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AN4430   Floods, famines, plagues and volcanoes: Roman adaptation to the environment

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 2

Availability restrictions: Available to General Degree students with the permission of the Honours Adviser

Planned timetable: To be confirmed

The Roman empire bound together a huge and diverse area. Its story is often told in terms of emperors, armies, barbarians and religious crises. Yet this empire was created also through a conquest of the landscape, as the Romans developed key technological and engineering innovations, and spurred the spread of urban systems. How did the environment shape Roman civilization? How did the Romans respond to disease and disaster? In what ways did the Romans endeavour to conquer much of the European landscape, and with what level of success? Environmental historians investigate the dynamic interactions between humans and their environment over time. This module will employ literary, archaeological, and environmental evidence to explore human adaptation to a variety of environmental pressures. It will range from the origins of human habitation at Rome in the Bronze Age to the western Roman empire (up to ca. 500 CE), while also drawing analogies with modern society and environmental challenges.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): As stated in the school of classics undergraduate handbook.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: One 2-hour seminar per week (x11 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 22

Guided independent study hours: 278

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 60%, 2-hour Written Examination = 40%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 40%
Practical examinations : 10%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr A B Hallock
Module teaching staff: Dr Andrea Brock