Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

CLST 207 Art of the Roman World

Spring 2016


John Felice Rome Center



Spring 2016



Dr. Valentina Follo



cell: +39 331 428 3035 (emergency only)



The course traces the development of Roman art from the Etruscans to the age of Constantine.  Landmark monuments effectively illustrate the Roman idea of city, the language of imperial propaganda and the importance of public building programs.  Media such as painting, mosaics, sculpture and the minor arts offer a clear indication of the social, cultural and ideological forces at work in the Roman world.  Triumphal arches, decorated Roman house interiors, painted vessels and coins showcase an engagingly rich spectrum of imagery pertaining to Greek myths, for example, together with legendary and historical figures.  Scenes of friend and foe on the battlefield vie for attention with those of naked athletes and imposing imperial portraiture on the mammoth and portable forms of Roman art under study.

The course also investigates how art and architecture acted as catalysts in the process of Romanization, and examines the centrifugal force they lent to Rome’s influence over its provinces.

The class takes full advantage of Rome’s museums and collections to introduce diverse aspects of Roman Art, affording students direct contact with artifacts, while heightening their awareness of the nature of archaeological evidence and the extent to which it contributes to our understanding of past civilizations. To this end, the majority of sessions will be held on site.

Issues pertaining to conservation, preservation and transmission will also be addressed. The course further examines the role that archaeological sites and artifacts play as key resources for information on society in antiquity, and the analysis of primary and secondary sources enable participants to gain greater insights not only into the daily life of ancient Romans but also their own perception of their art. 



By the end of the term, students will be able to identify the main phases of Rome’s art development and their chief features, as well as link historical events to relevant works of art, sites and monuments. Furthermore, participants will recognize the interrelationships between Roman art and the historical development, piecing together an intricate picture of the political and religious organization of Roman society and understand the significance of Roman art and architecture and its impact on modern Western civilizations. Students will also obtain a deeper knowledge of the use of primary and secondary sources pertaining to Roman art.



PARTICIPATION                                           10%

PRESENTATION                                          15%


MIDTERM EXAM                                         25%

FINAL EXAM                                               30%


For the presentation, students will examine one work of art/monument. The presentation should last 15 minutes and provide a thorough assessment of the work of art/monument, including a historical overview, its context, function, dates, afterlife, and decorative program. Both primary and secondary sources should be employed.

Also for the presentation, at least four independent and scholarly sources should be consulted (e.g. books on reserve, Jstor, and the Muse project).  Online resources are permitted, but must be approved by the instructor. The day of the presentation the student is expected to provide a detailed outline, drawings, maps or other pertinent visual material along with a list of references; these are to be succeeded by a written report (8-10 pages long) by the end of the term (April 25th).

Active participation constitutes an important portion of the final grade, and does NOT refer solely to consistent attendance and punctuality, but rather to regular class interaction, entailing both questions and thoughtful responses.

Both the midterm and the final examination will share a mixture of multiple choice and True/False questions, Q&A, and picture identifications.



ATTENDANCE: Attendance is mandatory. Students are allowed 1 (one) unexcused absence. Any absence beyond that will result in a deduction of two percentage points from the final grade for each additional absence. Exams, presentations or other work missed without a documented medical or family emergency will result in a failing grade for that exam or assignment.


TARDINESS: Punctuality is essential, both as a form of respect for your fellow students as well as for the instructor.  More than 15 minutes late will count as an unexcused absence, and the class will commence without the student.


LOYOLA’S ACADEMIC INTEGRITY CODE will be implemented in this course with a zero tolerance policy for academic dishonesty.







The texts for this class will be available on Sakai. The reading assignments must be done before each session to enable full participation in class discussions.

While the class does not require a textbook, it is strongly recommended to purchase, as a guideline, Ramage (Eur 28at the Loyola Bookstore).


Valentina Follo graduated summa cum laude in classical archaeology at the University La Sapienza in Rome, holds a master’s in pedagogy of antiquity from the University of Ferrara and a Ph.D. in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World from the University of Pennsylvania. She is curator of the Norton-Van Buren Archaeological Study Collection at the American Academy in Rome. Valentina has published on both the reaffirmation and the repudiation of ancient Greco-Roman models in early modern and contemporary art and architectural practices.



On site classes:

January 25th, Museo Pio Clementino – The Vatican Museums.

February 8th, The House of Augustus/The House of Livia on the Palatine.

February 15th, The Ara Pacis and The Mausoleum of Augustus.

March 14th, Museo Gregoriano Profano – The Vatican Museums.

March 18th, The Column and Markets of Trajan.

March 21st, The Pantheon, The Castel Sant’Angelo, The Hadrianeum, The Column of Marcus Aurelius.

April  4th, The Capitoline Museums.

