The Roman Empire: Rise, Decline and Fall Part 2

Ref: C3747115

This course takes an in-depth look at the complex questions of when exactly when the Roman Empire fell, and why, and whether the period of late antiquity was a time of destruction and loss of innovation and new growth. The theme of this course is the breakup of the longest-lasting Empire the Western world has ever known. An empire that to this day pervades political, legal, intellectual, and religious discussion. We will look briefly at Edward Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' which continues to influence politicians, artists, historians, and readers the world over. His story is still the best narrative in the existence of more than 1,000 years of memorable personalities and events that did much to shape the world we live in.

Course aim

The Roman Empire spanned the Mediterranean and included more than 60 million inhabitants. Its spectacular rise and disastrous fall have exerted a fascination for the last 2,000 years. It eventually collapsed with the fall of Constantinople.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand what part did the rise of Christianity play in the decline of Rome in the West'
  • Was the rise of Islam around 600 CE a contributory factor in the fall of Rome in the East?
  • Was Rome fatally destabilized by the pressures to govern an empire that spanned 60 million inhabitants?
  • Were there hidden forces that would undermine the stability of the Empire?
  • Was the crisis of the 3rd century due to a deadly combination of government instability, barbarian invasions, and economic crises?

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

There is no need to bring anything to the course except your enthusiasm.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The Roman Empire: Rise, Decline and Fall Part 2


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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