Roman and Contemporary Empires

Ref: C2224483

Ancient (archaic) imperialism was distinct from more modern forms. What was its contribution to world history? Comparison of the Old World's two great powers 2000 years ago with the Americas' two of 500 years ago produces an instructive range of similarities and differences. Continuing research in history and archeology provides different and changing perspectives. The Roman and Chinese (Qin & Han) populations were of the same size but had the latter regime more in common with the Incas' government of less numerous peoples? All three faced challenges alike in the politics and administration, economics and technologies for conquering and managing diverse nations across vast territories. The Aztecs coped with a smaller territory in quite different ways. If the Romans, Chinese and Incas would have accepted that they were imperialists, could the Aztecs have denied the charge? The answer depends on point of view, metropolitan or provincial.

Course aim

To assess imperialism in the ancient world by comparing the Romans, the Qin & Han in China, the Incas and the Aztecs

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Identify the principal features of imperialism in the ancient world
  • Discuss the main issues in the history of archaic imperialism
  • Assess the main sources of evidence
  • Assemble evidence and use it in the service of interpretive arguments with increased confidence

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full Course information sheet

Roman and Contemporary Empires


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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