April 11th, The Arch of Septimius Severus, The Arch of the Argentarii, Septizodium, The Baths of Caracalla.

April 18th, The Triumphal Arch of Constantine, and St. John’s Basilica.



Estimated total for museum entrance fees €20 per student



  • WEEK 1

January 18th.  Introduction: Historical Overview. Italy before the rise of Rome. The Etruscans.



  • Kleiner Fred, pp. XXII-XLVI
  • Ramage, chap. 1 (Etruscans) and pp. 21-27.


  • WEEK 2

 January 25th.  A New Art based on Greek forms

ON SITE SESSION (Vatican Museums-Chiaramonti/Pio Clementino).


  • Paul Zanker, chap.1.
  • Kleiner Diane, Introduction, and pp. 31-38 (Republican Portrait).
  • Fred Kleiner, pp.1-5, 7-8 and 11 (Rome under the Kings).

MEETING POINT: Main entrance of the Vatican Museums


  • WEEK 3

February 1st. The Age of Augustus and the Birth of Imperial Art.



  • Kleiner Fred, pp.56-59 (Pompey and Caesar)
  • Peter Aicher, pp, 225-229 (Theater of Pompey) and pp. 190-194 (Forum of Caesar).
  • Zanker, Paul, Chap. 4


  • WEEK 4

February 8th .  Mural painting

ON SITE SESSION (House of Livia and House of Augustus on the Palatine).


  • Kleiner Fred, pp. 31-35, 39-41 (Roman Mural Painting, First and Second Style) and pp. 73-77 (Third Style).
  • Ramage, pp. 82-99

MEETING POINT: Main entrance to the Palatine, Via di San Gregorio


  • WEEK 5

February 15th . Augustan Rome: from chaos to a new order

ON SITE SESSION (Ara Pacis and Mausoleum of Augustus).


  • Kleiner Diane, Chap. 2 (The Age of Augustus and the birth of Imperial art)
  • Galinsky Karl, chap. 4 (Art and Architecture)


Main entrance of the Ara Pacis



  • WEEK 6

February 22nd. Art under the Julio-Claudian.



  • J.J.Pollit, Chap. 4 (Hellenistic Baroque).
  • Kleiner Diane, pp.149-154 (Julio-Claudian Cameos and Metal work)
  • Kleiner Fred, chap 8 (The Julio-Claudian Dynasty)



WEEK 7: February 29th MIDTERMS


  • WEEK 8

March 14th. Nero and the Flavians.

ON SITE SESSION (Vatican Museums-Museo Gregoriano Profano).


  • Kleiner Fred, pp.116-119 (Golden House of Nero)
  • Peter Aicher, PP.170-187.
  • Davies, Penelope, pp.19-24, 67-71 (Arch of Titus)
  • Kleiner Diane, pp. 171-172, pp.183-194.
  • Kleiner Fred, pp.121-137.

MEETING POINT: Entrance of the Vatican Museums(Viale Vaticano)



March 18th (Friday session). The Five Good Emperors.  ON SITE SESSION (Column of Trajan and Museum of the Imperial Fora).


  • Davies, pp.27-34
  • Kleiner Fred, pp.153-163
  • Kleiner Diane, pp. 212-223
  • Aicher pp. 208-213.

MEETING POINT: entrance of the Markets of Trajan, Via IV Novembre


  • WEEK 9

March 21st. Hadrian. ON SITE SESSION (Pantheon, Castel Sant’Angelo, Hadrianeum, column of Marcus Aurelius).


  • Kleiner Diane, pp.237-238, 251-256
  • Kleiner Fred, pp.180-185
  • Aicher pp.234-237
  • Davies, pp.34-40

MEETING POINT: entrance of Castel Sant’Angelo


  • WEEK 10

April 4th. The Antonines. ON SITE SESSION (Capitoline Museums).


  • Kleiner Fred, chap 13
  • Davies pp. 40-48
  • Kleiner Diane p.271 (bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius); pp.276-276 (portrait of Commodus as Hercules), pp.285-301.

MEETING POINT: entrance of the Capitoline Museums, Piazza del Campidoglio


  • WEEK 11

April 11th. The Severans. ON SITE SESSION (Arch Septimius Severus, arch of the Argentarii, Septizodium and Baths of Caracalla).


  • Aicher p.274-275 (Arch of the Argentarii), pp.118-119 (Arch of Septimius Severus)
  • Kleiner Diane, pp.329-332 and 334-343.

MEETING POINT: Piazza del Campidoglio


  • WEEK 12

April 18th : The Tetrarchy and Constantine. ON SITE SESSION (Arch of Constantine and St. John the Lateran).


  • Kleiner Diane, pp.401-403; 455-458.
  • Kleiner Fred pp.263-264279,281-285, 291-296-301.

MEETING POINT: Arch of Constantine


  • WEEK 13