Classics (CLAS) 312

Ancient Rome (Revision 3)

CLAS 312 course cover

View previous revision

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None. Previous course in CLAS, HIST, or HUMN is recommended.

Precluded Courses: CLAS 312 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under three different disciplines—with HIST 312 and HUMN 312. (CLAS 312 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HIST 312, HUMN 249, HUMN 312, HUMN 320, HUMN 321 or HUMN 350.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

CLAS 312 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Check availability


The influence of ancient Roman civilization is still strongly felt in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. The study of ancient history and culture is valued by students of history, politics, classics, philosophy and literature. Through ancient readings and modern scholarly interpretations, students will meet the ancient Romans: emperors, soldiers, commoners, builders, writers and philosophers. A research project lets students research a Roman topic in greater detail and develop their writing skills, with the help of online lessons and consultation with their personal tutor.


  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: Early Rome (c. 1000–509 BCE); Roman Religion
  • Unit 3: Roman Society and Its Organization
  • Unit 4: The Republic (509 BCE–31 BCE)
  • Unit 5: Roman Architecture and Engineering
  • Unit 6: Latin Literature of the Republic; Roman Philosophy
  • Unit 7: Return to One-Man Rule – The Julio-Claudians (27 BCE–68 CE)
  • Unit 8: Golden and Silver Age Latin Literature
  • Unit 9: The Year of the Four Emperors, The Flavian Emperors, and the Roman Army
  • Unit 10: The Zenith of the Empire to the Severans (96–235 CE)
  • Unit 11: Empire in Crisis and Restored
  • Unit 12: Constantine and the Late Empire

Learning Outcomes

  1. Summarize what is known about pre-Republican Rome.
  2. Describe the main features of Roman religion.
  3. Outline the main events and key figures of the Roman Republic.
  4. Identify the main architectural and engineering achievements of Rome.
  5. Summarize the major Roman writers and philosophers.
  6. Explain the political evolution of the Roman Empire, from the Julio-Claudians to the fall of Romulus Augustulus.
  7. Identify and interpret excerpts from major primary sources assigned in the course.
  8. Follow scholarly arguments in academic writings.
  9. Research and write effective essays, conforming to academic standards.


To receive credit for CLAS 312, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent or better on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Online Multiple-Choice Quiz 1 1.25%
Online Multiple-Choice Quiz 2 2.5%
Online Multiple-Choice Quiz 3 1.25%
Essay 25%
Research essay 35%
Invigilated final exam 35%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Potter, David. Ancient Rome: A New History. 3rd ed., New York: Thames & Hudson, 2018.

Other Materials

Digital Reading Room: primary sources and scholarly readings online.

Study Guide: 12 units of commentary, learning activities and primary source excerpts.

Four Skills Modules: online lessons in research and writing

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the CLAS 312 challenge registration, candidates must demonstrate to the Course Coordinator that they have previous knowledge about the ancient Romans comparable to the course and obtain permission to challenge the course.

The student must obtain at least 50% on each challenge component and attain a composite grade of at least 50% to pass the challenge process.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, June 6, 2019.

View previous revision