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COURSE NAME: "Ancient Rome and Its Monuments"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TH 9:15-12:00 PM
PREREQUISITES: On-site; activity fee: €40 or $52
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

Rome City Series - This on-site course considers the art and architecture of ancient Rome through visits to museums and archaeological sites. The course covers the visual culture and architecture of Rome beginning with the Iron Age and ending with the time of Constantine. A broad variety of issues are raised, including patronage, style and iconography, artistic and architectural techniques, Roman religion, business and entertainment.

The course engages students in diverse analyses of the city of ancient Rome by drawing on approaches that are artistic, historical and topographic in nature. Hence, it provides an in-depth appreciation of the multifaceted nature of Roman material culture and the context for the world in which it was created.

Taking advantage of the on-site format emphasis is placed on the visual impact of monuments and artworks for a deeper understanding of their social meaning. The course examines the development of Rome and the importance of public monuments for the visualization of the city, and it analyses these as dynamic spaces of social interaction.

It considers the urban and political articulation of Rome: the city as memory theatre; the interplay between emperor and citizens; the impact of empire. The course asks questions about public imaging, political engagement, and the perceived merits of peace and warfare for a nuanced examination of what it meant to be Roman.

The city’s topography, monuments and artworks are used as the primary sources for an examination of the historical and political development of the city, and of the social and cultural meaning of its visual culture. The course discusses the impact of the origins (c. 753 BC) and early history of Rome, but historically focuses on the period from c. 100 BC-AD 300, the late Republic and Empire.


Ability to analyze – and contextualize – characteristics of ancient Roman culture
Ability to understand key aspects of Roman art and to analyze motives of their creation and reception. Ability to identify trends and developmental aspects, as well as cross-cultural inspirations

Ability to analyze art, architecture and material culture as primary sources
Ability to interpret diverse artistic media and their impact, and ability to use relevant historical, art historical and architectural terminology to effect. Understanding of the context of public and private art and architecture – and the ability for comparative analyses of these

Ability to contextualize the construction of cultural identities and artistic developments
Ability to analyze material culture as dynamic interactions of inspiration, response and emulation – not simply imperialism or military control. Appreciation of diversity of directions of artistic inspiration. Ability to see the selectivity in adoption or rejection of forms


Communicative skills – writing and oral competence
Term paper: Organization of material, focus on topic, and nuance in discussion
Exams: Contextual and nuanced discussion, focused presentation of data
Class presentations: Public speaking (presentation and development of argument) and didactic methods (engaging audience, posing questions)
Participation: Analytical responses; participating in debates; posing questions

Cognitive skills – critical thinking and interpretation
Class presentation: Evaluation and analysis of evidence; reflection on significance
Participation: Reasoned consideration of evidence and methods; willingness to adapt/revise ways of thinking; openness to alternative perspectives
Term paper and exams: Subtlety, nuance and engagement in approach to the topic
Lectures and class presentations: Visual analysis; historical contextualization; interpretative thesis

Collaborative and shared inquiry skills
Lectures and participation: Investigative response-skills; collaborative contributions; open debate
Class presentations: Test, explore and communicate complex ideas

Investigative skills and evaluation of data
Term paper and class presentations: Using and evaluating diverse secondary texts; interpreting the arguments presented
Lectures and participation: Evaluation of context and impact of objects and space

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Rome. Oxford Archaeological Guide (2010) Claridge, Amanda Oxford University Press ISBN 9780199546831 DG62.C53  
Art History Course Reader Dept. of Art History, JCU --- 
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
A full bibliography for the course will be provided at the start of the course -For core bibliographic works see below-- 

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Further reading suggestions for the course will be provided at the start of the course ---- 
Class PresentationResearch presentation to class (10 minutes)15%
Term paperResearch paper (8-10 pages)25%
Mid-term exam (two parts)Image identifications and analytical essays25%
Final examImage identifications and analytical essays30%
Academic participationContribution to class discussions and reviews, sharing of ideas, collaborative behaviour 5%

