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Major: Ancient History - Greece, Rome and Late Antiquity

Major Details

Ancient History - Greece, Rome and Late Antiquity


Department of Ancient History
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

6cp from
Ancient Greece Tyranny and Democracy 800-399BC (3)
Rome: From Republic to Empire (3)
Antiquity's Heirs: Barbarian Europe, Byzantium, and Islam (3)
Myth in the Ancient World (3)

200 level

6cp from
Athenian Law and Society (3)
Greek Bronze Age (3)
Ancient Greek Religion (3)
The Classical Traditions of Thought (3)
Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Macedonian Empire (3)
Ciceronian Rome (3)
Rome and the Caesars (3)
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (3)
Anglo-Saxon England (3)
Archaeology and Society: Archaeological Evidence (3)
The New Testament in its Times (3)
Pagans, Jews and Christians: Athens and Jerusalem (3)
Egypt in the First Millennium CE (3)

300 level

Capstone Unit: Greece, Rome, Late Antiquity (3)
9cp from
Archaeology of Dalmatia (3)
Early Rome (3)
Rome and the Caesars (3)
The City of Rome (3)
From Constantine to Theodora: Church and State in Late Antiquity (3)
Byzantium: East and West (3)
Prehistory to Pompeii: Archaeology in Ancient Italy (3)
Sparta and Greece, Archaic and Classical (3)
Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age (3)
Rome's Persian Wars (3)
Early China: History and Archaeology (3)
Religions along the Silk Road (3)
Archaeological Field Work (3)
Early Christian Literature and Thought (3)
A History of Magic: From the Magi to Merlin (3)
Dialogue of Civilisations: The Near East and Egypt (3)
Material Culture and Museum Studies (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program This major offers the comprehensive study of the history, society, religions, material culture and languages of ancient Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity. A critical interdisciplinary approach integrates ancient history subjects with the disciplines of archaeology, ancient languages, art history, epigraphy, papyrology and numismatics to provide the knowledge and skills required for subsequent learning and research at postgraduate level. The structure of the major is flexible to allow students to shape the major and tailor their studies to suit their personal interests. Students may enrol in the program in internal or external modes. Learning is enhanced by practical experience provided through artefact analysis and archaeological fieldwork, which complements theoretical training and utilises resources from the Macquarie Museum of Ancient Cultures. The major reflects the diversity of subject areas available in the Department of Ancient History, which covers the pre-, proto-, and historical cultures of Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity, capitalising on the expertise at Macquarie University to offer a variety of fieldwork and technology-based experiences pertaining to the practice of historical research.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. demonstrate a broad and coherent body of knowledge, with depth in the underlying principles and concepts of branches of ancient world studies pertinent to ancient Greece, Rome, and/or Late Antiquity (K, A)
2. illustrate knowledge of historical developments, research principles and discipline specific methodologies relevant to ancient Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity in one or more of the disciplines: archaeology; art and architecture; epigraphy; language and literature; material culture; numismatics; and papyrology (K)
3. explain the principles and processes by which data from ancient Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity is analysed, evaluated and interpreted (K, T)
4. illustrate awareness and respect for professional (academic), ethical and sustainability principles and values (E, A)

5. conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and/or evaluate historical information and relevant theoretical concepts about ancient Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication (K, T)
6. integrate knowledge and imagination (looking at ideas and concepts from meaningful original perspectives), and evaluation (employing critical thinking) as a foundation for developing creative learning behaviour (K, T, I)
7. present a clear, coherent, evidence based exposition of knowledge and ideas about ancient Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity in audio, digital, oral, visual and/or written form (C)

8. examine and critically evaluate historical data with initiative and judgement and illustrate
competency through devising and sustaining arguments and solving problems associated with the study of ancient Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity (K, J, P)
9. independently design, execute and document a coherent research-based project (P, J)
10. engage with contemporary cultural perspectives and practices and contextualise historical knowledge (personalities, events, periods) and issues (ideologies, philosophies, traditions) according to intellectual and/or methodological and/or ethical conventions (A, J, E).
Learning and Teaching Methods We expect our students to engage with learning and achieve the learning outcomes through:
• production of assessment tasks designed to develop and integrate knowledge and skills
and support their application [acquisition]
• independent and in-class practice to reinforce knowledge and skills [practice]
• teacher-led discussion of key historical features and themes pertaining to the study of Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity [discussion]
• collaboration in group activities [collaboration]
• critical engagement with primary/secondary evidence and material culture (especially at advanced levels) [production]
• inquiry within the research component of assessment tasks (especially at advanced levels) [inquiry].

