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    A study of the Julio-Claudian emperors, examining literary texts and coinage, with a particular emphasis on the development of Roman imperial and dynastic power.

    This paper examines the scandals and intrigues associated with development of imperial power in Rome in the 1st century CE. It analyses the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero with a specific focus on how these emperors secured their position of power, considering their family dynamics, arranged murders and intrigues in order to hold on to power, and their attitudes and actions towards the army, the senate, and the people.

    About this paper

    Paper title From Augustus to Nero: Scandal and Intrigue in Imperial Rome
    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.
    18 200-level CLAS, GREK or LATN points
    CLAS 444
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    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. Topics are arranged by emperor and cover: the creation and development of dynastic succession; expanding the empire; mutinies and conspiracies; and ideology and propaganda. This paper also includes group work, with students (in groups of 4 or 5) meeting fortnightly, either in person or through online platforms, to learn and develop their skills in analysing coins (based on the collection held at the Otago Museum).

    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, Teamwork.
    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 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


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
    Wednesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
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