ASuperior work directly addresses the question or problem raised; provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information; demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory; and has an element of originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading.
BGood work is highly competent; directly addresses the question or problem raised; demonstrates some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice; and discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CSatisfactory work provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings only; it may have some significant structural flaw, absence of information or research background, or too casual and imprecise a treatment, or contain only a minimum of interpretation.
DPoor work lacks a coherent grasp of the material; fails to support its argument with sufficient evidence; indicates a hasty or unconsidered preparation, and/or fails to fulfill the assignment in some way; omits important information and includes irrelevant points.
FFailure work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question; most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

You are expected to participate in all scheduled classes. Absences will be noted and may affect your final grade. Please refer to the university catalogue for the attendance and absence policy.
All classes will start punctually; late arrival will be noted and may affect your final grade.
Class will take place no matter the weather. Please dress accordingly and appropriately for visiting public sites and museums in the city.

You are responsible for identifying the location of - and route to - the meeting points of the classes. You should calculate around 40-50 minutes travel time to our meeting points. Note that most classes will end at on-site locations different from the meeting point. For bus/subway route planner see www.atac.it.

Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed.

Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam: a major exam (midterm or final) cannot be made up without the permission of the Dean’s Office. Permission will be granted only when the absence is caused by a serious impediment or grave situation, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or funeral service for immediate family. Absences due to conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. 

No recording (of any type) of the class is permitted.

Study guides to help you organise your notes and gain an overview of the material - and hence to assist you revise - will be posted weekly, in advance of each class, on MyJCU.
Changes, additional course information, etc. will be posted on MyJCU. Please check this regularly and, certainly, in advance of each class.
Make-up work is not offered, except in exceptional circumstances and after consultation with the Dean of Academic Affairs.

For specific inquiries or to set up an appointment please contact me via email on [email protected]

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.


Details of further reading suggestions as well as a relevant bibliography for the course will be provided at the start of the semester.
Core bibliographic works for the course include:

Bell, S. and Hansen, I.L. (eds) (2008) Role Models in the Roman World.

Borg, B. (ed.) (2015) A Companion to Roman Art.

Clarke, J.R. (2003) Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans.

Claridge, A. (2010) Rome. Oxford Archaeological Guide.

Davies, P. (2000) Death and the Emperor.

Ewald, B.C. and Noreña, C.F. (eds) (2010) The Emperor and Rome.

Fejfer, J. (2008) Roman Portraits in Context.

Flower, H.I. (2004) (ed.) Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic.

Galinsky, K. (1996) Augustan Culture.

Jacobs, P.W. II and Conlin, D.A. (2015) Campus Martius. The Field of Mars in the Life of Ancient Rome.
Kleiner, D.E.E. (1992) Roman Sculpture.

Marder, T:A: and Wilson Jones, M. (eds) (2015) The Pantheon from Antiquity to the Present
Wallace-Hadrill, A. (1993) Augustan Rome.

Zanker, P. (1988) The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus.


Please note - the schedule includes a make-up day: Friday April 22

Week 1 -  Introduction to the course and to Rome
Themes/works: Course requirements & logistics. Rome: mythological & topographical origins. Tiber Island; Forum Boarium; Circus Maximus; Palatine and Capitoline Hills.
Meeting place: JCU, place TBA
Assigned reading: None

Week 2 - Regal and Republican Rome: foundation and expansion
Themes/works: City foundation; survival of Regal period monuments; Republican period expansion; the military triumph. Forum Romanum (Temples of Vesta, Saturn and Castor); Palatine Hill (Romulus); Capitoline Hill (Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus); Forum Boarium (Round temple; Temple of Portunus); Circus Flaminius area
Meeting place: Piazza del Campidoglio, statue of M. Aurelius (Claridge 2010: fig 109).
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 4-9 (history), 39-41, 52-53 (materials & orders), 63-67, 75-77, 83-84, 105-11 (Forum Romanum), 132-3 (hut of Romulus), 259-62, 268-70 (Capitoline, Temple of Jupiter), 285-8 (Forum Boarium), 250-1, 253-6 (Circus Flaminius area); Stamper 2005: 6-10, 38-40, 49-50 (Kings, politics and authority, triumph)

