Barbarians at the Gate: Challenges to the Roman Empire from Ancient to Modern Times

The Roman republic and the Roman empire thrived for over 700 years, despite significant challenges to its authority by a series of non Romans, deemed barbarians by the ruling Roman elites. A large number of barbarian charismatic leaders were among the challengers, including, Hannibal, Vercingetorix, Boudicca, Mithridates, Jugurtha, Zenobia, Alaric and Attila. In more recent times, Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796 during the French Revolutionary Wars. The Nazis and the Americans fought bitterly over the occupation of Rome during WW 11 in 1943-1945. Magnificent artworks have captured some of the great battles between the barbarians at the gate and the Romans.

This class will be delivered face-to-face at WEA Sydney. Enrolling students need to ensure they have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling.

SUGGESTED READING

  • Matthew Kneale, Rome: A History in Seven Sackings, Atlantic, 2017
  • Stephen Kershaw, Barbarians : Rebellions and Resistance to the Roman Empire, Robinson, 2019

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Challenges to the authority of the Roman Republic 220-31 B C including Hannibal, Mithridates and Vercingetorix
  • Challenges to the Early Empire period, 31 BC-280 AD including Zenobia, Boudicca,
  • Challenges to the Late Empire period, 280 AD -500 AD in the west and 280 AD -1453 in the east including Alaric and Attila
  • The armies of Napoleon, Nazi Germany and the USA in the 18th and 20th centuries

PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the reasons for the successes and failures of the barbarian groups against the Roman republic and empire over centuries.
  2. Consider the role of the barbarians in the fall of the Roman empire in the west from 280 AD.
  3. Explain the fates of a series of barbarian leaders in the context of each historical period.
  4. Examine the contributions to our historical understanding some of the artistic representations of the barbarians at the gates of Rome.
$110 Limited / $99

<p>The Roman republic and the Roman empire thrived for over 700 years, despite significant challenges to its authority by a series of non Romans, deemed barbarians by the ruling Roman elites. A large

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10 May

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