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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 341*/0.5  3L/S
History of the Roman Empire


B. Kavanagh
Office: Watson Hall, Room 514
Departmental Telephone: (613) 533-6000, ext. 74825
Office Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Teaching Assistant

Stephen Miller - 
Office Hours: Tuesdays 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM 


Students are required to be familiar with Queen's policy on Academic Integrity .
Please also see:

Course Description

CLST 341 is a half year course which may also be taken for a degree credit towards a concentration in History. The prerequisite course is CLST 201. The material for this course follows chronologically that of CLST 340.

CLST 341, The History of the Roman Empire, begins with the aftermath of the assassination of Julius Caesar and the rise of Octavian (Chapter XX) and students may expect to reach the period of the Five Good Emperors (Chapter XXX) by the end of term.

The main text for the course is well written and easy to understand but it is dense with information. Students should attend all lectures and are advised to read the material before each lecture in order to absorb the information more easily. Comments or questions about the readings at the start of class are always encouraged.  Students are reminded that electronic devices are only to be used for note taking of the course material.  Those logging on to web sites during class cause distraction for other students and will be asked to leave the class.

Required Texts

  1. A History of the Roman People, 5th ed., Allen M. Ward, Fritz M. Heichelheim, Cedric A. Yeo
  2. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Suetonius

Course Readings

Week 1 - The Rise and Victory of Octavian

  1. Ward, Heichelheim, Yeo (Main text), pp. 215-247.
  2. Suetonius, Divine Augustus.

Weeks 2 and 3 - The Principate of Augustus

  1. main text, 248-291.

Weeks 4 and 5 - The Reigns of Tiberius and Caligula

  1. main text, 292-303.
  2. Suetonius, Tiberius, Gaius (Caligula).

Week 6 - Monday, Midterm Test

Weeks 6 (Wednesday) and 7 - The Reigns of Claudius and Nero

  1. main text, 304-314
  2. Suetonius, Divine Claudius, Nero

Week 8 - The Fall of the Julio-Claudians and the Year of the Four Emperors

  1. main text, 315-316
  2. Suetonius, Galba, Otho, Vitellius

Weeks 9 and 10 - The Flavian Dynasty

  1. main text, 316-324.
  2. Suetonius, Divine Vespasian, Divine Titus, Domitian.

Week 10 - Wednesday, Test on Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars.

Weeks 11 and 12 - The Five Good Emperors, A.D. 96-180

  1. main text, 325-364.


Marking Scheme

  1. Mid-Term Test -  35% (Oct. 15)
  2. Suetonius Testr - 15% (Nov. 12 or 14)
  3. Final Exam - 50%

Dates for tests are tentative and may change.

For the mid-term test, students will be responsible for all material covered in the readings and class lectures of the first five weeks of classes. The tentative date of the test will be October 15, 2012.

For the test on Suetonius'Lives of the Caesars, students will have a choice of essay questions on the biographies and will be required to answer one of them in class.

The final exam will test the students on the material of the entire course. A student who misses the test or exam because of a serious medical reason may write a make-up.

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 


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.

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 Regulations), on the Arts and Science website 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.


The material in this outline is copyrighted and is for the sole use of students registered in CLST 341.  This material shall not be distributed or disseminated to anyone other than students registered in CLST 341  Failure to abide by these conditions constitutes a breach of academic integrity under the University Senate's Academic Integrity Policy Statement.

This page was last updated 11 September , 2012.

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