lectures (up to two hours each week) · ten tutorial meetings, all of which require preparation (close reading of texts and consideration of issues suggested below) Preparatory readings: · self-guided readings from the set textbook (Stephen Mitchell, A History of the Later Roman Empire) · Tutorial Readings from the unit Reader , to prepare before tutorials Assessment: · Tutorial attendance and participation: 10% · Historical Genre Study: 30% · Research Essay: 30% · Examination (in central examination period): 30% Attendance at tutorials, which is recorded, is only a threshold prerequisite for the tutorial mark; active participation, demonstrating significant preparation is necessary to secure a mark. Attendance at lectures is not recorded, but note that the final exam is based on the lectures, tutorial work, and the textbook; non-attendance at lectures will result in a poor exam mark. All four assessment items must be attempted in order to pass this unit. Marks from other assessment items cannot be pro-rated. Attendance: · thirteen weeks of lectures (up to two hours each week) · ten tutorial meetings, all of which require preparation (close reading of texts and consideration of issues suggested below)

Student Workload

In accordance with Senate Guidelines, a student workload of 3 hours per credit point (i.e. 9 hours per week for this 4-credit point unit) for 15 weeks (13 weeks of lectures +2 weeks of recess) is expected. This includes either 2 hours of lectures, or three hours of lectures and tutorial, during the 13 weeks of teaching. The remaining time should be used for lecture preparation including reading and note-taking from the textbook and other readings; tutorial preparation including reading and note-taking from the unit Reader; and work on the Historical Genre Study and Research Essay. In cases of disputed grades, evidence of work including notes for lecture and tutorial preparation will be required.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

________________________________________

Submission of Written Assignments

 

Submission of Tutorial Paper and Research Essay: The Historical Genre Study and Research Essay are to be submitted through TurnItIn via the iLearn unit website.

Policies on Written Assessment: Extensions, Late/Early Submission, Length

Extensions can only be granted in exceptional cases and may only be sought by consulting your tutor and before the assignment is due.

Late assignment policy

Barring genuine emergencies, extensions will not be granted without a valid and documented reason (e.g. medical certificate), and must be arranged in advance with your tutor. Late submissions will be penalised by 2% for each day (including weekends) the assignment task is late. No assignments will be accepted after assignments have been corrected and feedback has been provided.

Length policy: Essays exceeding or falling short of the specified word lengths will attract a penalty: divergences of more than 10% will attract a penalty of 10%.

Assignment tasks handed in early will be marked and returned with other papers (i.e. not before the due date).

For Disruption of Studies Policy see under Policies and Procedures.

__________________________________________________________

EXTENSION REQUESTS

 Extensions for the two written assignments will only be granted in the case of overwhelming personal circumstances or  medical situation, with supporting documentation (e.g. medical certificate, counsellor statement).  Barring genuine major emergencies, extensions must be sought in advance of the due date, not retrospectively.  Spats with lovers and computers don’t count; multiple back-ups must be kept of all work.  Bear in mind that all written assessment (document studies and essays) should be begun long before the due date; generally, an extension can’t be given because of a problem which arises a day or two before the due date.  If it is necessary to request an extension, please contact the lecturer well before the due date.

 

Where an extension is granted, proof of work already undertaken already may be required.  Generally extensions will be made on a day-for-day basis (i.e. a medical certificate or counsellor statement for three days will be basis for three days’ extension).

 

Remember, restrictions on extensions exist not because your lecturer is mean and sadistic, but for fairness to other students who have worked to submit their items within the common restrictions.

___________________________________________________________

PLAGIARISM

     Academic honesty is an integral part of the core values and principles contained in the Macquarie University Ethics Statement (http://www.mq.edu.au/ethics/ethic-statement-final.html). Its fundamental principle is that all staff and students act with integrity in the creation, development, application and use of ideas and information. This means that:

  • All academic work claimed as original is the work of the author making the claim.
  • All academic collaborations are acknowledged.
  • Academic work is not falsified in any way
  • When the ideas of others are used, these ideas are acknowledged appropriately.

The link below has more details about the policy, procedure and schedule of penalties that will apply to breaches of the Academic Honesty policy:

Academic Honesty Policy

http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Plagiarism:  Plagiarism entails any of the following:

(a) use of published material without adequate acknowledgement and citation (i.e. you must footnote your sources clearly).

