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

Undergraduate Course: The Severans (ANHI10007)

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 will look at the reigns of the Severans (AD 193-235) including Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla and their successors, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus.
Course description This course will look at the reigns of the Severans: Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla and their successors, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus. Septimius hoped to bring renewed stability to an Empire that had suffered since the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180, and we shall consider the success in the light of his own reign and that of his son. The situation deteriorated, however, under Elagabalus, and was stabilised briefly under the reign of Alexander, despite his youth. The course will consider the changes that occurred in this period, militarily, socially and politically. It will involve the inter-relation of a wide variety of different types of evidence, notably literary, epigraphic and archaeological, and the development of the skills required to interpret these in the construction of a history of the Severan age.
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) OR Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Approximately £20 for books.
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 Ancient History) 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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  29
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1 seminar report of 1500 words (20%), and
1 essay of 2500 words (30%).
Examination: 1 two-hour exam (50%).

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.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding the political and social context of the Severan emperors;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the changes to the Roman Empire brought about by challenges to imperial power both within and outside of Rome;
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the interaction of various sources of evidence (literary, epigraphic and archaeological) in the construction of an historical understanding.
Reading List
Ando, C. (2012) Imperial Rome, AD 193-284: the Critical Century. Edinburgh.
Barnes, T.D. (1967) 'The family and career of Septimius Severus', Historia 16: 87-107.
Birley, A, (1988) Septimius Severus: The African Emperor. London.
Gorrie, C. (2004) 'Julia Domna's building patronage, imperial family roles and the Severan revival of moral legislation', Historia 53: 61-72.
Hekster, O. (2008) Rome and Its Empire: AD 193-284. Edinburgh.
Hose, M. (2007) 'Cassius Dio: a senator and historian in the age of anxiety', in J. Marincola (ed.), A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography. London, 461-467.
Icks, M. (2011) The Crimes of Elagabalus: the Life and Legacy of Rome's Decadent Boy Emperor. London.
Kemezis, Adam M. (2014) Greek Narratives of the Roman Empire under the Severans. Cambridge.
Millar, F. (1964) A Study of Cassius Dio. Oxford.
Moscovich, M.J. (2004) 'Cassius Dio's palace sources for the reign of Septimius Severus', Historia 53: 356-68.
Rowan, C. (2012) Under Divine Auspices: Divine Ideology and the Visualisation of Imperial Power in the Severan Period. Cambridge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled, 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 Marketa Vejskalova
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