Decline of the Roman Empire

Ref: C2340979

The course will begin with an examination of the significance of Constantine I and his legitimisation of Christianity, considering the impact that the establishment of the Church created, and the subsequent challenges posed birth to Church and State in the course of the 4th century AD. We will go onto examine the internal crises faced by the Empire through the fourth century and the subsequent impact of the emergence of the Goths. we will look closely at the further challenges posed to the Empire through the 5th century, in particular focussing on the theological crises which erupted in the period, along with the apparent "collapse" of large areas of the Western Empire. We will go onto examine the survival of the Eastern Empire and its restoration under Justinian, before looking at the circumstances of the subsequent challenges posed to it in the later 6h and early 7th centuries, culminating in the catastrophic reign of Phokas.

Course aim

This course aims to examine the difficulties and challenges faced by the Roman Empire from the reign of Constantine I to the establishment of Herakleios.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

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

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

  • Provide an outline of the key figures of the House of Constantine.
  • Evaluate the significance of Roman military defeats and setbacks during the fourth and fifth centuries AD.
  • Provide an outline of the key theological debates of the fourth and fifth centuries AD.
  • Provide a survey of key factors of the survival of the Eastern Roman Empire by the end of the 6th century AD.

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 or pre course work is required
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians Peter Heather, Oxford University Press 2007 The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization Bryan Ward-Perkins, Oxford University Press 2006

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Decline of the Roman Empire

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • 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 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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