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COURSE NAME: "Medieval Rome and Its Monuments "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Sharon Salvadori
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: T 9:15-12:00 PM
PREREQUISITES: On-site; activity fee: €25 or $33

Rome City Series - An on-site survey of Roman urbanism, as well as developments in figural media and architecture, from the 4th to the 14th century. While the course will naturally emphasize the abundant religious art remaining in the city, it will also examine such secular achievements as towers, housing, defenses, and roads.

This is an upper level survey on the art, architecture and topography of medieval Rome. The aim of the course is to provide an in-depth familiarity and appreciation of the multifaceted nature of medieval city in its original historical context. The class often meets on-site, allowing for first-hand study of buildings, paintings, mosaics, sculpture, and other objects, our “primary sources” for an examination of the religious, political, military, and social functions and meanings of the built environment and visual culture of the city.

A primary focus is the development of Rome into the capital of Western Medieval Christendom. For that reason, we begin our examination in the mid-third century AD when the first significant body of Old and New Testament imagery develops in Rome under primarily Christian patronage. The chronological end point is the first decade of the 14
th century, which witnessed the move (or “exile”) of the Papacy from Rome to the French city of Avignon, essentially ending an era in the history of the city.

While the Church in its many forms- from the papal court to convents to neighborhood parishes- was the most powerful political, social and economic institution in Rome during the 1000-year span, many members of the secular elite- almost invariably belonging to the same families that staffed the papal entourage- also exerted a strong impact on city; one need only mention the hundreds of towers– symbols of military prowess- they erected as part of their residences in the city. Moreover, the city always retained a form of civic government in charge of the all-important urban infrastructure (roads, walls, aqueducts, sanitation, etc.)  A second focus of the course is, therefore, an examination of the interplay between religious and secular in the self-representation of the city and its inhabitants.

Last but not least, medieval Rome may not be properly understood without examining how the city dealt with its past. As the city “reshaped” itself, the topographical, monumental and artistic legacy of the Ancient Rome was ever present and was preserved as a source of civic pride, transformed or repurposed, or left to decay, but never erased.

The course has a fee €25 per student to cover cost of tickets at sites, churches and museums. Please also note that students may not be registered for a class that immediately follows this one, given the time required to travel back to and from sites. In fact, it is advisable to give yourself a minimum of one hour to return to school or your next on-site class.


Ø  understanding of key aspects of urban layout and spatial organization in Medieval Rome

Ø understanding of key structural, functional and stylistic aspects of Roman Medieval art and architecture

Ø ability to analyze and interpret the urban topography and development of Medieval Rome and, more specifically, the motives in the creation, use and reception of areas, neighborhoods, monuments and artworks in their original (medieval) political, religious, and social contexts

Ø skills for the critical analysis of urban topography and visual culture generally

Ø familiarity with different methods of art historical analysis and terminology and the ability to deploy them successfully

Ø  ability to apply critical thinking and analysis generally

Ø  ability to select and organize material to produce a coherent and cogent argument both orally and in writing- and to do so to so respecting deadlines.

Ø  ability to exchange ideas and engage in discussion with peers

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Rome: Profile of a City, 312-1308Richard KrautheimerPrinceton University Press0-691.04961.0DG811 .K7 

