Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: CRISTINA SORACI

Expected Learning Outcomes


According to the Dublin descriptors, students will demonstrate by the end of the course:
1) Knowledge and understanding: students will be able to identify key moments in Roman history and the main theories of modern scholars.
2) Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: students will acquire notions of source analysis (literary, legal, epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological).
3) Autonomy of judgement: students will acquire tools and techniques for autonomous interpretation of historical data.
4) Communication skills: students will be able to explain orally the aims, procedures and methods of Roman history.
5) Learning skills: students will be able to identify unexpected results of research and their possible developments in terms of methodology and impact.

Course Structure

Frontal and interactive lessons

Required Prerequisites

It is important that the student has a good knowledge of space-time coordinates

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is highly recommended: active participation in the lessons and other educational activities offered will greatly facilitate understanding of the topics being studied and will provide fruitful opportunities for discussion with the teacher on the topics that each student finds most relevant to his or her specific interests.

Detailed Course Content

The course consists of two modules. 

The first (Module A, 5 credits) provides a general history of Rome from its origins to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Content:

The origins of Rome and the monarchical period

The social, political and economic structure of the Republic 

Rome's expansion into Italy and the Mediterranean

The crisis of the Roman Republic and the rise of personal power

The social, political and economic structure of the Principate

The crisis of the third century 

The Dominate

The rise of Christianity

The fall of the Western Roman Empire

The second module (Module B, 1 ECTS) is devoted to two in-depth studies.

Textbook Information

MODULE A: History of Rome from origins to the fall of the Roman West Empire (5 Credits)


G. Cresci Marrone - F. Rohr Vio - L. Calvelli, Roma antica. Storia e documenti, Il Mulino, Bologna 2014, pp. 11-379.


MODULE B: In-depht studies (1 Credits)


- M. Albana, Viaggi femminili in età imperiale romana, in M. Albana, G. Arena, E. Frasca, C. Recca, C. Soraci (eds.), Viaggiare nel Mediterraneo fra antico e moderno, Atti del convegno di studi (Catania, 4-6 ottobre 2021), [Documenti e studi 74], Edipuglia, Bari 2021, pp. 61-82.

- C. Soraci, Iulia Florentina e il culto dei martiri catanesi, in Paesaggi del sacro tra memoria, storia e tradizione: attività di educazione permanente, a cura di B. Caruso e M.T. Di Blasi, Assessorato dei beni culturali e dell’identità siciliana - Dipartimento dei beni culturali e dell’identità siciliana, Palermo 2018, 23-30.


Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, capp. I-III
2Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, cap. IV
3Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, capp. V-VII
4Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, capp. VIII-XII
5Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, capp. XIII-XVIII
6Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, capp. XIX-XX
7Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, capp. XXI-XXII
8Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, capp. XIII-XXIII
9Cresci Marrone, Vio, Calvelli, cap. XXIII

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The examination consists of an oral examination.

On the first part of the programme (from the Greek colonisation to the Pyrrhic expedition) there will be optional in itinere conversations.

Those who pass the in itinere conversation with a mark of at least 18/30 may be examined on the remainder of the programme in one of the official examination sessions of the immediately following session. The final evaluation will take into account the mark obtained in the conversation. Students who have not obtained a mark of 18/30 in the aforementioned presentation may, at their option, repeat it on a date to be agreed with the teacher or be examined on the whole programme during the official examination.

The evaluation will take into account

- the relevance of the answers given

- the richness of the content

- the ability to relate to other topics in the programme

- the ability to express oneself

- lexical accuracy.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

- Ancient and modern histories of the birth of Rome

- The Monarchical Age

- The transition from Monarchy to Republic

- The magistracies

- The assemblies

- The conflict between patricians and plebs

- The wars against Veius and the Roman domination of Latium

- Appio Claudio

- The conquest of Italy

- The expansion of Rome in the Mediterranean

- The reforms of the Gracchi

- Mario and Silla

- Pompey and Caesar

- Octavian and the birth of the Principate

- The Julio-Claudian Dynasty

- The Flavians

- The adoptive emperors of the 2nd cent. A.D.

- The Several dynasty and the crisis of the third century

- Diocletian and the new order of the Empire

- The revolution of Constantine

- Christianity

- From the Valentiniani to Theodosius

- The barbarian invasions

- The fall of the Western Roman Empire

- Women's travel in ancient Rome

- Evidence of the cult of the Catanese martyrs