HIST301: Greece, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire

Course Syllabus for "HIST301: Greece, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire"

This course will focus on the history of Greek and Roman civilizations beginning with the origins of ancient Greek culture in the Aegean Bronze Age (c. 3000–1100 BCE) through the period of the Roman Empire at the height of its greatest extent and prosperity (c. 31 BCE–235 CE). We will focus on the political, economic, and social factors that shaped the development and maturation of these two influential Mediterranean civilizations. The course will be structured chronologically. Each unit will include representative primary source documents that illustrate important overarching themes, such as the emergence and development of Greek civilization from the Aegean Bronze Age through the Greek Archaic period (c.700–500 BCE), the contrast between democratic and oligarchic forms of government in Greek city-states of the classical era (c. 500–350 BCE), the decline of the Greek city-states, the rise of Macedon and the spread of Greek culture to the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia in the Hellenistic period (c. 350–31 BCE), the evolution of the Roman Republic (c. 508–287 BCE), and the transformation of this Roman Republic into a vast Roman Empire encompassing all the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea (c. 133 BCE–235 CE). By the end of the course, you will understand how these ancient Mediterranean civilizations developed and recognize their lasting influences on European culture.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • think critically about the origins, maturation, and evolution of Greek and Roman cultures from the 3rd millennium BCE to the early centuries of the 1st millennium CE;
  • identify the cultural origins of Greek civilization in the Mediterranean basin during the Aegean Bronze Age (c.3000–1100 BCE);
  • evaluate the impact of the collapse of Bronze Age palatial culture on the Aegean region and the cultural legacy of the subsequent Greek Dark Ages (c. 1100–800 BCE) and the Greek Renaissance of the 8th century BCE;
  • compare and contrast the political and social organization of Greek city-states in the Archaic and classical periods;
  • evaluate the impact of the Persian War (490–479 BCE) and the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE) on the city-states of Greece during the classical period;
  • assess the political, social, and cultural legacies of Alexander the Great’s military conquests in the Mediterranean basin and Southwest Asia and the cultural achievements of the subsequent Hellenistic period;
  • identify the origin and development of the Roman Republic and evaluate the impact of political and economic expansion on Roman government and society from the 6th century through the 2nd century BCE;
  • assess the political, social, and economic factors that led to the fall of the Roman Republic during the Roman Revolution (c.133–31 BCE);
  • identify the key elements of the political reforms of Augustus (31 BCE–14 CE) and assess the role of the resulting Principate in promoting peace and economic prosperity during the Pax Romana or “Roman Peace” in the early centuries CE; and
  • analyze and interpret primary source documents from the period of classical antiquity using historical research methods.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language; and

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Course Information

Welcome to HIST301: Greece, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. General information on the course and its requirements can be found below.
Course Designer: Professor Concepcion Saenz-Cambra

Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials, including all assessments and discussion forums. Pay special attention to unit 1 to learn about the background of Greek civilization; this unit lays the groundwork for understanding the exploratory material presented in later units. You will also need to complete the final exam.
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through all resources in the course.
In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 191.75 hours. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These advisories should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at the time advisories, determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then set goals for yourself. For example, unit 1 should take you approximately 18.5 hours to complete. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete the introduction to subunit 1.1 (a total of 5.25 hours) on Monday and Tuesday nights; subunit 1.2 (a total of 8.25 hours) on Wednesday and Thursday nights, etc. Much of the reading for this course includes the works of ancient historians who wrote more in the manner of a novel than a textbook. Thus, some of you might read these sources more quickly than the official time advisory.