ParticipationIn addition to attendance, active class participation is expected of all students. Participating effectively entails completing and taking notes on all "Required Reading" (listed in the Course Schedule), before class so that during class you can effectively engage: prepared to ask and answer questions and to share any pertinent observations. Although participation is only 5% of the course grade it could ensure an A rather than an A- as your final grade. Remember too that the more you engage, the more interesting and fun the class will be not only for you but also for everyone else (prof. included). 5
QuizzesPart of your preparation in the course of the semester will be evaluated through 6 quizzes based on the "Required Reading" and in-class lectures. The quiz with the lowest score will be excluded from the final tally. That means that each of the remaining 5 quizzes is worth 4% of your course grade. Please be aware that if you miss a quiz -for any reason, including illness- you will not be able to make it up (it will be the one not tallied). All the quizzes will be on material we have previously discussed in class (=review quizzes). They are designed to assess your knowledge of key facts concerning representative monuments and artworks and your ability to critically interpret their historical significance. Each quiz will consist in one or more questions on specific areas, monument or object types, individual monuments or artworks or sets of monuments or artworks. You may be asked the name of an area, monument, building or artwork, as well as its location, date, function and/or patronage; you may also be asked to describe it (structural and decorative components, materials used, style, iconography, etc.); or you may be asked to a question on some aspect of its significance (e.g. the intended meaning- political, religious, social, aesthetic- of the iconography of a given church apse mosaic) . Depending on the number and nature of the questions, you will be given anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes to answer. The dates and topics of the quizzes are listed in the Course Schedule. 20
PresentationThe assignment is intended to develop your skills in independent research, observation, interpretation, evaluation, and last but not least presentation: developing the ability to express in a clear, concise and effective manner- whether orally or in writing- is as important as content…content without form undermines content itself! Ideally, every student will present in front of a monument or artwork on-site. However, there are restrictions for some sites (including most importantly visibility) that make that difficult for some topics. In those cases the presentation will take place in our classroom with the aid of PowerPoint slides. The assignment must include • a descriptive account of the monument/artwork: date, location in Rome, medium, size, technique, and iconographic (=subject / content), formal (= analysis of form), and stylistic (= how form is rendered) analysis • an historically informed contextual and interpretative discussion (function, patronage, intended and received meaning, impact, associations, etc., as relevant or known) • 2-3 questions raised by the monument, artwork or subject addressed to the class to engage it directly in your topic and so further develop it. This also means that you should avoid “quizzing” the class on ascertained facts (e.g. “who was the patron of the Santa Maria Maggiore?”). Rather the questions should address issues of interpretation, motivations, reception, etc. e.g. how does the inclusion and location of Pope Sixtus’ name on the chancel arch in Santa Maria Maggiore direct meaning? What image is associated with his name? How did it (attempt to) benefit his rule? etc. You must clearly demonstrate that 1. you have read and understood the required reading listed on your syllabus for your topic 2. you have read and understood at least two additional academic sources on your topic. The most obvious and sure-fire (and easiest) option is to choose relevant publications from the "Suggested Reading" listed in the Course Schedule; but other pertinent books and periodicals available in the Course Bibliography and library (stacks and electronic portal) may also be used. Please be aware that for other Internet sources, the rule of thumb is if it exists in print it is acceptable, if doesn't it isn't (although exceptions are increasing exponentially). So, e.g. an article from an academic periodical that has been made available on line is fine, but a web-site on monuments, historical background, etc. is not. Also, please be aware that our knowledge about medieval Rome has grown in time and so too research questions have evolved so please be wary of older publications (say pre-1960) unless you are certain they are still valid. When in doubt, ask me. On the day of the presentation you must submit: 1. one-page or two-page handout to all members of the class (including me) with an outline of indicating the key points. If appropriate, please also provide supporting images (please always double check accuracy of images when using internet) 2. a bibliography which must include: A. relevant titles from the required reading on your syllabus B. The two (or more) additional titles 3. A formal paper (1500 words) to be turned into me. ***Additional Guidelines, including topics and dates will be provided during class 2 when we also review them together. Topics must be selected by class 4 to allow for preliminary research to better inform your choice. It is advisable to have a back-up choice, in case another classmate chooses your topic (we will draw straws). ****Outlines or drafts are optional but must be turned in at least 2 weeks prior to the due date; similarly if you have questions on content and bibliography set up an appointment with me at least 2 weeks prior to the due date. 15
Term PaperDue Date: Last day of class. No late papers accepted. Early papers welcome. Length: 3500 words, exclusive of footnotes, bibliography and supporting images The term paper is intended to develop skills of independent research, ability to evaluate and interpret materials and their inherent interests, and capability for discussing these in a nuanced manner in writing. Like the presentation, if more in depth, the paper must combine iconographic, formal and stylistic analyses and an historically informed contextual and interpretative analysis. In other words, a formal essay that demonstrates the skills that you have developed and/or honed during the semester. The paper must include a complete bibliography of primary and secondary sources used and all references must be fully cited in the paper itself. Supporting images are also required (no less than 4). *** Additional guidelines, including suggested topics will be posted on MYJCU by class 5. We will review the guidelines in the class following the due date of the mid-term (see below). Feel free to set up an appointment with me anytime after class 5. **** Outlines or drafts are optional but must be turned in at least 2 weeks prior to the due date; similarly, if you have questions on content and bibliography set up an appointment with me at least 2 weeks prior to the due date. For minor questions on bibliography, format, paraphrasing, quoting primary and secondary sources or methods of citation set up an appointment with me at least one week prior to the due date. Please note that but there is no required format for citations; what is required is consistency that is, pick one format and stick to it! 25
Mid-term ExamThe midterm is designed to assess your knowledge of essential facts about areas, neighborhoods, monuments, artworks in Medieval Rome and your ability to critically interpret and assess their historical significance. It consists in a take-home test that must be submitted to me in hard copy and via email by class 8. Questions will be posted electronically by class 7 (a week prior to the due date). They will consist in comparisons or other kinds of short answer questions and/or essays for a total of c. 3000 words. You are encouraged to brainstorm with each other (best as a class), but the answers must be in your own words. To achieve a top grade (B+, A- and A) you must demonstrate that you have read at least 2 of the suggested titles for the test (they will be listed). Sources must be appropriately cited in your answers (MLA style will do) and a bibliography provided at the end. 15
Final ExamLike the mid-term exam, the final exam is structured to assess your knowledge of essential facts about areas, neighborhoods, monuments, artworks in Ancient Rome and your ability to critically interpret and assess their historical significance. The exam is cumulative, although with a greater emphasis on material studied after the mid-term. You may expect material from earlier periods to show up especially in comparisons. The exam takes place during exam week (exact, day, time and classroom TBA) It consists in: 6 slide identifications 5 minutes each, worth 30% of your exam grade (5% each). Name, typology, date, media, (original) location, function, and patronage must be specified as known or relevant. E.g. the Aurelian wall does not have a subject, but the apse mosaics in Santa Maria in Trastevere do; a church may have a “basilican plan,” but how that plan is articulated (with one or two aisles, with or without a transept, with or without chapels, etc.) may vary; a representation of the Virgin Mary is just that, but how she is specifically represented (in a sequence of narrative images, as an icon or an iconic image, etc.) and where (in an apse, on the altar, in a chapel, etc.) may vary and all must be specified and described- however briefly. Last but not least, you must indicate at least one reason the topographical area, monument or artwork was significant in its original historical context....An identification which lists a complete series of correct facts, but fails to discuss why they are significant, will score lower than one that is missing a few facts but which includes an assessment of historical significance. 4 slide comparisons 10 minutes each, worth 40% of the exam grade (10% each). One or more images of two sites or monuments will be shown to you. You must identify each one (again name, typology, date, media, (original) location, function, patronage, but also (and most importantly) consider them in relation to one another: i.e. discuss significant similarities and differences (variously combining meaning, function, patronage, structural or formal components). But please note that typically the primary significance of comparisons is rooted in historically specific (and significant) thematic connections – so for example you may be asked to compare two representations of Mary, of Christ, or of saints venerated in Rome…. 1 essay 30 minutes, worth 30% of the exam grade. Two weeks prior to the exam (and a week before our review session), you will be given 2 essay questions accompanied by images of sites and/or monuments. One of the two will be on exam. However, the other topic will undoubtedly show up in the identifications and comparisons, so be sure to prepare for both (combined they are usually worth 40-60% of exam!). *** A review sheet and review images will be posted on MYJCU two weeks before the exam. A review session is scheduled on our last class. 20

