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Vacation Reading, Summer

Students taking this module in 2017/18 should aim to use their time over the summer to get a feel for the overall character of the period of Roman history, AD 14-138.

Students who haven't already taken the module Transformation of Roman Society under Augustus should do some background reading on the Augustan era. The following two slim volumes would be good starting places:

  • W. Eck, The Age of Augustus (Blackwell, 2003)
  • A. Wallace-Hadrill Augustan Rome (BCP 1993)

Everyone should also read some of the major primary sources covering the period -

  • Suetonius Lives of the Caesars (Tiberius-Domitian) [*C. Edwards, Oxford World Classics 2000]
  • Tacitus Annals [*J.C. Yardley, Oxford World Classics 2008]
  • Tacitus Histories [*K. Wellesley, Penguin 1972]

It is worth buying your own copies of these (in the series Oxford World Classics or Penguins - I've indicated personal preferences above...) since we'll be using them a lot during the year.

As you read these texts, think about the following issue:

what are the characteristics of a good and a bad emperor?

It would also be useful to get an overview of some of the main themes of the period by reading:

R. Alston Aspects of Roman History AD 14-117 (Routledge 1998)