New: Aspects Of Roman Civilisation
This course will explore the development, expansion,
and ultimate collapse of the Roman Empire between the
1st and 5th Centuries CE, including a focus on Roman
literature and philosophy; religious beliefs (including
the rise of Christianity); and beliefs in witchcraft and
sorcery. Drawing on archaeological evidence, literary
texts, architecture and the visual arts, it will look at the
complex and shifting relationships between the present
and the past in the definition and transformation of
European cultures and identities.
Who is this course for
No prior knowledge is necessary but a good understanding of English is essential. If you wish to read before the course the following book is recommended: Stephen Kershaw (2013) A Brief History of the Roman Empire.
What does this course cover
We begin by looking at the institution of the Roman Empire, and the characters of some of its Emperors. We will go on to explore aspects of Roman philosophical and religious thought, including the rise of Christianity. In the course of these explorations, we will examine three key texts: Ovid's Metamorphoses; Petronius's Satyricon; and Apuleius's Golden Ass. We will conclude with a consideration of the decline of the western Roman Empire, and the transition, in the eastern Mediterranean, from the Roman to the Byzantine world.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
' Give an account of the history of the Roman Empire from the 1st to the 5th Centuries CE.
' Contribute to a discussion on the nature of Roman Paganism and Christianity, and of Judaism within the Roman Empire.
' Define key ideas in Roman philosophical thought and literary practice.
' Discuss the key themes of Ovid's Metamorphoses; Petronius's Satyricon; and Apuleius's Golden Ass.
' Use the knowledge gained on the course to identify aspects of ancient Roman thought that continue to influence the literature, politics, and philosophy of the modern world.
What will it be like
Each week there will be an informative talk using PowerPoint and group discussion of aspects of ancient Roman archaeology, history, mythology and literature. You will be encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas in a relaxed and friendly environment. Occasionally homework reading will be provided. Although this is not an accredited course leading to a formal qualification, you will be encouraged to complete a self-assessment form in which you can monitor your progress.
What else do you need to buy or do
You are advised to acquire a copies of the following texts: Ovid - Metamorphoses (translated by David Raeburn); Petronius - The Satyricon (translated by Helen Morales); Apuleius - The Golden Ass (translated by E.J. Kenney). You are also advised to bring note-taking materials to all sessions
What this course could lead to
The 'Origins of the Medieval World' course in the Summer term will continue to explore the next phase of historical development in the aftermath of the Roman Empire. You might also consider enrolling on other history/history of art/literature/philosophy courses run by the Centre.
I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.MWC student
This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria
Got a Question about this Course?
Contact The Departmental Administrator.
Why come to Mary Ward Centre?
Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.
Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’