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    A study of ancient Roman social life, with particular emphasis on the marginalised (or so-called ’invisible’) lower classes, including slaves, gladiators, prostitutes and bandits.

    The vast and enduring empire of Rome was built upon the backs of men and women whose names never made it into the history books. This paper studies the lives of the marginalised (or so-called 'invisible') lower classes in ancient Rome, including slaves, gladiators, prostitutes and bandits. In doing so, it reveals a society that was often brutal and violent and based upon values very different from our own.

    About this paper

    Paper title Roman Social History: Slaves, Gladiators, Prostitutes
    Subject Classical Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    CLAS 224
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    Teaching staff

    To be advised.

    R. Knapp Invisible Romans (Harvard UP, 2011)

    Course Reader: Greek and Roman Primary Sources
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will have:

    • An understanding of ancient Roman society with particular reference to the lower classes including slaves and gladiators
    • The ability to analyse critically the historical sources available on Roman society
    • An appreciation of the ethical implications of Roman social attitudes and values and how they differ from those of modern New Zealand
    • The skills of effective written communication


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 9-13, 15-22
    Wednesday 14:00-14:50 9-13, 15-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A2 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22
    A3 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22
    A4 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22
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