HIST 388: Topics in European History

HIST 388-001: Fall of the Roman Empire
(Fall 2024)

03:00 PM to 04:15 PM MW

Horizon Hall 5018

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Section Information for Fall 2024

This class will consider the fate of the Roman Empire between the reigns of Diocletian (284-305) and Heraclius (610-641). These turbulent centuries saw Roman political, cultural, and religious life utterly transformed, and it is the purpose of this class to take stock of these changes in the face of often fragmentary and difficult evidence. Through a careful consideration of primary sources both literary and material we will examine a range of topics including: the machinery of political life, the identity and impact of the barbarians (so-called), the late Roman military and the problem of the frontiers, the spread of Christianity and the resilience of the old religions, the divergent fates of east and west, and persistence of Roman institutions long after the fall of Rome. In addition, we will ask what historians ancient, medieval, and modern have made of this fall, what really fell, and the degree to which the idea of a fall itself is a useful way of thinking about these later centuries of the Roman world.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Study of historical topics or periods of special interest. Notes: Topics announced in advance. May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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