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 is required, but  not graded  

All scheduled classes are mandatory. Roll will be taken at the beginning of each class (i.e. you must also be on time!) Lectures and on-site visits do more than simply complement required reading assignments so being absent inevitably results in extra work to catch up. Typically, missing 2 or more classes results in poor performance, if not a failing grade (because each class is a double period 2 classes are the equivalent of 4). Meeting on-site obviously requires moving, so you absolutely must also be punctual at our initial meeting points (specified below in the Course Schedule). It is your responsibility to find out where the meeting places are. You may ask me in advance, but no later than during the class the week before. I will not respond to last minute emails or phone calls. For subway and bus lines consult www.atac. it (available in English). Please also be aware that missing classes may entail missing quizzes, which may not be made up (but see below on the "throw away" quiz). For this and other more obvious reasons, it is imperative to attend all classes.

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.
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.


1. Tues. Sept. 4/ Meeting place: JCU, GK 1.3
Introduction to course: content, methodology, requirements, logistics, etc.
On-site: San Crisogono: materials, architectural elements and plans, spolia, archaeological evidence, rebuilding and redecorating

2. Tues. Sept. 4 / Meeting place: Roman Forum entrance on Via dei Fori Imperiali 
The "Ancient" Monumental Center 4th-7th centuries - Roman Forum and Colosseum Valleys
Required Reading: Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): Ch. 1: Rome and Constantine, esp. 1-18 and 28-31: "pagan" Rome in reign of Constantine
*Quiz 1: architectural elements and plans: basilicas

3. Tues. Sept. 18/   Meeting Place: Catacomb of Priscilla – Via Salaria 430
Burial in 3rd and 4th century Rome: social and religious identity - Catacomb of Priscilla, (old) Basilica of Sant’ Agnese, Mausoleum of Costanza
Required Reading:  Brandenburg (2005), 69-86: Sant’ Agnese and Santa Costanza; Fiocchi Nicolai et al. (2002): Bisconti, Ch. 2: art in Roman catacombs

4. Tues. Sept. 25 / Meeting Time: 8:30-11:15 Meeting Place: JCU - GK 1.3
Social, religious and political identity in the 4th century /  5th-8th century Rome: overview
Required Reading:  Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): Ch. 1, esp. 18-28: Constantine as patron of Christians and Ch. 2: late 4th-and 5th century Rome; Brandenburg (2005), Intro and Ch. 1: earliest churches, Ch 2: Lateran, and Ch. 3, 91-108: Old St. Peter's and Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
*Quiz 2:  Iconography of catacomb painting - focus on image types examined in Priscilla

5. Tues. Oct. 2 / Meeting Place: Basilica of S. Paolo, flm

Piazzale San Paolo, 1 - atrium by narthex of main entrance (if you are coming by subway you have to circle the church from the back to get to main entrance)

"Christianization" in late-4th- and early-5th-century Rome - 


S. Paolo, flm and S. Sabina
Required Reading:  Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): Ch. 2; Brandenburg (2005), Ch. 6 (San Paolo, flm) and 167-176 (Santa Sabina)

6. Tues. Oct. 9 / Meeting Place: 

S. Pudenziana- Via Urbana, 160- entrance courtyard (or just outside the gate)

"Christianization" in late-4th - early-5th-century Rome, cont.

S. Pudenziana and S. Maria Maggiore

Required Reading:  Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): Ch. 2; Brandenburg (2005): 133 (intro Post-Constantian church building), 137-142 (S. Pudenziana), and 176-189 (S. Maria Maggiore)

7. Tues. Oct. 16 / Meeting Place: Santi Cosma e Damiano - Via dei Fori Imperiali to right of Roman Forum entrance- in courtyard, by souvenir table
Rome between old and new and East and West (6th-8th centuries) - SS. Cosma e Damiano, S. Maria Antiqua, Oratory of the 40 Martyrs, S. Adriano, and S. Maria Nova
Required Reading:  Krautheimer (1980/ 2000):  Ch. 4; Brandenburg (2005): 222-233 (SS. Cosma e Damiano, S. Maria Antiqua, S. Adriano)
*Quiz 3: Mosaics of late 4th- and early 5th-century Rome

8. Tues. Oct. 23 / Meeting Place: 

Crypta Balbi- Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31- entrance

Rome between old and new and East and West, cont. - Crypta Balbi and S. Maria Rotonda (Pantheon)
Required Reading:  Krautheimer (1980/ 2000):  Ch. 4; 

Brandenburg (2005): 233-4: S. Maria Rotonda; van Asperen (2016): S. Maria Rotonda
*Quiz 4: Wall-paintings in S. Maria Antiqua

9. Tues. Oct. 30 / Meeting Place: 

S. Cecilia- Piazza di Santa, Cecilia 22- entrance

Bishops, emperors, aristocrats, and monks in ninth century Rome - S. Cecilia, S. Marco and S. Prassede
Required Reading:  Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): 

Ch. 5
*Take-home mid-term due (in hard copy in class and via email)

Tues. Nov. 6 / Meeting Time: 8:30-11:15 and Meeting Place: JCU - GK 1.3
Rome in the Central Middle Ages (10th-13th centuries): overview
Required Reading: Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): Ch. 6
*Quiz 5:  

Mosaics in 9th century Rome: the patronage of Pope Paschal I

11. Tues. Nov. 13 / Meeting Place: 

San Clemente- Via Labicana, 95- entrance

Rome 11th-13th centuries - 

S. Clemente, SS. Quattro Coronati (Chapel of St. Sylvester)- 

Required Reading: Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): Ch. 7 and 8

*Annotated Bibliography Due (in hard copy in class and via email)


Tues. Nov. 20 / Meeting Place: 

S. Maria in Trastevere - piazza, by front entrance

Rome 11th-13th centuries, cont. - S. Maria in Trastevere and S. Cecilia
Required Reading: Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): Ch. 7 and 8

*Visual Analysis due (in hard copy in class and via email)

13. Tues. Nov. 27 / Meeting Place: Santa Maria Maggiore - Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore, 42- but basilica is huge- meet by front entrance (by metal detectors)
S. Maria Maggiore and the Lateran Complex in the Middle Ages
Required Reading: Krautheimer (1980/ 2000): Ch. 14; Webb (2001): 40-51 (Lateran Complex)
*Quiz 6: Marian iconography, 5th to 12th cent. (a review quiz!)

14. Tues. Dec. 4 / Meeting Time: 8:30-11:15 / Meeting Place: JCU - GK 1.3
Review session for Final Exam- remember to bring review sheet, to study review images posted on MYJCU (in PPoint) and to come to class with questions based on your revision
* Term Paper due

Exam week Mon.- Fri. Dec. 10-14: final exam exact date, time and classroom TBA