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Queen's University

*Please note that course syllabi are updated each year in late August 
Prior to August, syllabi on the Classics Department website will reflect the courses as they were offered in the last term or year.  Significant changes in emphasis in course material may occur from year to year, including grading methodology, grade weighting and assignments.   Up-to-date syllabi will be available to students by the first day of class.

CLST 201*
Roman History


Dr. Anne Foley 
Office: Room 501, Watson Hall 
Phone: (613) 533-2745
Email: **
Office Hours:Wednesdays 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. or by appointment

** Note: Emails dealing with issues which are covered in class will not be answered! Any emails should be directed to your TA. If they can’t answer your question, they will forward your email to me.

Class Schedule

Wednesdays 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Fridays 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: Dunning Hall Auditorium (DUN-AUD)

Teaching Assistants

Surnames: A - Hollingsworth
Anna-Maria Moubayed
Office Hours:

Surnames: Hong - Obaid
Erin Paulsen
Office Hours:

Surnames: Officer - Z
Kelsey Goodine
Office Hours:

Course Description

This course is a survey of Roman History, concentrating on the basic social and political development of Rome and her Empire. The focus of the course will be on the late Republic and early Empire. It will illustrate developments, innovations and achievements of the Roman Republic and Empire.  Emphasis will be placed on constitutional, social, political and military questions.


  • Required Text:
    • Mary T. Boatwright, D.J. Gargola, R.J.A.  Talbert, A Brief History of the Romans (latest edition)
  • Recommended Ancient Sources:
    • Cicero, Selected Political Speeches
    • Livy, History of Rome (Books from the Foundation of the City)  
    • Plutarch, Lives  
    • Polybius, Lives  
    • Suetonius, Twelve Caesars
    • Tacitus, Annals of Imperial Rome

All of the above are paperbacks in the Penguin series. They are all available at Stauffer. These sources, and others, will be discussed in class.


There will be two class tests (either fill-in-the-blanks or multiple choice)
  • Test #1: (30%) Wednesday, February 12
  • Test #2: (30%) Friday, March 21

  • Final Exam
    : (40%) Date TBA, scheduled by exams office

    You are expected to write both tests and the final exam.  If you are deathly ill or laid up in the hospital and therefore miss one of the tests and can provide documentation, the other test will be reweighted to 50% and the final exam also to 50%.

    If you miss one of the tests for any other reason, you will lose 30%. The other test will still be worth 30% and the final, 40%.

      Examination Policy

      Examinations should be taken at the scheduled time and date. In certain exceptional circumstances, the instructor might grant the student the opportunity to write an exam outside of the regularly scheduled time. All such arrangements must be agreed upon by the instructor before the time of the regularly scheduled exam and will require the appropriate documentation. The format of any such special exams will be determined by the instructor and may differ considerably from that of the exam written by the rest of the class. (Note in particular that no deferrals will be given to students who are out of town during the December or April exams, so do not book travel until you know your exam times.)

      Weekly Outline of Lecture Topics (more or less!)

      Week              LectureTopic                                                                         Boatwright Chapter

      1                      Introduction; Beginnings of Rome                                          1 - 2
      2                      Social, Political Organization; Struggle of the Orders,        2 - 3                                  
                                                                                                  Punic Wars     
      3                      Punic Wars cont’d; Effects of Conquests, Gracchi              3 - 4
      4                      Gracchi cont’d; late 2nd-early 1st c. events                           5
      5                      Sulla and Pompey; rise of Caesar                                         5 - 6
      6                      Caesar; Rise of Octavian                                                        7 - 8
      7                      Survey of Late Republic; Augustus                                        8
      8                      Changes under Augustus; His Reign                                     8                       
      9                      Julio-Claudians; Early Flavians                                              9 - 10
      10                    Flavians cont’d; Hadrian, etc.                                                10 - 11
      11                    Severi; Anarchy begins; Diocletian                                       11 - 12
      12                    The Later Empire and the End of the West                          13 - 14  


      Electronic Devices in the Classroom

      The Department of Classics believes that maintaining an atmosphere of respect and consideration in the classroom is an important part of the pursuit of free intellectual enquiry. The use of electronic devices in the classroom can be disruptive to both the instructor and to other students, and thus we are introducing guidelines on their use. These guidelines will follow the procedure explained in Section 14 of the Student Code of Conduct and are in force starting January 2011:

      1. Non-course related use of electronic devices (e.g. playing games, watching movies, social networking and texting), including smartphones, tablets and laptops, is regarded by the Department of Classics as disruptive pursuant to Section 14 of the Student Code of Conduct. The use of these devices may be restricted at the discretion of the instructor;
      2. In some courses in CLST, LATN or GREK laptops may not be permitted. You will be told in class by your instructor if this is the case. If the use of laptops is permitted, please understand that their use is restricted to note-taking;
      3. The use of recording devices for lectures is not allowed unless you have requested and been given the express permission of the instructor of the course.

