City Life in the Roman Empire


Course Objective


Course Content

Roman culture was pre-eminently an urban culture. Cities formed the
backbone of the Roman Empire; they were important centers of government
and the heart of economics, religion and culture. In this course, we
shall discuss the urban landscape, the political institutions and
ideology, the urban population and, in particular, situations in which
urban space, politics and the people came together such as during public
games and urban riots. Attention will also be paid to modern discussions
about the defining characteristics of Roman cities and about their end
in late antiquity. Typically, a class will consist of a more general
introduction combined with a case study from one of the major
metropoleis in the Roman East, such as Antioch, Ephesus, Alexandria or

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Written examination 30%, presentations 20%, paper 50% of the final mark.

Entry Requirements

BA History, Classics, Mediterranean Archaeology


Arjan Zuiderhoek, The Ancient City (Cambridge 2016).
Selected articles and chapters announced in class.

Target Audience

Admitted to Ancient History, Classics, Mediterranean Archaeology, or

Custom Course Registration

This module is taught at the UvA by prof. dr. E.A. Hemelrijk (UvA) (UvA subject code 143410116Y). Module registration with a UvaNetID at the UvA is required. Please note that course registration periods at the UvA and VU differ. For a ‘step-by-step guide to course and exam registration’ and the ‘dates for course and exam registration’ please consult the ‘course and exam registration’-page via the ‘A-Z list’ of your MA programme on

General Information

Course Code L_AAMAOHS001
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. E.A. Hemelrijk
Teaching Staff prof. dr. E.A. Hemelrijk

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: