JCU Logo


COURSE NAME: "Ancient Rome and Its Monuments "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Jens Koehler
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 9:30-11:20 AM
PREREQUISITES: On-site; activity fee: €40 or $52
OFFICE HOURS: cell 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. Use appropriate clothing and shoes! A bottle of water, cap, and sun protection are recommended.

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
Rome. Archaeological Guide (2nd ed., 2010)Claridge, A.Oxford University Pressn/an/a 
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
see below---  

quiz 1short answer questions. 10
quiz 2short answer questions and mini essay 10
oral presentationon a topic/monument to be selected. oral presentation on-site (15 points) and handout (10 points). 25
research paperoutline with bibliography (5 points) and final paper (20 points). 25
final examshort answer questions and essay choice (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 require
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.


Week 1

M, July 8:

1) Introduction. Practice, theories and methods of archaeology and ancient history. First walk (Largo Argentina).

Meet in classroom G.K.1.3. Claridge 4-32: history. 44-60: glossary; 241-246: site visit.

T, July 9:

2) Topography and history of ancient Rome. Walk to the ancient city center. (Tiber, Capitol).

Meet in classroom G.K.1.3. Claridge 253-258. 274-283.

W, July 10: select oral presentation topic

3) History of Palatine Hill and Forum Romanum. Palatine: foundation and imperial palaces. Roman Forum: Republic and Roman government. Triumphal Arches.

Meet on Capitol, Piazza del Campidoglio. Claridge 62-67; 124-130.

Th, July 11:

4) Capitoline Hill. Roman Religion, Temple of Jupiter.

Meet on Capitol. Claridge 259-273.

Week 2

M, July 15: quiz 1

5) Forum Boarium temples. Circus Maximus.

Meet on Forum Boarium. Claridge 285-300.

T, July 16:

6) Colosseum: Spectacles and Imperial Power. (and/or: Circus Maximus).

Meet at Arch of Constantine. Claridge 312-319.326-328.

W, July 17:

7) Palatine Hill and Forum Romanum. Single buildings: Regia, Atrium Vestae, Curia and Rostra. Temple of Divus Julius. Romulus’ village. Imperial palaces.

Meet at entrance to Forum Romanum, Via dei Fori Imperiali. Claridge 62-123: Forum. 124-159: Palatine.

Th, July 18:

8) Capitoline Museums. Temple of Jupiter, Lupa Romana, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.

Meet on Capitol. Claridge 460-468.

Week 3

M, July 22: quiz 2

9) Imperial Fora: Forum of Caesar, of Augustus, of Peace, of Nerva, and of Trajan.

Meet at Column of Trajan. Claridge 160-186.

T, July 23:

10) Column and Markets of Trajan. Museum of the Imperial Fora.

Meet at Column of Trajan. Claridge 186-196.

W, July 24:

11) Northern Field of Mars: Ara Pacis, Mausoleum and Meridian of Augustus.

Meet at Ara Pacis. Claridge 197-216.

Th, July 25: paper outline due

12) Campus Martius: Politics and Religion. Southern Field of Mars: Pantheon, Column of Marcus Aurelius.

Meet at Largo Argentina, near the tower. Claridge 216-239.

Week 4

M, July 29: no class (see W 31: Ostia)

T, July 30:

13) Centrale Montemartini Museum: portraits, sculpture, paintings, mosaics.

Meet at the pyramid, Piazzale Ostiense. Claridge 468-469.

W, July 31, at 9 a.m. - back at 1 p.m.:

14) & 15) Ostia antica: The Harbor of Rome. Public and private building. Economy and trade.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the pyramid, Piazzale Ostiense.
Stambaugh, The Roman City; www.ostia-antica.org.

Th, Aug, 1 at 9 a.m.:

16) Servian and Aurelian city walls. Mount Testaccio and Porticus Aemilia.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. on Piazza Albania (half way between 'Circo Massimo' and  'Piramide'). Claridge 61. 397-405.

Week 5

M, Aug. 5:

17) Porta Maggiore. Roman aqueducts: Aqua Marcia, Aqua Claudia, Nero's aqueduct.

Meet at metro A stop Manzoni. Claridge 60-61. 383-387;  www.romanaqueducts.info.

T, Aug. 6:

18) Baths of Caracalla: architecture, water supply, heating, decoration.

Meet at metro B stop Circo Massimo. Claridge 357-365.

W. Aug. 7:

19) Early Christians: Catacombs of St Agnes, church of St Agnes, mausoleum of Constantina.

Meet at metro B1 stop Sant'Agnese/Annibaliano. Claridge 439-441. 447-449. 455.

Th, Aug 8: paper due. review for final exam.

20) Late Antiquity: Arch of Constantine. St Clemence: Mithraeum and basilica.

Meet at Arch of Constantine. Claridge 115-117. 307-312. 319-324. 341-356.


Fri, Aug. 9: Final Exam

in classroom G.K.1.3.

This schedule may be changed; especially on-site visits depend on other institutions than JCU.

recommended reading:

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.