Across this program we employ blended learning to support these processes. Production of assessments, collaborative work, and discussions of historical features and themes pertaining to the study of Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity are coordinated using iLearn sites in combination with class-room teaching.

We consider that the study of the history of Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity is a key component in the investigation of ancient cultures. We focus on ancient evidence as artefacts, incorporating extensive analysis of documentary materials (inscriptions, papyri, ostraca, etc.) as well as literary texts and material culture. This broad spectrum of information provide the basis for critical engagement and inquiry into the significance of historical features and themes for the study of relevant ancient cultures, pursued especially at advanced levels of this program.
Assessment This major offers the comprehensive study of the history, society, religions, material culture and languages of Ancient Greece, Rome and Late Antiquity, covering a wide range of periods from Prehistory (c 1500 BCE) to the early medieval and Byzantine worlds (c 1000 CE). Students will study events and personalities from the Greek heroes in the Trojan war, through the rulers and citizens of Rome and its empire, down to the makers of medieval Europe and the last emperors of Byzantium. They will engage in a study of the cultural patterns and traditions that make up our modern understanding of the ancient world.

The assessment methods used to assess learning outcomes vary in some respects according to the special demands of individual units. The methods used across the program (not at every level for every unit) may be summarized as follows:
• Tests on historical information assess foundational knowledge and skills.
• Formal tutorial participation (incorporating directed discussion of questions set for each meeting or online forum) as well as individual and/or group presentations assess the integration of foundational knowledge and skills.
• Evidence-based analyses and essays (especially at higher levels) test not only the integration of foundational knowledge and skills, but also foster the creative application of historical skills and analysis of ancient cultures.
• Final examinations allow students to demonstrate their overall command of unit content.

Assessment tasks are carefully graduated to guide and focus engagement with the learning outcomes. Carefully scaffolded and sequenced assessment tasks are a feature (including low-risk activities, a quota of formal weighted tasks, and/or a final examination), encouraging regular practice and reinforcement of knowledge and skills and their integrated application. Modified development of content across assessments is also important to this program's methodology, with a view to systematic development of control over the learning outcomes.

The assessment regime is designed to account for both assessment of learning and assessment for learning. In-class or online quizzes periodically test student control over foundational knowledge and skills. Evidence-based oral and/or written exercises provide both a process by which students can learn to integrate the foundational knowledge and skills and an opportunity to assess their competency in this area. Textual, documentary and material analyses and essays continue to assess foundational knowledge and historical skills. They also require students to put these skills to new uses by formulating arguments and applying their communicative and analytical skills creatively in a broader context. Final examinations provide a summative assessment of command over unit content.

Naturally enough, this assessment regime encourages and rewards regular and systematic learning. Specific assessments also foster independent investigation, the development of research skills, and reflection on the significance of historical features and themes for the study of relevant ancient cultures. To this end, regular practice and revision of knowledge and skills are crucial. The program deploys early low-risk assessments, major research-based assessments, and final overview-assessments.

Students need to be alert to the value of working regularly and systematically to gain maximum benefit from units (nine hours per week per unit, as per the University’s expectations). For staff the effective teaching of ancient world studies pertaining to Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity is inevitably labour-intensive. The program addresses this by mixing automated quizzes (where appropriate) with traditional marking practices. A central aim of this major is to harmonize excellence in learning and teaching with the balancing of workload pressures.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability The major endows our graduates with transferable knowledge and skills (i.e. research, communication, critical thinking) and enables them to pursue a career in education, tourism, media and in the library sector and/or prepares students for further study in ancient history and related fields.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148