Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will:

  1. have a sound knowledge of the major political and military developments in the regions of the Roman Eastern Frontier during the third and fourth centuries AD
  2. have an awareness of significant religious activity and developments together with the importance of trade and commerce
  3. be able to display a strong basic knowledge of the topography of the region both ancient and modern.
  • Topics
    • General, geographical and historical background
    • Rise of the Sassanians
    • The Roman Wars of Shapur
    • The rise and fall of Palmyra
    • The reforms of Diocletian and campaign of Galerius
    • Frontier defence
    • The diffusion of Christianity
    • The diffusion of Manichaeism
    • Constantine and Persia
    • The Persian wars of Constantius II
    • The Persian expedition of Julian
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
    • Print Materials
      • Welcome letter
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

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

  • MAQ-AHIX242
  • MAQ-HST240


You must complete Level 1 and 2 studies in Ancient History before starting this subject.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as AHIX242 The Roman Eastern Frontier.

This period is unique in the world - addressing the third and fourth centuries AD of the ancient Roman Empire. It focuses on modern Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Southern Turkey, Iraq and Iran covering a time frame of AD 226-363. A significant focus will be Rome's eastern defences against major Persian attacks and a survey of the literary and archaeological evidence. The subject covers the influence of commerce and the spread of religions, especially Christianity and Manichaeism in the frontier regions. Major cities (Dura Europos, Palmyra and Edessa) will also be studied. This subject provides background and insight into the Middle East today.

  • Assignment 1 - Essay 1 — Short Essay (30%)
  • Assignment 2 - Essay 2 — Long Essay (50%)
  • Assignment 3 - Online Discussion (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

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