The first imperial succession | Tacitus' Germanicus | Death of Germanicus | Maiestas | Seminar: Trial of Piso | Tacitus and the Principate | Caligula | Claudius | Seminar: Claudius in his own words | Nero | Four Emperors | Flavians | Seminar - Domitian | Flavian Rome | Trajan | Hadrian |
Greeks under Rome (1) | Greeks under Rome (2) | Images of the Elite | A world of festivals? | Hadrian and the Greek East | Seminar: Hadrian and City of Rome | Integration of Provincials |Ruling the Empire | Pliny and Bithynia | Seminar: Best Roman Governor | Jewish Revolts (1) | Jewish Revolts (2) | Popular Resistance to Rome | Running the Economy | Roman Egypt | Spain | Emperor-worship
Autumn Term 2017
- What image of Tiberius does Tacitus create?
Read Tacitus, Annals 1.1-15 (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook for online translation).
- Does Tacitus heroise Germanicus as a foil for Tiberius?
Read Tacitus Annals 1.33-52, 55-72; 2.5-26, 53-58, 59-83 . (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook for online translation).
- How did the Senate and People of Rome respond to the death of Germanicus?
Read through the epigraphic evidence: Tabula Siarensis and Tabula Hebana = LACTOR J8.
- Try to get a sense of how charges and trials for maiestas gradually change in character.
Read Tacitus' account of the progression of maiestas ('treason') trials under Tiberius: Ann. 1.72-75; 2.27-32, 2.50; 3.10-19, 3.22-23, 3.37-38, 3.66-70; 4.34-36, 4.42, 4.68-71; 6.18-19. (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook for online translation).
- What impression of the role of oratory in contemporary society does Tacitus create in the Dialogus?
Read Tacitus Dialogus:
Russell, D.A. and M. Winterbottom, Ancient literary criticism [PN 173.R8]
@ Online translation by Peterson, revised Winterbottom; online Loeb Digital Classical Library (in Agricola volume)
- How does Suetonius present the emperor? Why?
Read Suetonius Life of Caligula. (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook for online translation)
- What was topsy-turvy about the way in which power was wielded under Claudius?
Read Seneca's Apocolocyntosis (online translation) and Tacitus Annals 11.1-12.66 (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook for online translation)
Seminar 2 - Claudius in his own words
- How distinctive was Nero's attitude to Greece/ Greek culture?
Suetonius Life of Nero
Read Wiedemann’s chapter ‘From Nero to Vespasian’ in Cambridge Ancient History X [e-book online] to get an overview of the chronology of events in this confusing year. Pick out some of the key figures in the civil wars.
- How and why were Vespasian's powers officially defined?
Read the text of the lex de imperio Vespasiani = LACTOR 17 Age of Augustus H52 = LACTOR 20 The Flavians H20; Sherk no.82
Brunt, P.A. 'Lex de imperio Vespasiani', JRS 67 (1977), 95-116
Seminar 3 - Domitian in poetry and prose
- How did staging the inaugural games in the new amphitheatre play an important part in winning over popular support for the new regime?
Read Martial’s Epigrams, De spectaculis, in the Loeb Online Classical Library, on the inauguration of the Flavian
- What image of Trajan is promoted by the reliefs on his column in Rome?
Have a look at Trajan's Column - there's an excellent online resource.
What are the main characteristics of Hadrian according to this biography?
Read the Life of Hadrian by the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (from Loeb Digital Library)
Spring Term 2018
- Is the ‘second sophistic’ a good phrase for describing the cultural milieu of the Greek East in the second century AD?
Bowie, E.L. (1970) ‘The Greeks and their past in the second sophistic’ P&P: 3-41
- How does Dio characterise the relationship between the people of Rhodes and Rome?
Dip into the Oration 31 (Rhodian Oration) of Dio of Prusa (Chrysostom) [translation online at Lacus Curtius]
- Consider the methods used by Smith to identify different elements in the identities of the elite in the
Smith, R.R.R. (1998) 'Cultural choice and political identity in honorific portrait statues in the Greek East in the second century AD', JRS 88: 56-93 [JSTOR]
Read through two important epigraphic dossiers:
- @Rogers, G. (1991) 'The Greek Text and The English Translation' in The sacred identity of Ephesos: foundation myths of a Roman city. London: Routledge, Appendix I, pp.152-185 [Online module bibliography]
- @Mitchell, S. (1990) ‘Festivals, games, and civic life in Roman Asia Minor’ JRS 80: 183-91 [JSTOR]
Read Jones, C.P. (2006) ‘A letter of Hadrian to Naryka (Eastern Lokris)’, Journal of Roman Archaeology 19: 151-62
- To what extent can we gain a sense of Hadrian's personality and cultural interests from the end of his lifetime?
- Re-read the Apocolocyntosis to see how Claudius' attitude to provincial subjects is parodied.
Read F. Millar, 'The emperor, the senate, and the provinces', JRS 56 (1966) 156-66 [online at JSTOR]
- How was the Roman empire governed?
Read Pliny Letters Book 10.
- What impression do you get of Pliny's success in sorting out the financial problems in Bithynia?
- Re-read Philo's Embassy to Gaius, considering what attitudes it reveals on the part of the Jews of Alexandria towards the emperor.
- What were the main characteristics of this revolt?
Fuks, A. 'Aspects of the Jewish revolt in AD 115-117', JRS 51 (1961) 98-104
Read Tacitus' account of the Boudiccan revolt (Annals 14.30-39), and consider what reasons he offers for it, and why. Examine the account both historically and historiographically - look out for themes you've encountered elsewhere in Tacitus.
- How rational was the way in which Rome collected taxes?
Read through the lex portoria from Ephesus in translation [available in online module bibliography]
Read: @Bowman, A.K. & D. Rathbone 'Cities and administration in Roman Egypt', JRS 82 (1992) 107-27
- Find out how civic life in Egypt was organised.
Read Chapter 1 in Gradel, I. (2002) Emperor Worship and Roman Religion - what distinctive interpretative model of emperor-worship is Gradel proposing?
Summer Term 2018
Over the Easter vacation, read Robert Graves' I, Claudius and Claudius the God. You might also like to watch the BBC film adaptation.
- What are the main features in our ancient sources of Claudius' character and period in power?
Re-read Suetonius Claudius; Tacitus Annals 11-12, Seneca Apocolocyntosis.