CLAS214-21S2 (A) Semester Two 2021 (The Arts Centre Christchurch)

Imperial Rome

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


Roman history, society and culture under the early emperors as represented by the literary sources and material remains.

In CLAS214 “Imperial Rome” you will be introduced to the first Emperors of Rome. We will begin with Augustus and his establishment of the ‘principate’, before analyzing the reign of each emperor through to Hadrian’s death in 138 CE. This allows us to see how imperial rule is established, as well as how political forms and systems are shaped and developed by successive emperors. We will also analyze some of Rome’s conflicts, from Caligula’s failed invasion of Britain to success under  Claudius. Rebellions and resistance to Roman rule, such as that undertaken by Boudicca in Britain are also discussed. We acknowledge how Trajan extended the empire to its greatest extent, before his successor Hadrian consolidates the frontier pulling it back to natural boundaries and establishing defensive structures such as Hadrian’s wall. The course will focus on events in the reign of individual emperors, from which we can make comment on the execution of power.

In the process, we will observe some bizarre antics, such as whether Caligula really tried to elect his horse as consul! Or does this simply make him insane? Did Vespasian actually tax urine? Why, and how?! The events and personalities we highlight also provide an opportunity to investigate aspects of Roman imperial society. Prominent, active and visible women of the imperial family are introduced, their influence and power are discussed. We also look at the lives of ordinary Romans, what was it like to live in a Roman City in the First Century CE? We ask ‘what can Pompeii tell us?’ At the end of the course you will understand more of Roman emperors and the Roman World of the first century CE.

Learning Outcomes

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.


Any 15 points at 100 level from CLAS, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.



Timetable Note

Some classes will be held at the City Campus in the Arts Centre, 3 Hereford Street.

Course Coordinator

Gary Morrison


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

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* 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 CLAS214 Occurrences

  • CLAS214-21S2 (A) Semester Two 2021 (The Arts Centre Christchurch)