Roman Social History

Module code: AH2038

Module co-ordinator: Mary Harlow

In this module we will examine the mechanisms by which the Romans ensured a sense of social coherence and shared values. As well as the topics below, we will look tangentially at gender, the history of the emotions, non-verbal communication and approaches to studying the culture of the everyday. Our source material will include epigraphy, documentary and literary sources, and visual and material culture.

Topics covered

  • Social hierarchies
  • Socialisation in the family
  • Education
  • Interpersonal relationships expressed in friendships, patronage, and marriage
  • Leisure time, bathing, dining, entertainment


  • 10 one-hour lectures
  • 10 one-hour seminars


  • Essay, 2,500 words (70%)
  • Source criticism, 1,500 words (30%)