CLST 276 World of Classical Rome
Loyola University Chicago Rome Center
Fall Semester 2016 – CLST 276/ROST 276
The World of Classical Rome
Lecturer: Dr David Lambert (email@example.com)
Course Description and Abstract
The World of Classical Rome takes us on a journey through the historical development of the Roman people, via a study of their history, politics, society, and culture during the last century and a half of the Roman Republic and the reigns of the first Roman emperors.
Rome was by far the greatest city of the ancient world, with approximately one million inhabitants in its hey-day. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, the Romans conquered almost the entire Mediterranean world. The wealth of the Roman empire produced the public baths, gardens, libraries, circuses, theatres and amphitheatres whose ruins have fascinated the world ever since. An elaborate network of roads and aqueducts all led to the Eternal City. This was the period which saw the creation of many of the greatest works of ancient art and literature.
Yet this was also an age of corruption, violence, political conflict, civil war, and intrigue. While Rome conquered the world outside Italy, its political system, the Roman Republic, came under increasing strain and eventually collapsed into seemingly endless civil wars. Stability was finally restored by Augustus, who replaced republican rule with monarchy – but at what price?
This course seeks to show how the period concerned was indeed a time of chaos, but also of political and cultural creativity. Literary sources, and the archaeology and epigraphy, are combined to show how classical Roman civilization took shape, was modified, but at the same time was carried further by Augustus and his successors.
Throughout the course, some of the major issues in the study of the city of Rome and the wider Roman world in this transitional period are examined more closely. History is never a single-minded and uniform matter. Primary sources, as well as secondary literature from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, reveal the drama of the history, society, and culture of Classical Rome and its empire. This course is focused on evaluating the theories, research findings, and analyses which seek to explain one of the most turbulent but creative periods of world history.
The key objective of this course is to survey the history of Rome in the period from the 2nd century BC to the mid 1st century AD. Students should be able to demonstrate knowledge about the events, institutions, trends, significant political, cultural and social accomplishments of the age, and of its major figures. One of the main problems concerning study of the Ancient World is always one of evidence. In this particular case one has to rely on biased, and often fragmented literary sources. Archaeology and epigraphy supplement the literary evidence, but also provide information that sometimes stands completely on its own. All the evidence has to be weighed with care and consideration. At the end of this course, students are expected to be aware of the problems and debates concerning key themes taken from this period of history, and the be sensitive to the problems of interpreting evidence. They need to demonstrate an understanding of the working of historical mechanisms. They need to be able to scrutinize, evaluate and critically analyze the available source material. They need to demonstrate that they are able to comprehend, summarize, and contextualize both the primary sources and the discussions around them.
Procedures and Policies
The World of Classical Rome meets twice a week. It is expected that students will contribute in a significant way to this course. They are responsible for completing all of the assigned readings, according to the schedule attached to this syllabus. Class discussions and activities encourage students to generate their own ideas, hypotheses, opinions, theories, questions, and proposals, and to develop strategies for seeking and synthesizing information to support an argument, decide on a conclusion, or resolve a problem. This course has no prerequisites and assumes neither prior knowledge of Roman history nor any knowledge of the Latin language. It is intended that students will gain a basic knowledge and understanding of the history of Rome in the period being studied, as well as that of the working of historical mechanisms, as described above.
Class hours: Monday and Wednesday, 10:00 am to 11:15 am
It is strongly recommended to take notes, both when reading and listening. These notes are an indispensable part of studying and learning, often the best means to anchor your thoughts with true understanding, transform opinion into knowledge, and establish comprehension rooted in memory. Writing is learning – with half as much effort.
- H.H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 BC to AD 68 (5th edition, London 1982; reprinted in 2007)
Attendance and Assessment
Attendance is mandatory. The success of each session depends on students’ presence, preparation, and participation.
Final grade assessments will be based on the combination of two exams, one mid-term and one final, and one large essay concerning a topic of free choice and based on primary sources and secondary literature. A small percentage of the students’ grade will be derived from attendance and participation.
