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

INSTRUCTOR: Jens Koehler
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TH 9:15-12:00 PM
PREREQUISITES: On-site; activity fee: €40 or $52
OFFICE HOURS: 0039-338-5256504

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.

This is an upper level survey course focusing on the city of Rome from its origins well before the 8th century BC to the reign of emperor Constantine in the 4th century AD. Ancient Roman civilization will mostly be studied through its architecture and art, leaving but enough space to include questions of historical and social interest. Students will be introduced to the architecture of public and private buildings, and they will learn about sculpture and wall paintings. Given the advantage to stay in Rome, we can study the ancient monuments directly on-site in a first-hand approach.

Some visits include longer walks. Be prepared for cold and rainy weather. Use appropriate clothing and shoes!

Students may have to pay some extra-fee (Euro 40) to cover entrance fees to archaeological sites and museums.



Students are introduced to different methods and theories of research, developed for Archaeology and Ancient History. They can acquire the tools to recognize the most important classes of archaeological materials (typology). They will learn about the evolution of architecture and art, compared to the historical developents (chronology).

The analysis of unknown monuments and objects allow students to study and think critically. The nature of the exams, the term paper, as well as class discussion, are aimed to a further development of critical analysis, presentation and communication skills.


Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Archaeology. An Introduction (2nd ed. 2010)A. ClaridgeOxford University Pressn/an/a 

midterm testshort answer questions. 20%
oral presentationon a topic/monument to be selected (date related to schedule of visits). oral presentation on-site (15 points) and handout (10 points). 25%
research paperoutline with bibliography (5 points) and final paper of 5-7 pages (20 points). 25%
final examThe final exam will be in the week of May 6-10. It consists of short answer questions and an essay choice (about 15/15 points). 30%

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 f
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.


All scheduled classes are mandatory. You are allowed only one unjustified absence; every unjustified absence thereafter will result in the lowering of your grade. Attendance will be taken at each class. Because this is an on-site course with special scheduled permits to sites and museums it has strict time limitations. You must, therefore, always be punctual. You should calculate around 40-50 minutes travel time to our meeting points (specified below in the class schedule). For legal reasons no visitors are allowed to follow the class.


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.




Session focus



Meeting point

Jan. 24

1) Introduction. Practice, theories and methods of archaeology, art history, and ancient history.

Claridge 4-32. 39-60. Syllabus


in classroom G. K. 1. 3

Jan. 31

2) Portraits and sculpture. Capitoline Museums.

Claridge 62-123. 124-159.

Capitoline Hill, Piazza Campidoglio

Feb. 7

3) Topography and history of early Rome. Etruscan Museum Villa Giulia.

Claridge 4-15. See museums at the end.

Pick oral presentation topic

Piazzale Flaminio, at metro exit near tram 2


4). Campus Martius, North: Mausoleum of Augustus and Ara Pacis.

See reading list for following

in front of the Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda

5) From Republic to Empire. Palatine Hill and Forum Romanum.

Entrance Via dei Fori Imperiali
FRIDAY, Feb. 22

6) Spectacles and imperial power: Colosseum and Ludus Magnus. Midterm review.


Arch of Constantine

Feb. 28

7) Midterm Test


Midterm test

in classroom G. K. 1. 3

March 7

8)  Imperial propaganda: Fora of Caesar, Augustus and of Trajan. Trajan's column and markets.


Column of Trajan, near Piazza Venezia

March 14

no class, spring break



March 21

9) Campus Martius, South: Victory temples. Pantheon. Column of Marcus Aurelius.


Largo Argentina, tower
March 28

10) Circus Maximus. Bathing and technology: Baths of Caracalla.


Paper outline due
Metro stop Circo Massimo
April 4

11) Funerary art. Baths. National Museum delle Terme.


Entrance, near Railway station Termini

April 11

12) Paintings, mosaics and sculpture. Palazzo Massimo.


Entrance, near Railway station Termini

April 18

13) Early Christians: Visit to the catacombs of Priscilla.


Via Salaria 430
April 25

Italian holiday - no class



May 2

14) Late Antiquity: Arch of Constantine. Santo Stefano Rotondo.


Paper due

Arch of Constantine

May 7, 9:00-11:30

Final Exam Week.


Final exam

in classroom G.K.1.3

This schedule may be changed. Students will be informed of any change. You can call the front office at 06-6819121.



Rome and Environs (2007)

Coarelli, F.

The Ancient Roman City (1988)

Stambaugh, J.

A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (1992)

Richardson, L.

A History of Rome (2005)

Le Glay, M. et al.

The Art of Rome (1973/1977)

Andreae, B.

Cambridge Illustrated History of the Roman World (2003)

Woolf, G. (ed.)

Roman Art. Romulus to Constantine (2005)

Ramage, N. H. - Ramage, A.

Baths and Bathing in Classical Antiquity (1992)

Yegul, F.

The Churches and Catacombs of Early Christian Rome (2001)

Webb, M.

Roman Sculpture

Kleiner, D. E. E.

Roman Painting (1991)

Ling, R.

Roman Builders

Taylor, R.

Roman Building

Adam, J.-P.

Roman Art (1988)

Strong, D.

The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (1988)

Zanker, P.