Rome and the Barbarians

Ref: C3741366

"The Romans were nasty thugs - but so was everyone else in the ancient world' said Mary Beard. Julius Caesar defeated Vercingetorix .But wars against new barbarian foes in North Africa, Gaul, and Asia Minor proved a costly victory that undermined the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar was soon assassinated.However commerce and cultural exchange between Imperial Rome and the frontier peoples continued and thrived and created a unique Roman frontier society as well as transformed the societies of the peoples beyond the imperial frontiers. Frontiers became a great mixing bowl of peoples and cultures. The ensuing martial society that emerged by 300 A.D. on both sides of the imperial frontier engendered both the defenders and foes of the late Roman world.

Course aim

Emperor Augustus consolidated the Western provinces, forged a professional army, and established frontiers along the Rhine, Danube, and Euphrates. He thus set the precepts of Roman frontier defence and diplomacy for the next two centuries. .

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:

  • Define and identify what we mean by 'barbarian'
  • Assess the achievement of Augustus and justify if you think he killed the Roman Republic
  • Evaluate commerce beyond the Imperial frontiers
  • Discuss and assess Trajan's wars against the Dacians and Parthians
  • Assess whether the decline and fall of Rome heralded in the birth of the Medieval West.

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
  • To support each lecture students will be given a CD containing a comprehensive set of handouts summarising each lesson, a suggested reading list and a few questions to consider relevant to the lecture given.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course outline

Rome and the Barbarians Course Outline


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
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing