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CLAS444 From Augustus to Nero: Advanced Studies

An advanced study of the literary and numismatic sources that document the rise to power of the Julio-Claudian emperors.

This paper examines how these emperors secured their position of power through a consideration of the family dynamics; the arranged murders and intrigues used to hold on to power; and their attitudes and actions towards the army, the senate and the people.

In addition, this paper expands on the scandals and intrigues associated with the development of imperial power in Rome in the 1st century CE through seminars on the Roman army, Roman imperialism, the process of deification and sources of history.

Paper title From Augustus to Nero: Advanced Studies
Paper code CLAS444
Subject Classical Studies
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,206.91
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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72 300-level CLAS, GREK or LATN points
CLAS 344
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts
Teaching staff
Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre
Paper Structure

This paper consists of two-50 minute classes per week, which will vary from lecture style to a more discussion-based format. The topics are arranged by emperor and cover the creation and development of dynastic succession, expanding the empire, mutinies and conspiracies, and ideology and propaganda. There are six tutorials which will help students to learn and develop their skills in analysing coins.

Internal Assessment 60%

Edwards, C. (trans). 2008. Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Woodman, A.J. (trans). 2004. Tacitus. The Annals. Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation, Interdisciplinary perspectives.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this paper, students will have gained:

  • An understanding of the historical context of the period from the death of Caesar to the death of Nero (44 BCE - 68 CE)
  • An understanding of the key developments of the construction of a dynastic house and the various ways imperial power could be legitimised and expressed
  • A familiarity with the literary and numismatic sources for the period, as well as the ability to critically evaluate these sources
  • The skills of effective written communication, including the construction of clear and logical scholarly argumentation
  • The skills of effective oral communication, including the ability to present formal papers and to draw reasoned hypotheses from the surviving ancient sources

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system