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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Slavery, Society and Law at Rome (PGHC11148)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionOne of the richest bodies of evidence for the student of ancient slavery is the vast variety of written documents concerning Roman law. These include statutes, deeds, and the writings of legal scholars. The most significant single body of material is the compilation of legal texts by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD. In total, this compilation comprises three clearly distinct sets of texts, i) the Institutes (Institutiones), ii) the Digest (Digesta or Pandectae), and iii) the Code (Codex), together often referred to as Corpus Iuris Civilis. Although produced on the eve of the Roman world, the Corpus provides a unique opportunity to study all kinds of legal aspects throughout most of Roman history because it is based on much older sources of law, thus covering not only the period of the empire, but also that of the republic.

The course will explore:
The potential and limitations of the legal evidence for Roman slavery;
The range of forms and types of slave labour discussed in the legal sources and the contexts in which they appear;
Legal definitions and concepts of slave labour;
Methodologies and approaches taken by modern scholars, both historians and lawyers, to this body of evidence;
The relationship between legal evidence and historical reality.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the course will have acquired an in-depth knowledge and understanding of crucial aspects of the study of slavery from the legal sources. In particular, they will:
-Be able to analyse independently legal materials relating to slavery at Rome;
-Have acquired a sound understanding of the contexts in which slavery appears as a theme in the legal sources;
-Have an advanced understanding of the complexity of, and the difficult relationship between, legal document and reality;
-Have an advanced understanding of the interrelatedness of ancient and modern slavery studies, especially regarding the use of ancient (legal) evidence in the creation of modern slave societies and ideologies.

Further, they will also be able to:
-Engage in both legal and historical arguments in relation to Roman slavery studies;
-Develop an appreciation of how the study of a period-overarching topic can widen their historical horizon and research agenda;
-Set their own historical research agenda in relation to slave and forced labour studies;
-Prepare and present their own work for seminars and workshops;
-Actively participate in topical debates;
-Be able to efficiently access library and IT resources.

And they will be able to demonstrate all the above in class discussion and one course work essay.
Assessment Information
One essay of 4,000 words.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ulrike Roth
Tel: (0131 6)50 3586
Course secretaryMr Nicholas Ovenden
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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