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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 340*/0.5  3L/S
The Roman Republic

Fall 2013


Instructor: Dr. B. J. Kavanagh
Office: Room 514, Watson Hall
Phone: (613) 533-2745

Office Hours:

  • Tuesdays 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Wednesdays 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Teaching Assistant:

Daniel Mitchell -
Office Hours: by appointment

    Class Schedule:

    • Mondays 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Thursdays 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Location: 211 Chernoff Hall (CHE-211)


    Course Description

    CLST 340 is a half year Classics course which may also be taken for a degree credit towards a concentration in History. The prerequisite course is CLST 201, which is a survey of the entire history of Ancient Rome.

    The objective for this course is learn the great events, issues, personalities and ultimately the lessons of Early Rome and of the Roman Republic, a period beginning before the actual foundation of the city up and continuing to the death of Julius Caesar, all of which is covered very clearly in the main text book. The first Midterm and the Final Exam will be similar in structure, each divided into two equal parts of a Fill-in component and an essay component. For the Fill-in component, students will have to know the facts of the period covered (names, dates, terms, etc.),spelling being crucial. For the essay part, students will then synthesize all that they have learnedand explain some issue or period coherently. The importance of reading the main text and the Biographies, together with perfect attendance of class lectures, cannot be over-emphasized, if a student wishes to do well.

    The second midterm is a test on Plutarch’sMakers of Rome. The test shall be essay in format and it will involve comparing, contrasting, analyzing Plutarch’s biographies of such famous Romans as Fabius Maximus, Claudius Marcellus, Sertorius, Brutus, etc. To prepare forthis exam, students are to read the biographies very carefully. All are advised to take notes while reading. For the test, you should know the main story-line, the chief facts and, for your own benefit, some of the more obscure ones. This may involve reading each biography more than once. While you are reading, always keep in mind what Plutarch is emphasizing, what he thinks is important, what he thinks about the subject. After you have read the biographies, you may wish to discuss your understanding of the biographies with your friends, as all of you will have different insights.

    Required Texts

    Fritz M. Heichelheim, Allen Ward & Cedric Yeo, A History of the Roman Poeple (6th edition) (Prentice Hall)
    Plutarch, Makers of Rome (Penguin edition)

    Marking Scheme

    Midterm Exam - October 17, 2013 - 35%

    Plutarch Test - November 14 - 15%

    Final Exam (during December exam period) - 50%

    For the First Midterm, students will be responsible for all material covered up to October 16. The test will consist of objective questions and a major essay.

    For the Second Midterm, also called the Plutarch test, students will be responsible for the Biographies in Makers of Rome. The test will be an essay.

    For the Final Exam, students will be responsible for all material covered the lectures andreadings. The Final, like the First Midterm, will consist of objective questions and a major essay.

    Grading Methodology

    All components of this course will receive numerical percentage marks.  The final grade you receive for the course will be derived by converting your numerical course average to a letter grade according to Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale:

    Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale


    Numerical Course Average (Range)


























    49 and below 

    Schedule for Readings

    • Week 1 - Topic - Early Italy and Rome
      Main Textbook (Ward/Heichelheim/Yeo, 6th ed. ) - pp. 1-55

    • Week 2 - Topic - Growth of the Early Republic
      Main Text - pp. 56 -74
      Plutarch - Life of Marcius Coriolanus

    • Week 3 - Topic - Roman Expansion in Italy and the Western Mediterranean
      Main Text - pp. 75- 89

    • Weeks 4, 5 - Topic- The Punic Wars
      Main text - pp. 90 - 111
      Plutarch - Lives of Fabius Maximus and Claudius Marcellus

    • Week 6 - Monday, Thanksgiving holiday
      Thursday October 17, Midterm test
    • Week 7 - Topic - Rome and the Hellenistic World
      Main Text - pp. 112 - 153
      Plutarch - Life of M. Porcius Cato

    • Week 8 - Topic - The Politics of the Brothers Gracchi
      Main text - pp. 154- 164
      Plutarch - Lives of Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Gracchus

    • Weeks 9, 10 - Topic - The Rising Power of the Generals
      Main Text - pp. 165 - 199
      Plutarch - Lives of Sertorius, Brutus and Antony 
      Plutarch test - November 14

    • Weeks 11, 12 - Topic - The Collapse of the Roman Republic
      Main Text - pp. 206 - 250

    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 (see, 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.

    Download the  Statement on Academic Integrity for Inclusion in Course Syllabi and Assignments  [PDF]

    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:


    The material on this website is copyrighted and is for the sole use of students registered in CLST 340. 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 340.  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.

      This site was last updated 06 September, 2013

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