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Roman Art and Archaeology

Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.

Available Dates:

This course is currently not being offered in the academic year 2015 - 2016.

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This course introduces you to the rich cultural legacy of Rome through an exploration of Roman art and archaeology from the Republic to the reign of Commodus in the second century AD. Each session focuses on specific topics within historical, social and cultural contexts, such as images of mythological characters and representations of gender and sexuality, and will include detailed case studies of the art and archaeology of Roman dynasties, including Augustus and the Julio-Claudians, Flavians, Nerva, Trajan and the Antonine dynasty.

Course schedule

Week 1 – Introduction
Module overview with a group exercise and assignment brief

Week 2 – Images of the gods and mythological characters
This class is designed to teach you how to recognise and identify mythological characters including gods and goddesses

Week 3 – Gender and sexuality in Roman art
This class focuses on the representation of ‘correct’ femininity and masculinity and considers sexuality in Roman art and culture

Week 4 – Republican art
What are the features of art during the Roman Republic? How can it be recognised?

Week 5 – Struggle for power: Mark Anthony verses Octavian
This week will concentrate on propaganda images during the turbulent years between the Republic and the Empire

Week 6 – Imperial art and the emperors: Augustus
This week will focus on the art and exploits of Augustus

Week 7 – Imperial art and the emperors: Julio-Claudians
This week will concentrate on the art and feats of the Julio-Claudian emperors after Augustus

Week 8 – Imperial art and the emperors: Flavian dynasty, Nerva and Trajan
This session will focus on the art and exploits of the Flavian dynasty and the emperor Trajan

Week 9 – Imperial art and the emperors: Antonine dynasty
This week considers the art and exploits of the Antonine dynasty including Hadrian and his love for Antinous and ending with the reign of Commodus

Week 10 – Module review and recap

Who is this course for?

Anyone with an interest in the topic. No previous knowledge is assumed.

Learning and Teaching

There will be a mixture of short lectures and discussion, the precise proportion to be determined by the needs of the students enrolled. Also we will discuss examples and case-studies. This will encourage the development of knowledge and understanding of the ideas and concepts discussed in the course. Intellectual skills will be encouraged through participation in class discussion, reading and coursework.

Coursework and Assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

You will not have a formal examination but you will be asked to produce some written work (at the tutor’s discretion, part of the assessment may be by a presentation):


3 short written assignments (1500 words in total): you will choose three artefacts and interpret and critically evaluate each. These will be written using formal academic language with accurate and consistent referencing.


Essay (1500 words): you will choose a topic covered during the module. This could include an analysis of a specific period or a particular emperor. This will demonstrate your skills at identifying, interpreting and evaluating the material discussed. This will be written using formal academic language, in an essay structure with accurate and consistent referencing.

Reading suggestions

Library and Computing Facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.

Accessibility of Courses

Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.

Further Information

A range of further information can be found on our web site or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.