Fall 2012 - Undergraduate Course Description
Hurst, Jeanette
Discipline and Number
HIST 4344 Section: 001
MW Time: 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM
Course Title:
Roman Republic


This course is a survey of Roman history from the founding of the city to the fall of the Republic in the first century B.C. We will consider the Roman institutions and traditions that contributed to the growth of Rome from a central Italian city-state to one of the greatest of world empires as well as the social, economic and political consequences of this great achievement. While Roman pragmatism and flexibility adapted traditional institutions to the challenges of empire, those challenges ultimately proved too great for the Republican system. The role of social and economic structures and pressures in the fall of the Republic will be closely examined as will be the individuals who dominated the “Roman Revolution.” The course will involve extensive readings in the primary sources for Roman Republican history, specifically the histories of Polybius and Livy and the biographies of Plutarch. Students will learn to assess the value and limitations of ancient historical writing and become acquainted with the foundations of western historiography.


Ward, Allen et al. A History of the Roman People. Prentice Hall, 2009. 0-205-69526-4
Livy, The History of Rome Books 1-5, Translated with introduction and notes by Valerie
M. Warrior. Hackett, 2006. 0-87220-723-4 (UTD has e-book)
Plutarch, Makers of Rome: Nine Lives. Penguin, 1965. 0-14-044158-1
Plutarch, Fall of the Roman Republic: Six Lives. Penguin, 1954. 0-14-044084-4
Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire. Penguin, 1980. 0-14-044362-2


1. Regular attendance is expected. Readings in primary sources have been assigned for each week. Students are expected to come to class prepared to participate in discussions and complete occasional in class evaluations based on these texts. (10%)
2. Two in-class midterm exams will be given, one on Thursday, September 9 and the other on Thursday, October 14. (20% each)
3. One final exam will be given during finals week which will consist of essay and objective questions which will cover the entire course (25%)
4. Two short papers (5-7 pages) will be required. These will be based on a close reading of the primary sources (indicated by an * in the syllabus). The first will be due in class no later than Thursday, October 7 and the second no later than Thursday, November 18. Paper topics will be selected from study questions which will be provided for primary readings. Papers will be due at the beginning of class on the Thursday for which the chosen text has been assigned. Bring a hard copy to class and submit your paper to turnitin.com. Students must be present to defend their theses. Late papers will not be accepted. Papers may not be rewritten but students may write additional papers, following the guidelines above. The two best papers will be considered in the final course grade. (25%)

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