This version of the course guide is provisional until the period for editing the new course guides ends.

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History of Rome

Code: 104211 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2503702 Ancient Studies OB 2 2


Oriol Olesti Vila

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


No previous requirements

Objectives and Contextualisation

Introducing the students into the basic knowledge of the main historical, social and economic episodes of Ancient Rome.

In a secondary level, the subject will also focus on the following objectives:

- Knowing the main historical literary sources of each period, and know how to interpret these documents through the main historiographical tendencies.

- Knowing how to integrate archaeological data into historical discourse, highlighting the most significant sites and their material sets.

- Appreciate the contribution of the epigraphy to the study of Ancient Rome, coming across some emblematic examples.


  • Apply the main methods, techniques and instruments of historical analysis.
  • Be able to express oneself orally and in writing in the specific language of history, archaeology and philology, both in one's own languages and a third language.
  • Recognise the impact of some important aspects of the ancient world in contemporary culture and society.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.
  • Understand and interpret the evolution of ancient societies in the Mediterranean – from Egyptian civilisation to the disbanding of Western imperial Rome – through analysis of the political, historical, social, economic and linguistic factors.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse the historical processes that lead to armed conflict.
  2. Analyse the key issues that help to approach the study of historical phenomena from a gender perspective.
  3. Describe the economic, social and political structures of the classical societies.
  4. Explain the main historiographic debates on antiquity.
  5. Identifying the context of the historical processes.
  6. Identifying the specific methods of history and their relationship with the analysis of particular facts.
  7. Preparing an oral and written discourse in the corresponding language in a proper and organized way.
  8. Relate the historical texts to their archaeological contexts.
  9. Submitting works in accordance with both individual and small group demands and personal styles.
  10. Using the specific interpretational and technical vocabulary of the discipline.



The topics will be developed in 3 blocks, each of them offering a synthetic vision of the History of the period, and the most significant political and social institutions.


Session 1. Introduction to the History of Rome. The Archaic and Monarchic Rome. Servius Tullius.


Session 2. The political groups of the Roman Republic. Patrician and Plebeian families.

Session 3. The institutions of the Roman Republic. Society and Law.

Session 4. The Conquest of Italy.

Session 5. The economy of the Roman Republic.

Session 6. The Punic Wars and the Mediterranean Conquest.

Session 7. The Crisis of the Republic. The Gracci. Marius and Sulla

Session 8. Pompey and Caesar.



Session 9. Mark Antony and Octavius. The Roman Revolution.

Session 10. The Augustean Reforms.

Session 11. The institutions of the High Roman Empire.

Session 12. The Julio-Claudian.

Session 13. The Flavian.

Session 14. The Antonines.

Session 15. Society and economy in the High Empire.

Session 16. The Severan and the crisis of the 3rd c. AD.



Session 17. The Tetrarchy.

Session 18. Constantine and his heirs.

Session 19. The institutions of the Late Roman Empire.

Session 20. Christianity.

Session 21. Theodosius and his heirs.

Session 22. Society and economy in the Late Empire.

Session 23. The fate of the Western Empire.

Session 24. Bizantium and the survival of the Empire.


Session 25. Student’s presentations 1.

Session 26. Student’s presentations 2.



Along the sessions, comments will be made of certain historical texts (dossier provided by the teacher). At the half-semester, approximately, there will be a practice on some of these texts.


It will be necessary to choose a problematic issue (History of Rome) to work in groups. It can be an historical period, an archaeological site, a personage, an historical fact, etc., but significant from the point of view of the History of Rome. The choice of this subject had to be agreed with the Professor. This presentation will be prepared in Groups of 4.

The work will consist on a presentation (15 minutes, to be presented in one of the two final sessions of the course), and the delivery of a brief attached dossier with: Introduction (why this tòpic?), Conclusions (what we know?) and Methodological Problems (How we know it?).

In the event that tests, exercises or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Comentarios de texto en el aula 6 0.24 6
Type: Supervised      
Presentación de una problemática histórica 20 0.8 6




The mark of this subject will consist of the following elements:

- Practice 1: 20 % of the mark.

- Presentation in group: 30% of the mark.

- Final exam: 45 % of the mark. The final test will consist of two parts. A broad topic to be developed by the student (it will be a wide viewing problem throughout the course), and a text commentary on an ancient literary source.

- Active participation in classmates' sessions and presentations. 5%.

In the event that tests, exercises, or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Active participation during the course 5 % 38 1.52 7, 6, 10
Assesment 45 % 60 2.4 1, 2, 3, 7, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10
Commentary of literary sources in the classroom 20 & 6 0.24 7, 5, 6, 10
Presentation of an historical issue 30 % 20 0.8 2, 4, 6, 9, 8


ALFÖLDY, G., (1987) Historia social de Roma, Alianza, Madrid (reed. ampliada i actualitzada, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla 2012).

BRADLEY, K., Esclavitud y sociedad en Roma, Ed. Península, Barcelona, 1998.

BROWN, P., El mundo en la Antigüedad tardía, ed. Taurus, Madrid, 1989.

CANTARELLA, E., (1997) Pasado próximo. Mujeres romanas de Tácita a Sulpicia, Cátedra, Valencia.

CAMERON, A. (1998), El mundo mediterráneo en la Antigüedad Tardía, 395-600, Crítica, Barcelona.

CAMERON, A., (2001) El Bajo Imperio Romano: 284-430 d.C., Encuentro, Madrid.

CHRISTOL, M.; D. NONY, De los orígenes de Roma a las invasiones bárbaras. Akal, Madrid,1992.

CORNELL, T.J., Los orígenes de Roma (c. 1000-264 aC), Ed. Crítica, Barcelona, 1999.

DAVID, J.-M., (2000) La République romaine de la deuxième guerre punique à la bataille d’Actium, Ed. Seuil, París.

ECKSTEIN, A.M., (2006), Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome, University of California Press, Berkeley.

ECKSTEIN, A.M., (2008) Rome Enters the Greek East. From Anarchy to Hierarchy in the Hellenistic Mediterranean, 230-170 BC, Blackwell, Oxford (reed. 2012).

ERSKINE, A., (2010) Roman Imperialism. Debates and Documents in Ancient History, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.

GARNSEY , P.; SALLER, R., El Imperio romano. Economía, sociedad y cultura, ed. Crítica, Barcelona, 1991.

GIARDINA, A. (ed.)  (1991), El hombre romano, Madrid.

GOLDSWORTHY, A., (2006), Caesar, Life of a Colossus, Yale University Press, New Haven 2006.

GOLDSWORTHY, A. (2014) Augusto, de revolucionario a emperador. La Esfera de los libros.

LE ROUX, P., (2005) L’Empire romain, Presses universitaires de France, París.

LÓPEZ DE BARJA, P., LOMAS, J.F., Historia de Roma. Ed. Akal. 2001.

PINA POLO, F., La crisis de la República (133-44 aC), Ed. Síntesis, Madrid, 1999.

ROLDÁN, J.M., Historia de Roma, 2 vols., ed. Cátedra, Madrid, 1999.

SYME, R., La revolución romana, Ed. Taurus, Madrid, 1989.

WARD-PERKINS, B., (2007) La caída de Roma y el fin de la civilización, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid.

ZANKER, P. (1992), Augusto y el poder de las imágenes, Alianza, Madrid.


None specifically