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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CL/HS 255"
COURSE NAME: "Peoples of the Roman World: Ethnic, Social and Cultural Identities"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Benedetta Bessi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 1:30-2:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course explores the multi-ethnic dimensions of the Roman world with a particular emphasis on the Imperial period (31BCE-476 CE). From Rome's beginnings, its population was characterized by cultural diversity, and one of the Empire's greatest strengths was its ability to integrate diverse peoples into Roman political, social and cultural life. Nevertheless, as the Empire expanded into Europe and the Mediterranean, many peoples who came under Roman rule continued to maintain distinctive ethnic, social and cultural identities. In this course, we will explore the complex processes of social and cultural negotiation between local identities and Romanization that resulted from Roman expansion. In doing so, we will seek a better understanding not only of how and why the cultural identities of such groups differed from mainstream Romanitas, but also the ways in which these interactions contributed to the shaping of Roman identity.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

After a brief introduction to Rome's history with a focus on imperial expansion, we will proceed to explore the diversity of the Roman world by examining the following groups: Etruscans and Italic peoples; Gauls, Celts, Germans, and other Northerners; Greeks and the Orient; Egypt and Egyptians; Berbers and Phoenicians in North Africa; and Jews and Christians.

By the end of this course, students should acquire a good understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of the Roman empire as well as the theoretical and methodological skills needed to better analyze and assess phenomena of “ethnicity”, “identity” and “otherness,” which are as relevant to today’s world as that of the Romans.

Such a course should therefore appeal not only to students of Classics and Ancient History but also to those with an interest in cultural interactions, multicultural diversity, globalization vs. local identity, ethnicity, integration dynamics, etc.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Students who successfully complete this subject should...

  • Identify the significance and the role of “identity” and “ethnicity” in the Roman world and, more generally, in the ancient world at large.
  • Become acquainted with the main peoples of the Roman world as well as the history and complex dynamics of their integration into the empire.
  • demonstrate familiarity with the literary, iconographical and archaeological evidence for the re-construction of ancient ethnic identity.
  • Become familiar with the main sociological and anthropological methodologies used in the analysis of these phenomena.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Peoples of the Roman WorldM. BoatwrightCUP978-0521549943  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
midterm exam short answers and in essay question20%
In class presentation Individual or in group depending on enrollment 20%
research paper 2000 words with notes and bibliography in Chicago style20%
final exam short anwers and essay question 30%
attendance and class participation  10%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Attendance is mandatory and will be taken at the beginning of each session. More than 4 unexcused absences will result in the automatic lowering of the grade (A to A-; A-to B+ etc.)
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

WEEK 1

 
Mon Sept 3

Course introduction - 

Boatwright, Peoples.., ch 1


Wed Sept 5

Historical Background of Rome’s conquest and Expansion

R. Mac Mullen, “The Unromanized in Rome”, in S.J. D. Cohen and E.S. Frerichs (eds.), Diasporas in Antiquity, Atlanta 1993, 47-64

 

WEEK 2


Mon Sept 12

Ancient and Modern Definitions of Ethnicity, Race, Identity and Diversity

National Geographic, April 2018 issue

(online)
E. Gruen, Did Identity depend on Ethnicity? A Preliminary Probe, Phonix 17 (2013), 1-22 (jstor)



Wed Sept 14

Research skills session: Primary vs Secondary sources

 

WEEK 3

Mon Sept 17 

The Etruscans

M. B. Bittarello, “The construction of Etruscan ‘otherness’ in Latin literature”,  Greece & Rome 56, 2009, 211-233. 



Wed Sept 19

Other Italics 

P. van Dommelen, N. Terrenato. “Local cultures and the expanding Roman Republic,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 63, 2007, 7-12. 

 

WEEK 4

Mon Sept 24

The Gauls,

Boatwritght, Peoples …, ch. 2

G. Woolf, The Roman cultural revolution in Gaul, in S. Keay-N.Terrenato, Italy and the West, Comparative issues in Romanization, Oxford 2009, 163-186.

Selected passages from Caesar, The Gallic Wars and Tacitus, Agricola and Germania.



Wed Sept 26

The Germans and Other Northern Peoples

Boatwritght, Peoples …, ch. 2

Selected passages from Caesar, The Gallic Wars and Tacitus, Agricola and Germania.

 

WEEK 5

Mon Oct 1

The Greeks 

Boatwright, Peoples…, ch. 3

 Selected passages from Polybius, Plutarch and Aelius Aristides



Wed Oct 3

Persians and the Hellenistic Orient 

E.S. Gruen, The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome, Berkley, 1986

Selected passages from Herodotus, Livy, Plutarch

 

WEEK 6

Oct 8

Review 


Oct 10

Midterm



WEEK 7

Mon Oct 15 

Egyptians

Boatwright, Peoples…, ch. 4

P. Davies, “Aegyptiaka: Adventus and Romanitas”, in E. Gruen, ed., Cultural Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean, Los Angeles 2011, 371-387.


Wed Oct 17
Research skills sessions: identification and assessment of the sources



WEEK 8

Mon Oct 22

Cleopatra

D.E. Kleiner, Cleopatra and Rome, Cambridge MA 2005 (selected passages)

D. E. McCoskey, Race: Antiquity and Its Legacy. Ancients and Moderns, Oxford 2012.



Wed Oct 24

Africa and Ethiopians

Selected readings from Herodotous, Ps. Scylax, Diodorus.

 

WEEK 9

Mon Oct 29

Phoenicians and Berbers in North Africa

D. Hunter, Provincial Identity in the Roman World: Thugga (Dougga), in Vexillum, 2, 2012, http://www.vexillumjournal.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Hunter-Provincial-Identity-in-a-Roman-World-Thugga-Dougga.pdf

E. Fentress, “Romanizing the Berbers”, Past and Present 190, 2006, 1-33. 


Wed Oct 31
  
The necropolis of Sabratha

B. Shaw “Cult and Belief in Punic in Roman Africa” (September 2007). Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics Paper No. 090705. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1426962


WEEK 10

Mon Nov 5

The Jews

Boatwright, Peoples…, Ch. 5

Selected passages from  Philo, Josephus, Juvenal


Wed Nov 7

Library session Notes and bibliography



WEEK 11

Mon Nov 12

The Christians

Boatwright, Peoples…, Ch. 6

J. Lieu, Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World, Oxford 2004

D.K. Buell, Why this New Race? Ethnic Reasoning in Early Christianity, New York 2005 

Selected reading from Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Eusebius and the Acta


Wed Nov 14

Research paper lab: work in progress
Students must be ready to share the outline of their paper and to report at least a methodological approach. 


WEEK 12

Mon Nov 19
  
Movie session: screening of selected scenes from Cabiria, Scipio Africanus, Quo Vadis, Cleopatra, Gladiator, 300 hundreds



Wed Nov 21

Student presentation



WEEK 13

Mon Nov 26

Students presentation



Wed Nov 28

Students presentation




WEEK 14

 
Mon Dec 3

Students presentation


Wed Dec 5

Wrap up session and final discussion

FINAL RESEARCH PAPER DUE