Week 3 - Late Republican Rome: competition, honor, display
Themes/works: Rome and the Hellenistic world; display, competition and influence; patronage and civic space. Theatre of Pompey, Victory temples at Largo Argentina, Forum of Caesar, Forum Romanum
Meeting place: Campo dei Fiori, statue of G. Bruno (Claridge 2010: fig 77)
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 9-12 (history), 63-75, 85-87, 92-95 (Forum Romanum), 71-75, 161-9 (Forum of Caesar), 239-46 (Theatre of Pompey, victory temples); Stamper 2005: 49-50, 84, 90-92 (triumph, Pompey, Caesar).

Week 4 - Caesar and Augustus: private patronage and public space            Pre-midterm test
Themes/works: Patronage, politics, and history; creation of the principate. Forum Romanum (Basilica Aemilia and Julia, Rostra, Curia, Temple of Divus Julius, Temple of Castor, Portico of Gaius and Lucius); Forum of Augustus; Statue of Augustus from Prima Porta
Meeting place: Entrance to the Forum Romanum, Via Fori Imperiali/Via Cavour (Claridge 2010: figs 1, 60)

Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 10-15 (history), 63-75, 85-87, 92-95, 100-3 (Forum Romanum), 177-80 (Forum of Augustus); Kleiner 1992: 59-60 (intro to Augustus), 63-67 (Prima Porta statue); Schneider 2008: 270-8 (Augustan Rome)

Week 5 - Augustus: the triumph of peace 
Themes/works: The creation of the principate: the princeps as role model; senators as stakeholders in a new order. Campus Martius; Mausoleum of Augustus; Ara Pacis Augustae; Horologium; Pantheon and building works of Agrippa
Meeting place: Entrance to the Ara Pacis Augustae, Piazza Augusto Imperatore (Claridge 2010: fig 77).
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 9-15, 40-43 (history & materials), 197-216, 232-3 (Campus Martius, Augustan monuments); Kleiner 1992: 59-60 (intro to Augustus), 90-99 (Augustus, Ara Pacis Augustae)

Week 5 - Late Republic to Imperial Rome: portraits of power     
Themes/works: Portraiture and cultural identity; portraiture and political ideology; Augustan painted interiors. Republican works: veristic portraiture, statue of general from Tivoli; Imperial works: Augustan and Vespasianic portraiture; statue of Augustus from Via Labicana; Garden painting from Prima Porta; Villa Farnesina paintings
Meeting Place: Entrance to Palazzo Massimo Museum, Piazza dei Cinquecento (near Termini station / Piazza Republica) (Claridge 2010: fig 180).
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 12-18 (History); Kleiner 1992: 7-11, 31-40 (Republican), 59-69, 75-78 (Augustan), 171-9 (Flavian); Schneider 2008: 279-84 (the Augustan image)

Week 6 Mid-term exam and discussion of Term Paper               NB note changed class schedule: 08.30 – 11.15
Themes: Source evaluation, reference use, bibliographic formatting related to writing the term paper
Meeting place: JCU place to be established 
Assigned reading: Details will be posted on MyJCU

Week 7 – Nero and the Flavians: the emperor and Rome
Themes/works: Articulating imperial status in Rome; positive and negative role models: father-figures and tyrants; Hellenism and tradition. Domus Aurea; Templum Pacis; Flavian amphitheatre; Arch of Titus; Palace of Domitian; equestrian statue of Domitian; Forum Transistorium [Forum of Nerva]
Meeting Place: Entrance to the Forum Romanum, by the Arch of Titus (Claridge 2010: figs 36 [labeled exit])..
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 16-18 (history), 82-83, 118-9, 121-3 (Forum Romanum), 125-8, 145-56 (Palatine), 169-76 (Temple of Peace, Forum of Nerva), 301-6, 312-9 (Domus Aurea, Colosseum)

