Rome from Republic to Empire

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 2207
Rome from Republic to Empire
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Weekly Distribution:

Contact Hours: Lecture: 2 hrs. per week/semester

Seminar: 2 hrs. per week/semester

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include facilitation of student-led projects, student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.

When the course is offered in a hybrid format, students will complete a minimum of 50% of the course content online in a self-directed manner. When the course is offered online, students will be responsible for completing all course content online in a self-directed manner.


Course Description
HIST 2207, Rome from Republic to Empire, introduces students to the political, social, cultural, economic, and intellectual developments in the history of Rome from its foundation on River Tiber to its conquest of the Mediterranean World. The course covers the rise of the aristocratic Republic; civil war; monarchy, with its "mixed" constitution, the civil war amongst aristocratic warlords, and Rome's transformation into a monarchy the expansion of Rome; Republic into Empire; social unrest, wars, revolts, and the power of the military; Roman culture and daily life; religious beliefs and worship practices; social hierarchies, gender roles, sexuality and family structures; slavery; popular entertainment and mass spectacles; urban spaces and the challenges of administration. Students will be introduced to the various political figures and events that influenced the expansion of Rome, including the Punic Wars, Sulla, Spartacus’ Revolt, Julius Caesar, Augustus, and Nero. In addition, students will explore different aspects of Roman culture and daily life, including religion, banquets, the role of women and families, and entertainment such as gladiator shows, chariot races, and the theatre.
Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

Introduction to the Roman world

Rome and its Neighbours – Fourth Century BCE

Roman Religions

War and Roman Expansion in Italy and the Mediterranean 

Politics and Culture in the Late Republic

Unrest in Italy in the late 2nd – early 1st c. BCE

Entertainment in Rome

Towards the End of the Republic

The End of the Republic

The Roman Empire

Roman Family and Culture in the Late Republic and Early Empire

Imperial Rome

Division and Decline 

Looking Forward, Looking Back 


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:

1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).

2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).

3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).

4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).


Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation. 

The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.


Examples: [may be helpful to indicate face-to-face; hybrid; fully online]

Participation 15%

Reading Responses 10%

Primary Document Analysis 15%

Mid-term Exam 15%

Research Essay 20%

Final Exam 25%

TOTAL: 100%


Participation 15%

Book review essay 15%

Research proposal 10%

Research essay 25%

Midterm Exam 15%

Final Exam 20%

TOTAL: 100%


Participation 15%

Seminar presentation 15%

Primary document analyses 15%

Historiographic paper 15%

Research proposal and annotated bibliography 10%

Research paper 20%

Final summative assignment 10%

TOTAL: 100%


Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.

An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned, and links to specific resources may be provided in the course outline.

Boatwright, M.T. A Brief History of the Romans. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Boatwright M.T. et al. The Romans: From Village to Empire. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Kamm, Anthony. The Romans: An Introduction. London: Taylor and Francis, 2009.

Shelton, Jo-Ann. As the Romans Did: A Sourcebook in Roman Social History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Ward, Allen M. A History of the Roman People. 6th edition. Prentice Hal, 2014


In addition, monographs, memoirs, or novels with historical applications may also be assigned. Examples include:

Cicero, Correspondence with Family and Friends. Leopold Classics Library, 2016.

Livy, The History of Rome. Cambridge MA: Hackett Publishing, 2006.

Plutarch, Plutarch’s Lives. Paris: Ulan Press, 2012. 

Plutarch, The Fall of the Roman Empire. New York: Penguin Classics, 2005. 

Polybius, Histories. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.  

Tactitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome. New York: Penguin Classics, 1995.

Virgil, The Aeneid. New York: Vintage, 1990.



Prerequisites: One 1000-level History course, or permission of the instructor