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Assessment for the module for all students is 50% for work submitted during the module and 50% for a 2-hour exam in the May/June session of examinations. Overlap should be avoided between pre-submitted essays and the questions answered in the exam. Lack of breadth may be penalised.

Students are required to pass both parts of the module, achieving a minimum of 40% on both the assessed work during the module and on the exam.

Assessed Essays

Students are required to produce TWO essays during the module. The expected length for first-year assessed essays is between 2,250 and 2,500 words (including footnotes; excluding bibliography). Students are required to declare a word count on the cover sheet. Please submit your essays via Tabula.


  • Essay 1: 12 noon, Wednesday 9 December 2020
  • Essay 2: 12 noon, Wednesday 18 March 2021

Please see the Dept Essay Writing Resources online. Students will also be able to improve their study skills during regular weekly sessions during RCS lectures.

Anonymity of marking is an adopted principle of the University for both assessed essays and examinations, so DO NOT put your name on your work. All submitted work will be checked for plagiarism via Turnitin plagiarism detection software.


Students will receive feedback on essays within 20 working days: you will receive an email from Tabula once feedback has been published, which you can then access and download. You should read the comments carefully, to assess how best to improve for the next essay. Please also attend the feedback tutorials which will be scheduled for you.


The exam will be divided into two parts: students will be required

  • to comment on two 'gobbets' (from a choice of six) – one text and one artefact - illustrative of different aspects of Roman culture and society. If students fail to follow the rubric (answering two images OR two texts, rather than one of each), the mark for one answer will be capped at 40%.
  • to write two essays (from a choice of seven titles).
  • The examination will test the whole of the syllabus, and assumes that students have consolidated their work in lectures and seminars with extra reading.

Reading Lists

Please consult the following:

  • TalisAspire – includes a shortened bibliography for the module
  • Lecture handouts and Powerpoint presentations are on Moodle. You should NOT cite these directly, but use them as launching-pads for you own research. Exam gobbets will be drawn from this material.
  • Please note that scanned course extracts for this module are available.

Wax tablet, House of Caecilius Iucundus, Pompeii