Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

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

Undergraduate Course: Documenting Life in the Roman Empire (ANHI10106)

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
SummaryThe Roman Empire came to encompass a territory of sheer vastity over three continents and an even larger variety of people with different traditions, customs, religions, and languages. This course offers an exciting and comparative direct insight into the life of people across the Roman Empire as documented by their private written records, from Vindolanda to Oxyrhynchus, via Pompei, the Dead Sea, and Dura-Europos.
Course description Although the Roman Empire has always captivated modern fascination with stories of Emperors, wars, aristocrats, and poets, this course will give students the chance to hear what it was really like to live in the Roman Empire from the direct voices of its inhabitants. Private written records allow a unique and fascinating insight into the different aspects of the daily life of the diverse people of the Empire and the course will focus on sources from exceptionally illustrative areas in Italy and the provinces of Britannia, Egypt, Arabia, and Syria. After the initial sessions arranged geographically that will equip students with the socio-historical compass to navigate across the subjects discussed, thematic sessions will engage with direct evidence of life across the Empire in comparative perspective, touching upon topics such as family life, wealth, religions and beliefs, military life, gender and sexuality, lifestyle, slavery, and mobility (both geographical and social). In addition to a variety of written sources in translation, such as papyri, tablets, inscriptions, and graffiti, students will also approach archaeological evidence and material culture. The course weaves together people's life experiences under Roman rule, offering an empire-wide view: students will embark on a journey in the 'global' history of daily life in the Roman Empire as an interconnected reality.
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) AND Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics, History or Archaeology (at least 1 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.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
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 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
3,500 word essay (60%)

2 hour paper (40%)
Feedback Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. appreciate and assess both regional particularities and interconnected trends of daily life under Roman rule;
  2. analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the social and cultural interactions of the multicultural population of the Roman Empire and upon primary source materials concerning the period in a global and comparative perspective;
  3. understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course for a range of materials for the period (for instance, papyrological and archaeological);
  4. evaluate and criticize the work of modern historians;
  5. develop and sustain original scholarly arguments by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course.
Reading List
Alston, R. 1995. Soldier and Society in Roman Egypt. A Social History. London.

Bowman, A. K. 1994 (and reprints). Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier: Vindolanda and its people. London.

Centlivres Challet, Cl.-E. (ed.) 2022. Married Life in Greco-Roman Antiquity. Abingdon and New York.

Czajkowski, K. 2017. Localized Law: The Babatha and Salome Komaise Archives. Oxford.

Goodman, M. 2012. The Roman World 44 BC-AD 180. 2nd ed. Abingdon and New York.

Kaizer, T. (ed.). 2016. Religion, society and culture at Dura-Europos. Cambridge.

Laurence, R. 2007. Roman Pompeii: Space and Society. 2nd ed. London.

Mouritsen, H. 2011. The Freedman in the Roman World. Cambridge.

Parsons, P.J. 2007. City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish. London.

Peachin, M. (ed.) 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World. Oxford.

Riggs, C. (ed.). 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt. Oxford.

Willi, A. 2021. Manual of Roman Everyday Writing Volume 2: Writing Equipment. Nottingham.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Analytical skills: approach and analyse a variety of primary and secondary sources, both written evidence and material culture, understand the complexity of interaction between different peoples and cultures.

Critical skills: problem-solving competency, learn to reflect and examine critically the characteristics and biases of the ancient world.

Creative thinking: accomplish the analysis of the subject matter from different angles, intellectual flexibility to understand, appreciate and utilise a number of analytical methods, learn how to devise independent projects.

Entrepreneurial skills: ability to navigate through diverse nature of the subject matter, ability to access a wealth of methodological approaches, flexibility of identifying and adopting the best approaches to complete a task on the basis of the material at hand, curious and global outlook.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Mario C. D. Paganini
Course secretaryMiss Lauren Smith
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