Rome’s First Emperors: The Twelve Caesars

Philip Waddell
Tuesdays 10 AM - 12 PM (AZ Time)
September 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 29, December 6, 2022
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Rome’s First Emperors: The Twelve Caesars

Fall 2022
In Session
10 AM - 12 PM (AZ Time)
September 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 29, December 6, 2022


Main Campus



In this course, the class will examine how the image of the Roman emperor was and is constructed. We will be investigating questions of source material reliability, genre, and the use and power of rhetoric in history. Through an examination of Rome’s rulers, from Julius Caesar to Emperor Domitian, using the ancient written source material (in translation), we will discover the ways in which we, no less than the ancients, forged images of the emperors.

Hybrid Course Format

  • All classes will be delivered in-person and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • In-person classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in-person classes is limited by classroom capacity and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All students attending on-campus will observe the relevant University of Arizona policies designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (more information here). Students who enroll to participate in person will also have complete online access to the course, including all class recordings.   
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real-time. Students may also access class recordings for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, August 29, 2022, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • Suetonius’ The Caesars, transl. Donna Hurley (Hackett Classics, 2011) ISBN: 978-1603843133
  • All other required texts will be distributed to students electronically.

Recommended Reading: 

  • Tacitus’ Annals, transl. Cynthia Damon (Penguin Classics, 2013) ISBN: 978-014045564
  • Tacitus’ The Histories, transl. Kenneth Wellesley (Penguin Classics, 2009) ISBN:978-0140449648

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Associate Professor
Department of Religious Studies and Classics

Philip Waddell is an Associate Professor of Classics, whose work in ancient historiography concerns the construction of narrative within the historical texts of Greek and Roman authors. Most recently, he published the monograph Tacitean Visual Narrative with Bloomsbury, and is currently working on a commentary for Livy’s Roman History.


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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