HIS102: The Ancient World


HIS102: The Ancient World – From the Birth of Greek Rationalism to the Crisis of the Roman Republic

Key details

Accredited towardsBachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts
Diploma of Liberal Arts
Unit typeCore unit
Credit points6
Indicative contact hours3 hours per week
Offered inSemester 2
Tuition feeLearn more



This unit explores the processes and events which contributed to the emergence and structuring of Western Civilisation. After a preliminary introduction to the problems associated with the study of the ancient world and the methodologies and theories developed by historians, the unit examines the rise of Greek rationalism, the birth of the Polis and of Greek democracy and their decline, and how the Romans absorbed and transformed the Greek and Hellenistic political and cultural heritage. The second part of the unit examines the rise of the Roman Republic, its expansion into the Mediterranean world, the political and social crises of the I Century B.C., initialised by the Gracchan Revolution, and the cultural tensions and processes, which led to its transformation during the reign of Augustus.


Learning outcomes

The unit learning outcomes develop in students an awareness of the value and relevance of the study strand. On completion of this unit of study, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the problems connected with the study of the ancient world.
  2. understand, identify, describe and evaluate the essential roots of Western Civilisation;
  3. develop an awareness and understanding of the interrelation and interaction between various ancient cultures;
  4. demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate the nature of the textual traditions and the problems connected with their transmission.
  5. demonstrate ability to use a wide range of primary sources in reconstructing events and processes of the ancient world.
  6. demonstrate the ability to engage in independent research and to critically evaluate conflicting scholarship.
  7. demonstrate the ability to think logically, critically analyse situations, and design responsible solutions to problems.
  8. effectively and confidently participate in group work and tutorial events and to contribute with clarity and coherence.
  9. be able to write well-argued and well-structured essays and appropriately use references and bibliographies according to academic conventions.



Interested in other History units?

HIS101: Western Societies from Antiquity to the Present
HIS102: The Ancient World – From the Birth of Greek Rationalism to the Crisis of the Roman Republic
HIS203: The Early Church and the Roman Empire – From the Principate of Augustus to the Reign of Justinian
HIS204: The Medieval World
HIS301: Topics in Twentieth-Century History
HIS302: Australian Politics, Culture and Religion since 1788
HIS303: Humanists and Reformers – The Renaissance
HIS304: Enlightenment Europe and the Creation of the Modern World



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