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Ch 9: The Fall of the Roman Empire: AP World History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Fall of the Roman Republic chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about the decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Fall of the Roman Republic chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
MondayThe Reign of Augustus Caesar The Aeneid, an epic poem by Virgil; Horace, Ovid and Virgil's role in Octavian's coup and the reign of Rome's first emperor
TuesdayRoman Dynasties and EmperorsRulers of the Julio-Claudian, Flavian and Nervan-Antonine dynasties
WednesdayThe Division of the Roman Empire and Conversion of Constantine The Severan Dynasty and its weaknesses, Third-Century Crisis, Tetrachy of Diocletian and the conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity
ThursdayJustinian's Code of Law, the Fall of Rome and the City of GodEmperor Justinian's laws and legal interpretations, events that led to the fall of Rome and St. Augustine's philosophical and religious legacy
FridayEarly Christian Architecture and Art Characteristics, examples and symbols found in early Christian art and buildings

14 Lessons in Chapter 9: The Fall of the Roman Empire: AP World History Lesson Plans
The Early Roman Empire and the Reign of Augustus Caesar

1. The Early Roman Empire and the Reign of Augustus Caesar

This lesson is about Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. In this lesson we follow Augustus's meteoric rise to power, the collapse of the Roman Republic, and the rise of the Roman Empire.

The Aeneid by Virgil

2. The Aeneid by Virgil

This lesson explores Virgil's 'Aeneid'. It consists of a brief plot synopsis. We stop along the way to look at a few important scenes and offer analysis where necessary.

Augustus' Propagandists: Virgil, Horace and Ovid

3. Augustus' Propagandists: Virgil, Horace and Ovid

This lesson explores the role of poetry in Augustus' rise to power. We look at the contributions of Virgil and Horace, two poets brought to Augustus' aid by his friend Maecenas. We also look at the legacy of Ovid, a poet who seems to have raised the emperor's ire.

Emperors of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty

4. Emperors of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty

This lesson will explain the soap opera-like reign of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. Highlighting the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, it will shed light on the Roman Empire's first ruling dynasty.

The Year of the Four Emperors & the Flavian Dynasty

5. The Year of the Four Emperors & the Flavian Dynasty

This lesson will explore the famous Flavian emperors: Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian. It will explain how this dynasty came to power during the Year of the Four Emperors. It will also highlight the details of each emperor's reign.

The Five Good Emperors of Rome & the Nervan-Antonine Dynasty

6. The Five Good Emperors of Rome & the Nervan-Antonine Dynasty

This lesson will identify the emperors of the Nervan-Antonine Dynasty. It will explain the rule of the Five Good Emperors of the era, while also highlighting the rule of Commodus, the last of the dynasty's emperors.

Emperors of the Severan Dynasty

7. Emperors of the Severan Dynasty

This lesson focuses on the Severan Dynasty, which ruled Rome from 193 CE to 235 CE. Although the lesson explains the military and social reforms of this dynasty, it also highlights the outlandish personalities of the individual rulers.

Division of the Roman Empire: Diocletian & the 3rd Century Crisis

8. Division of the Roman Empire: Diocletian & the 3rd Century Crisis

This lesson will explain the 3rd Century Crisis of the Roman Empire. It will focus on the political, civil and economic problems that caused the crisis, and will also highlight the role of Diocletian in the resolution of the crisis.

The Conversion of Constantine and the Ascent of Christianity

9. The Conversion of Constantine and the Ascent of Christianity

This lesson will explain the conversion of Constantine and the ascent of Christianity. In doing this, it will highlight the Edict of Milan and the famous Council of Nicaea.

Justinian's Code of Law and Roman Emperors After Constantine

10. Justinian's Code of Law and Roman Emperors After Constantine

This lesson will highlight the emperors after Constantine. It will specifically explore the reign of Justinian and the famous Justinian code of law. It will also discuss the Apostate and the battle of Adrianople.

The Fall of Rome

11. The Fall of Rome

This lesson explains the gradual fall of Rome. In doing so, it highlights corruption, division, and outside invasion as the main reasons for the fall of the Eternal City.

St. Augustine's City of God

12. St. Augustine's City of God

This lesson explores the life of St. Augustine and one his most famous works, The City of God. As we explore this work, we'll highlight Rome's disdain for the Christian faith and Augustine's argument against Rome's religious position.

Early Christian Art: History, Characteristics & Symbolism

13. Early Christian Art: History, Characteristics & Symbolism

This lesson covers the development of early Christian art. We begin in the catacombs of Rome, looking at early Christian frescoes. We then move to later sarcophagi. A brief survey of early Christian mosaics follows, and we close with the fine art of illuminated manuscripts.

Early Christian Architecture: Examples, History & Characteristics

14. Early Christian Architecture: Examples, History & Characteristics

Christianity managed to exist for hundreds of years before becoming the official religion of Rome. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the early architecture of the Christian church.

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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the AP World History Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course

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