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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS3990 Edge of Empire

20 creditsClass Size: 23

Module manager: Dr. Rick Jones

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is mutually exclusive with

CLAS2990Edge of Empire

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module explores the problems of defining Roman and non-Roman at the limits of the Empire. At the heart of the module lies the question of defining cultural identities. The module will consider case studies taken from around the Empire, including the Rhineland and Scandinavia, the Danube, Africa and the more distant contacts with India and China. These will be set within a framework of such issues as imperialism, power and force, trade and exchange, settlement patterns and religious identities.


The module is intended to introduce students to the problems of defining the limits of Roman influence, especially under the Empire. It will familiarise students with the evidence used to study this material, and demonstrate the particular issues and problems involved in dealing with the interactions between the Roman groups and the indigenous groups beyond the frontiers and around them. Through seminars and assessed work, it will foster skills which include critical thinking, the ability to organise material and the ability to express and support ideas.

Learning outcomes
Students completing this module are expected to have acquired:
- a coherent and detailed knowledge of major Roman frontier institutions such as the army, and of the patterns of contact and interaction with non-Roman communities;
- a sound understanding of the uncertainties and ambiguities of different forms of primary evidence;
- a critical appreciation of current research and debate, and the different perspectives expressed there.

Skills outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students are expected to be able to demonstrate an ability to analyse primary evidence critically and understand the biases involved in both written and archaeological sources when considering Romans and non-Romans and their interactions.


The module examines: Empires and imperialism; the Roman army and frontiers; Rome’s neighbours; cultural and economic interaction around frontiers, including gender roles; long distance exchange of goods across northern Europe and in the Indian Ocean; settlement and urbanisation; economy and money; ethnicity, identity and religion; transformation over Late Antiquity.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

The 173 private study hours comprise of:
4 hours reading and note-taking per lecture = 80 hours
5 hours reading and preparation per seminar = 20 hours
Essay (50%) = 48 hours reading and writing
Exam (50%) = 25 hours revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Opportunities within seminars to explore and contest ideas and different interpretations within current research.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Exam with advance information on questions3 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 24/04/2018


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