The 2 (TWO) exams will be tests of your knowledge and understanding of material in the textbook (H.H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero), the topics dealt with in the lectures and seminars, and the additional literature prescribed for each class. The textbook provides a general outline of the developments of Roman history, society and culture in the period.
As far as the essay is concerned, it is strongly recommended to start thinking of a suitable topic, including (some of) the appropriate material, right at the beginning of the course. Towards the mid-point of the semester, you will be invited to suggest an essay topic (with advice from the instructor). Essays have a word-limit of 3,000 words, including footnotes/endnotes.
Sources MUST under all circumstances be cited. Plagiarism of any sort will result in a grade of “F” for the assignment, or, depending on the level, perhaps even for the entire course.
More information on the requirements for the specific essay assignment will be provided in class.
Essay Grading and Exam Grading Scale
Written work, and to a certain extent also the final exam, meriting the grade of “A” (excellent) must:
- address the assigned question or topic directly and intelligently;
- demonstrate a careful and considered reading of the texts at hand;
- present a lucid thesis and a reasoned argument in its defense;
- use correct grammar, punctuation, and sentence construction;
- make appropriate use of quotations from the texts;
- reveal thoughtfulness, originality and insight.
Written work and examinations awarded the grade of “B” (good) adequately fulfill a majority of these criteria, with areas of improvement indicated by grading remarks and comments.
The grade of “C” (average) is given when written work and examinations fail to meet most criteria, therefore indicating to the student that an appointment should be made with the professor, before the next assignment, to discuss methods for improvement.
Finally, the grade of “D” is assigned to written work and examinations that are unacceptable, according to the criteria outlined above, in which case an appointment must be made with the professor and arrangements determined for re-submitting the assignments in an acceptable form.
This is the grading scale currently in use:
95-100 = A 92-94 = A-
88-91 = B+ 84-87 = B 80-83 = B-
77-79 = C+ 73-76 = C 70-72 = C-
65-69 = D+ 60-64 = D
59 and below = F
Mid-term Examination 30% of final grade
Final Examination 30% of final grade
Final Essay 30% of final grade
Presence / Participation 10% of final grade
Students who wish to request a review of the final course grade must provide original versions of all their graded course assignments.
Week 1: Ab Vrbe condita: From the beginning …
- Guy Bradley, ‘The Roman Republic: Political History’, in Edward Bispham (ed.), Roman Europe (Oxford, 2008), pp. 32-68.
Week 2: Hannibal and the elephants… the Second Punic War
- H.H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero, pp. 1-21.
- J.W. Rich, ‘The origins of the Second Punic War’, in T. Cornell, B. Rankov, and P. Sabin (eds.), The Second Punic War: A Reappraisal (London, 1996), pp. 1-37.
- T.J. Cornell, ‘Hannibal’s Legacy: the effects of the Hannibalic War on Italy’, in T.J. Cornell, B. Rankov, and P. Sabin (eds.), The Second Punic War: A Reappraisal (London, 1996), pp. 97-117.
- Stephen L. Dyson, Community and Society in Roman Italy (Baltimore/London, 1992), pp. 23-55.
Week 3: The Gracchi and Marius
- Scullard (2007), pp. 22-60.
- David Stockton, The Gracchi (Oxford, 1979), pp. 1-86.
- P.A. Brunt, ‘The Army and the Land in the Roman Revolution’, in P.A. Brunt, The Fall of the Roman Republic and Related Essays (Oxford, 1988), pp. 240-280.
Week 4: The Revolt of the Allies and Sulla’s Dictatorship
- Scullard (2007), pp. 61-84.
- F.G.B. Millar, ‘Politics, Persuasion and the People before the Social War (150–90 B.C.)’, Journal of Roman Studies 76 (1986), pp. 1-11. Reprinted in F.G.B. Millar, Rome, the Greek World, and the East, vol. 1, The Roman Republic and the Augustan Revolution, edited by H.M. Cotton and G.M. Rogers (Chapel Hill/London, 2002), pp.143-161.
- P.A. Brunt, ‘Italian Aims at the time of the Social War’, in P.A. Brunt, The Fall of the Roman Republic and Related Essays (Oxford, 1988), pp. 93-143.
- Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939), pp. 10-27.
- Erich S. Gruen, The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (Berkeley/London, 1974), pp. 6-46.
Week 5: Pirates of the Mediterranean… The rise and fall of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
- Scullard (2007), pp. 85-125.
- Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939), pp. 28-46.
- Erich S. Gruen, The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (Berkeley/London, 1974), pp. 83-120.
Week 6: The Roman Republic: democracy alla Romana?
- Christian Habicht, Cicero the Politician (Baltimore/London, 1990), pp. 16-52.
- F.G.B. Millar, ‘Popular politics at Rome in the Late Republic’, in I. Malkin and Z.W. Rubinsohn (eds.), Leaders and Masses in the Roman World: Studies in Honor of Zvi Yavetz (Leiden, 1995), pp. 91-113. Reprinted in F.G.B. Millar, Rome, the Greek World, and the East, vol. 1, The Roman Republic and the Augustan Revolution, edited by H.M. Cotton and G.M. Rogers (Chapel Hill/London, 2002), pp. 162-182.
- Andrew J.E. Bell, ‘Cicero and the Spectacle of Power’, Journal of Roman Studies 87 (1997), pp. 1-22.
- Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp, ‘The Roman Republic: government of the people, by the people, for the people?’, Scripta Classica Israelica 19 (2000), pp. 203-233.
Week 7: Caesar
- Scullard (2007), pp. 105-153.
- Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939), pp. 47-77.
- Stefan G. Chrissanthos, ‘Caesar and the Mutiny of 47 B.C.’, Journal of Roman Studies 91 (2001), pp. 63-75.
- Llewelyn Morgan, ‘‘Levi quidem de re…’ Julius Caesar as Tyrant and Pedant’, Journal of Roman Studies 87 (1997), pp. 23-40.
Week 8: Caesar to Augustus: Image and Empire
- Scullard (2007), pp. 154-187.
- Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939), pp. 227-258.
- Paul Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, trans. A. Shapiro (Ann Arbor, 1988), pp. 33-77.
- J. Pollini, ‘Man or god: divine assimilation and imitation in the Late Republic and Early Principate’, in K.A. Raaflaub and M. Toher (eds.), Between Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus and His Principate (Berkeley/London, 1990), pp. 334-357.
- J.E. Lendon, Empire of Honour: The Art of Government in the Roman World (Oxford, 1997; reprinted 2001), pp. 160-172.
Week 9: Augustus
- Scullard (2007), pp. 188-242.
- Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939), pp. 313-330, 349-386.
- Erich S. Gruen, ‘Augustus and the making of the Principate’, in Karl Galinsky (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 33-51.
- Diana E.E. Kleiner, ‘Semblance and storytelling in Augustan Rome’, in Galinsky (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, pp. 197-231.
- Karl Galinsky, ‘Vergil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses as world literature’, in Galinsky (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, pp. 340-358.
Week 10: ‘I found a city in brick …’. Augustus, part two
- Diane Favro, ‘Making Rome a world city’, in Karl Galinsky (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 234-263.
- Paul Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, trans. A. Shapiro (Ann Arbor, 1988), pp. 79-165.
Week 11: RES GESTAE DIVI AUGUSTI… Augustus, part three
- Scullard (2007), 243-287.
- Alison E. Cooley, Res gestae divi Augusti. Text, Translation, and Commentary (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 58-101.
- F.G.B. Millar, ‘State and subject: the impact of monarchy’, in F.G.B. Millar and Erich Segal (eds.), Caesar Augustus. Seven Aspects (Oxford, 1984), pp. 37-60.
- Greg Woolf, ‘Provincial perspectives’, in K. Galinsky (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 106-129.
- Susan Treggiari, ‘Women in the time of Augustus’, in Galinsky (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, pp. 130-147.
Week 12: The Principate – Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero
- Scullard (2007), pp. 288-321; 345-367.
- Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939), pp. 419-439.
- Barbara Levick, Claudius (London, 1990), pp. 81-114.
- Anthony Barrett, Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire (London, 1999), pp. 143-195.