Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will have:

  1. a grasp of the main political, economic, and religious developments of the period
  2. familiarity with major sources of the period
  3. an introduction to methodologies and interpretative issues involved in the exploitation of sources of the period
  4. familiarity with relevant, critical analysis, expression.
    • The structure of the Later Roman Empire
    • The nature of written sources for the period
    • Key genres of written sources for the period
    • Roman and 'barbarian' interaction and ideological representation
    • The fragmentation of the Roman West and the establishment of the 'barbarian kingdoms'
    • The structure of the western kingdoms and their relationship with the east Roman empire
    • The issue of identity
    • Modern interpretations and uses of the Fall of Rome

Equivalent subjects

You cannot enrol in this subject if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • MAQ-AHIX320
  • MAQ-HST330


Students must complete a level 1 study in Ancient History prior to commencing this subject.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as AHIX320 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Learn about a key period of western history, the late fourth to the late sixth centuries AD known as the Fall of Rome. This period represents the transition from the ancient to the medieval period and provides a basis for many European historical conceptions. You will focus on the dynamics of imperial rule, the collapse of the Roman frontier system, the so-called barbarian invasions and religious disputes associated with the consolidation of Christianity. You will explore these issues through documents written at the time that include political speeches and holy biographies.

  • Assignment 1 (30%)
  • Assignment 2 (30%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (30%)
  • Online Discussion (10%)

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Related degrees

undergraduate MAQ-ART-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts

  • Major in Ancient History
  • Major in English
  • Major in Modern History
  • Major in Philosophy
  • Major in Politics
  • Major in Society and Culture
  • Major in Sociology
  • Major in Creative Writing