      Important Points to Remember

      • This is not a bird course! You can certainly do very well, but you will need to study
      • Fourth-year students beware: if you are taking this course as an elective, remember that it probably counts towards the total units you need to graduate. If you fail this course and find that you have 111 units instead of the 114 required, you will not graduate.
      • I cannot raise a student’s mark just because that student expects to graduate. Therefore if you have absolutely no interest in Roman History and are only taking this course as an easy option, think carefully about what I have just said. It you stay in the course, and I hope that you do, be prepared to put some effort into it.
      • The effort begins by coming to class, not once in a while, but every class. Why is class attendance so important? It is because it is in class that you will obtain the information you need to focus on for the tests.
      • If you don’t come to class, you can certainly read the textbook, but it may be difficult to sort out what is the most relevant and important material. My job as professor is to sort out that material for you. Hence the importance of class.
      • The final exam for this course tends to be scheduled at the very end of the exam period in April. You are therefore reminded not to make travel arrangements until the exam schedule is out. The exam cannot be written on a different day (and in no case can it be written earlier than scheduled) to accommodate individual wishes.
      • Do you have to read the textbook even if you always come to class? The textbook is there for your benefit. It will supplement what we cover in class, and will improve your own knowledge of the subject, thereby making you a better student.
      • You do not need to read it according to the guidelines as set out in the course outline. If you read it after coming to class, you may find it easier to follow and focus in particular on those sections covered in class. In other words, use the classes to guide your reading.

      Academic Integrity

      Academic integrity is constituted by the five core fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility (see These values are central to the building, nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the community will thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a foundation for the "freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas" essential to the intellectual life of the University (see the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities).

      Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations concerning academic integrity and for ensuring that their assignments conform to the principles of academic integrity. Information on academic integrity is available in the Arts and Science Calendar (see  Academic Regulation 1), on the Arts and Science website (Faculty's Academic Integrity page) and from the instructor of this course.

      Departures from academic integrity include plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials, facilitation, forgery and falsification, and are antithetical to the development of an academic community at Queen's. Given the seriousness of these matters, actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a warning or the loss of grades on an assignment to the failure of a course to a requirement to withdraw from the university.

      Copyright of Course Materials

      The material on this website is copyrighted and is for the sole use of students registered in CLST 201. The material on this website may be downloaded for a registered student’s personal use, but shall not be distributed or disseminated to anyone other than students registered in CLST 201.  Failure to abide by these conditions is a breach of copyright, and may also constitute a breach of academic integrity under the University Senate’s Academic Integrity Policy Statement.

      Grading Methodology

      All components of this course will receive letter grades which, for purposes of calculating your course average, will be translated into numerical equivalents using the Faculty of Arts and Science approved scale:

      Arts & Science Letter Grade Input Scheme

      Assignment mark

      Numerical value for calculation of final mark

























      F48 (F+) 48
      F24 (F) 24

      F0 (0)


      Your course average will then be converted to a final letter grade according to Queen's Official Grade Conversion Scale:

      Queen's Official Grade Conversion Scale


      Numerical Course Average (Range)


























      49 and below 

      Learning Hours

      Teaching method

      Average hours

      per week

      Number of weeks

      Total hours

      In-class hours

















      Group learning




      Individual instruction





      Online activities




      Private study







      Total learning hours




      Disability Accommodations

      Queen's University is committed to achieving full accessibility for persons with disabilities. Part of this commitment includes arranging academic accommodations for students with disabilities to ensure they have an equitable opportunity to participate in all of their academic activities. If you are a student with a disability and think you may need accommodations, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Disability Services Office (DSO) and register as early as possible. For more information, including important deadlines, please visit the DSO website at:

      This page was last updated 08 January  2014.

      Department of Classics, 505 Watson Hall
      Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6.
      P: 613.533.2745 | F: 613.533.6739