Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Ancient History

Undergraduate Course: Empresses and Others: Women of Imperial Rome (ANHI10052)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the ideology and reality of women associated with the Roman emperors from the Late Republic to Late Antiquity, with special emphasis on the Julio-Claudians.
Course description The course will explore the sources for the study of Roman women and will evaluate the depiction of Imperial women in art and literature as well as investigate the reality of their lives. Focus will be given to the gendered construction of Roman women in contrast to the lives they led in reality. Students will become aware of the historiography of the study of Roman women over the last 100 years and the development of women's history as an academic discipline. Topics will include succession issues; ideas of power; religion and morality; domestic life (court); literary constructions; artistic image.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should have achieved a Pass in Ancient History 2a; and a Pass in one other of the following courses: Roman World 1B (CLGE08004), Ancient History 2B (ANHI08013), Roman Art and Archaeology (CACA08011).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 2 of which should be in Classical Literature) 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
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  35
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 50%
Final exam: 50%

Coursework: 1 case study of 2,000 words (25%), and 1 essay of 2,000 words (25%).
Examination: 1 two-hour exam (50%).

Part-Year Visiting Student (VV1) Variant Assessment:
If this course runs in the first semester - Semester 1 (only) visiting students will be examined in the December exam diet.

Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate through written examination, coursework and seminar participation, to show an understanding of the varied complexity of the large body of evidence for Roman Imperial women;
  2. demonstrate through written examination, coursework and seminar participation, to show an understanding of the history of women and its importance for the political, social and cultural historian, as well as the theoretical implications for the study of ancient concepts of gender;
  3. demonstrate through written examination, coursework and seminar participation, to show an ability to use critically a variety of different methodologies and approaches to this body of material gained from a thorough interaction with scholarship and primary materials;
  4. demonstrate through written examination, coursework and seminar participation, to show bibliographical research skills to enable students to find independently additional information relating to the study of women in the Roman world.
Reading List
Barrett, A.A. (2002) Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome. London

Barrett, A.A. (1996) Agrippina: Mother of Nero. London

Bartman, E. (1998) Portraits of Livia: Imaging the Imperial Women in Augustan Rome. Cambridge

Boatwright, M. (1991) 'The imperial women of the early second century AD', AJPh 112: 513-40

Fagan, G. (2002) 'Messalina's folly', CQ 52.2: 566-79

Hemelrijk, E.H. (1999) Matrona Docta: Educated Women in the Roman Elite from Cornelia to Julia Domna. London

Milnor, K. (2009) 'Women in Roman historiography', in A.

Feldherr (ed.), The Roman Historians. Cambridge: 276-287

Setšlš P. et al (eds), Women, Wealth and Power in the Roman Empire. Rome

Varner, E.R. (2001) 'Portraits, plots and politics: damnatio memoriae and the images of imperial women, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 46: 41-93

Wood, S. (1999) Imperial Women: A Study in Public Images. 40BC - AD68. Leiden
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3580 in order for approval to be obtained.
Course organiserDr Sandra Bingham
Tel: (0131 6)50 6689
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Ord
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information