(b) any use of any material produced by other students

(c) any re-use of an assessment item you have produced for any other university unit

(d) purchase of essay material from an essay-writing provider, either via the Web or otherwise.

The university penalties for plagiarism (which can include failure of the unit or expulsion from the university) will be strictly enforced.

If you are in any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism – and the difference between plagiarism and citation – please read Macquarie University’s official statement, “What is Plagiarism?” (http://www.student.mq.edu.au/plagiarism/), a helpful discussion with examples.

___________________________________________________________

EXAMINATION

 

You are expected to present yourself for examination at the time and place designated in the University Examination Timetable. The timetable will be available in Draft form approximately eight weeks before the commencement of the examinations and in Final form approximately four weeks before the commencement of the examinations at: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au/exam.

 

The only exception to not sitting an examination at the designated time is because of documented illness or unavoidable disruption. In these circumstances you may wish to consider applying for a Supplementary Examination under the Disruption to Studies policy. Information about unavoidable disruption and the special consideration process is available under the Extension and Special Consideration section of this Unit Guide.

 

If a Supplementary Examination is granted as a result of the Disruption to Studies policy, the examination will be scheduled after the conclusion of the official examination period, through arrangement with the relevant Departments.

 

Note: You are advised that it is Macquarie University policy not to set early examinations for individuals or groups of students. All students are expected to ensure that they are available until the end of the final day of the official examination period.

____________________________________________________________

 

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Knowledge of the historical period and its modern study: Students should gain a broad understanding of major historical developments in the western half of the Mediterranean and Europe from the late fourth to late sixth centuries; acquire a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period; gain a broad understanding of historiographic debates and constructs concerning the ‘Fall of Rome,’ ‘barbarian invasion,’ and related historiographic themes; and gain a detailed understanding of a particular historical issue or event examined in the student’s Research Essay.

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Disciplinary research skills: students should develop skills at identification of sources of information (such as research tools, databases, and online resources), and problem-solving skills in dealing with these resources.

Assessment tasks

  • Historical Genre Study
  • Research Essay

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding of historical materials: students should develop skills in analysing and discussing different types of documents, in order to identify their technical or genre-based aspects, to understand different types of discourses, and to extract data from them.
  • Disciplinary research skills: students should develop skills at identification of sources of information (such as research tools, databases, and online resources), and problem-solving skills in dealing with these resources.
  • Communication skills: Students should develop their oral and written communication skills, with particular emphasis on the abilities to discuss complex material in public, to reflect on research and organise one’s ideas, and to comprehend alternative views and respond to them profitably; and on the ability to construct sustained arguments in writing, supported by clear logic and detailed research.

Assessment tasks

  • Historical Genre Study
  • Research Essay
  • Tutorial Participation

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of the historical period and its modern study: Students should gain a broad understanding of major historical developments in the western half of the Mediterranean and Europe from the late fourth to late sixth centuries; acquire a fundamental body of knowledge of key concepts, events, and figures of the period; gain a broad understanding of historiographic debates and constructs concerning the ‘Fall of Rome,’ ‘barbarian invasion,’ and related historiographic themes; and gain a detailed understanding of a particular historical issue or event examined in the student’s Research Essay.
  • Understanding of historical materials: students should develop skills in analysing and discussing different types of documents, in order to identify their technical or genre-based aspects, to understand different types of discourses, and to extract data from them.
  • Disciplinary research skills: students should develop skills at identification of sources of information (such as research tools, databases, and online resources), and problem-solving skills in dealing with these resources.

Assessment tasks

  • Historical Genre Study
  • Research Essay
  • Tutorial Participation
  • Examination

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding of historical materials: students should develop skills in analysing and discussing different types of documents, in order to identify their technical or genre-based aspects, to understand different types of discourses, and to extract data from them.
  • Disciplinary research skills: students should develop skills at identification of sources of information (such as research tools, databases, and online resources), and problem-solving skills in dealing with these resources.

Assessment task

  • Tutorial Participation

Changes from Previous Offering

This unit was last offered in 2015.  A new tutorial, Tutorial 10, has been added.