CLAS120-23S1 (D) Semester One 2023 (Distance)

People, Places and Histories of the Graeco-Roman World

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


In this course we will survey events in antiquity from Homer through to the Roman Emperor Constantine. On the way we will explore the world of fifth century Athens, gaining an insight into the society that established democracy and move on to appreciate Alexander's campaigns and the formation of the Hellenistic kingdoms after his death. We will also turn to the west of the Mediterranean Sea and investigate the development of Rome from a small town to the capital of a large Empire, its constitutional transformations and the social impact of those changes on people's sense of place and identity.

In this course we will survey events in antiquity from Homer through to the Roman Emperor Constantine. On the way we will explore the world of fifth century Athens, gaining an insight into the society that established democracy, dominated the Peloponnese and the Aegean, struggled against the might of the Persian Empire, and fought a long and bitter war with its southern neighbour, Sparta.

We will then turn our attention to the western Mediterranean and a small town on the bank of the Tiber river in central Italy. We will introduce Rome’s beginnings, its transition into a Republic and the early stages of its development. Along the way we will see how warfare and expansion led to constitutional changes and the social impact of those changes on people’s sense of place and identity.  

The main learning objective is to enable students to gain a chronological understanding of key events, introduce them to different source materials and learn how to assess them; however, this course also aspires to have students reflect on and engage with broad and informed perspectives on issues of power and colonisation in Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Pacific. Students are able to discuss topics relating to these issues with the lecturers.

Learning Outcomes

Be able to place key historical events in a timeline from the Bronze Age to Constantine.

Be able to read, understand, analyse and interpret ancient sources (historical texts, literature and material culture) about Greek and Roman history.

Basic understanding of how the Greeks and the Romans each perceived their past, and how this process reflects, and helped shape and promote societal values.

Be introduced to ways in which the topics, concerns and images in Greek and Roman History are depicted and manipulated in modern times and media.

Be able to reflect on how one’s own society and community influences perceptions of other peoples, places, and events.

Basic understanding of imperialism and colonisation in the ancient world and how that resonates across time.

Become familiar with basic reference works relevant to the discipline of Classics

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


CLAS111; CLAS112; CLAS113

Course Coordinator

Gary Morrison


Victor Parker


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Quizzes 30% 4 short answer / mulitiple choice quizzes. Best 3 will count towards your final grade (10% each).
Tutorial Participation and Reports 15%
2 Written Assignments 40%
Final (online) 15% Online assessment

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All CLAS120 Occurrences

  • CLAS120-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023
  • CLAS120-23S1 (D) Semester One 2023 (Distance)