Week 8 - Trajan and Hadrian: the emperor and the Empire
Themes/works: Articulating the role of emperor: head of empire or co-regent of Jupiter; depictions of war and non-Romans; culture and cosmopolitan outlook. Forum and Column of Trajan; Temple of Venus and Rome; portraiture of Trajan and Hadrian
Meeting Place: Column of Trajan (Claridge 2010: fig 60).
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 18-21 (history), 118-21 (Temple of Roma and Venus), 180-96 (Forum and markets of Trajan); Kleiner 1992: 207-8, 212-20 (Forum and Column of Trajan), 238-42 (Hadrian)

Week 9 - Hadrian to Commodus: ruling a secure world          
Themes/works: Depictions of war and peace; commemoration and dynastic policies. Pantheon, Mausoleum of Hadrian, Hadrianeum, Columns of A. Pius and M. Aurelius, Stadium and Odeum of Domitian
Meeting Place:  Piazza Navona, near southern fountain (Claridge 2010: fig 77).
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 18-21 (history), 197-204 (Campus Martius), 216-21 (Columns of A. Pius & M. Aurelius), 223-38 (Hadrianeum, Pantheon, stadium and odeum of Domitian); Kleiner 1992: 283-88 (Hadrianeum, column of A. Pius), 295-301 (column of M. Aurelius)

Week 10 - The Severans: making a new Rome        
Themes/works: Depicting dynasty and history; reconstructing Roman / making a new Rome; water and popular luxury; popular participation in imperial messages. Arch of Septimius Severus, Temple of Vesta, Arch of the Argentarii, Baths of Caracalla, Septizodium
Meeting point: Piazza Campidoglio, statue of M. Aurelius (Claridge 2010: fig 109)
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 21-24 (history), 78-79 (Arch of S. Severus), 292-3 (Arch of the Argentarii), 356-65 (Septizodium, Baths of Caracalla)

Week 11 - Antonines, Severans and Constantine: ruling a world city              Term Paper due
Themes/works: Portraiture and imperial identity; being Roman, acting Greek; values and morals. Portraiture: Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, Septimius Severus, Caracalla, Constantine; Equestrian statue of M. Aurelius; panel reliefs of M. Aurelius; Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina
Meeting Place: Piazza Campidoglio, statue of M. Aurelius (Claridge 2010: fig 109)
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 18-29 (history), 111-13 (Temple of Antoninus); Kleiner 1992: 267-80 (Antonine portraits), 288-95 (reliefs of M. Aurelius), 319-25 (Severan portraits), 438-41 (Constantine).

Week 12 - Tetrarchs to Constantine: a Roman Rome   
Themes/works: Imperial rule and Roman history; art quoting history; triumph and tradition; a new role for the emperor in Rome? The late imperial Forum; Arch of Constantine; Basilica of Maxentius; Temple of Venus and Roma
Meeting Place: Entrance to the Forum Romanum, Via Fori Imperiali/Via Cavour (Claridge 2010: figs 1, 60)
Assigned reading:
Claridge 2010: 21-29 (history), 78-79, 85-87, 115-7 (monuments in the Forum), 308-12 (Arch of Constantine); Kleiner 1992: 444-55 (Arch of Constantine).

Week 14 - Review class                 NB note changed class schedule: 8.30 – 11.15
Overview and discussion of course content
Meeting Place: JCU, place to be established
Assigned reading:
Course reader page 9 – identify monuments discussed in class. Pose 3-5 questions, based on your revision study, for which you would like clarification and further detail.

Week 15 - Final exam
Meeting place: Date, time and place to be announced