Faculty of Arts


The Later Roman Empire


This course is designed as an introduction to the history of the later Roman Empire, both East and West, between the third and the sixth centuries. It explores the themes of change and continuity, examining the impact of new forces on the institutions and culture of the Roman world, but also surveying those elements which survived into the Middle Ages, and even to our present day. 

Lectures and readings will raise a series of broad questions: What happened to the Roman Empire and why did it happen? Is this a story of "decline and fall"? How were old social and cultural forms adapted and changed? How and why does the ideal of Rome survive?

Topics covered include the social, economic and political crises of the period and how they were (or were not) resolved, contacts and conflicts between Romans and barbarians, the impact of Christianity and other religious movements, the persistence of pagan cultural and intellectual traditions, and the reinterpretation of the Roman past by those forging a new future in both the East and the West.

Availability 2020

Not taught in 2020


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Lisa Bailey


Coursework + exam


ANCHIST 355: 15.0 points


15 points at Stage II in Ancient History, Classical Studies or Classical Studies and Ancient History, or 30 points at Stage II in Greek or Latin



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