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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Fall of Rome (HIST10005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA study of a) the causes and consequences of the fall of the Roman Empire in the West and b) historiographical interpretations of the event from the middle ages to the present. It will offer analysis of the key issues involved, such as the weaknesses of Late Roman society and government, the impact of Christianity, the emergence of local cultures, the causes and nature of the migrations (both Germanic and nomadic), 'barbarian' settlement and Roman techniques of accommodation and the survival of Roman culture, law and traditions in the successor kingdoms. Use will be made of relevant source material in translation. A considerable part of the course will be devoted to explanations of Rome's fall in the Renaissance, Enlightenment and modern periods.
Course description The course is intended to meet the general objectives of the History subject area's Honours courses. It also has the following specific aims:

1) To impart an overall knowledge of the key aspects of one of the world's greatest historiographical problems, viz. the reasons for Rome's 'decline and fall'.
2) To make students familiar with the development of historiographical approaches to the problem from the Renaissance to the present day and relate them to contemporary concerns and cultural trends.
3) To examine the degree of survival of Roman institutions in the political, social, economic and cultural spheres and assess their legacy in the medieval period.
4) To acquaint students with some of the most important literary and other sources for the Late Roman period (c. 300 - c. 600).

The course will taught around four subject themes, each extending over either two or three seminars.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
P. Brown, The World of Late Antiquity (London, 1971)
Averil Cameron, The Later Roman Empire AD 284-430 (London, 1993)
Averil Cameron, The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity 395-700 AD (Abingdon, 2012)
E. Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Penguin edition by D. Womersley. Harmondsworth, 2000)
W. Goffart, Barbarians and Romans: the techniques of accommodation (Princeton, 1980)
G. Halsall. Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568 (Cambridge, 2007)
P. Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire (London, 2005)
A.H.M. Jones, The History of the Late Roman Empire, 284-602, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1964)
R. Markus, The End of Ancient Christianity (Cambridge, 1990)
J. Moorhead, The Roman Empire Divided 400-700 (Harlow, 2001)
S. Mitchell, History of the Later Roman Empire 284-641, 2nd edition (Malden, MA, 2014)
B. Ward-Perkins, The fall of Rome and the end of civilization (Oxford, 2005)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsFall Rome
Course organiserDr Tom Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3761
Course secretaryMiss Clare Guymer
Tel: (0131 6)51 5566
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