The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic is a free online course suitable for students in high school and above. It should take fewer than seven hours to complete the entire course, so it works best as a supplement to either a history or government course. You might be surprised that I suggest it as part of a government course, but it explains the development of the Roman government in depth. As stated in the first and last lectures, our Founding Fathers drew upon Roman ideas about government in several ways, particularly to establish a system of checks and balances.

Regarding history, the course begins with the founding of Rome, its early kings, its development into the Roman Republic, and its final centuries as the Roman Empire.

Along the way, it covers key figures in Roman history, Roman conquests, its development into the supreme military power on both land and sea, societal divisions and conflicts, philosophical ideas, civil war, and Rome’s assimilation of the gods of conquered peoples.

The course consists of lectures, supplemental lectures, and online quizzes.

After an introduction by Hillsdale College’s president, Larry Arnn, the lectures are presented by either Kenneth R. Calvert or Carl E. Young, both Hillsdale professors who are experts on the topic. The course’s 12 lectures vary in their run times from about 15 to 40 minutes and include occasional illustrations and maps.

All except the first lecture are followed by one to three supplemental videos that run one to six minutes each. The supplemental videos address narrow questions such as “Did Rome conquer Greece or Greece conquer Rome?”, “How did Rome handle foreign influences?”, and “What is the teaching of Cicero’s De Officiis?” (questions following Lecture 7 and Lecture 10).

Ten multiple-choice questions are given in an online quiz after all but the first lecture. Students can retake the quizzes to improve their scores.

The content is presented at the college level but should be understandable for high school students who already have background knowledge about the era. The course fits particularly well with a classical approach to education but can be used along with almost any approach.


The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic is yet another opportunity for homeschoolers to learn for free from Hillsdale College’s excellent teaching staff.

Pricing Information

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Instant Key

  • Learning Environment: independent study
  • Grade Level: grades 9-12
  • Educational Methods: traditional activity pages or exercises, multisensory, highly structured, auditory
  • Technology: video, online
  • Educational Approaches: traditional, eclectic, classical, Charlotte Mason
  • Religious Perspective: secular but Christian friendly
  • Political Perspective: limited government

Publisher's Info

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