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

INSTRUCTOR: Jens Koehler
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: W 2:15-5:00 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
Rome. Archaeological Guide (2010, 2nd ed.)Claridge, A.Oxford 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 Dec. TBA. 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

Sep. 4

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

Claridge 4-32. 39-60. Syllabus


in classroom G K 1.2

Sep. 11

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

Claridge 4-15. See museums at the end.

Piazzale Flaminio, at metro exit near tram 2

Sep. 18

3) Portraits and sculpture. Capitoline Museums

Claridge 62-123. 124-159

Pick oral presentation topic

Capitoline Hill, Piazza Campidoglio
Sep. 25

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

See reading list for following

in front of the Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda
Oct. 2

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

Entrance Via dei Fori Imperiali
Oct. 9

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


Arch of Constantine

Oct. 16

7) Midterm Test


Midterm test

in classroom G K 1.2

Oct. 23

no class


Oct. 30

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



Column of Trajan, near Piazza Venezia

Nov. 6

9) Paintings, mosaics and sculpture. Palazzo Massimo


Entrance, near Railway station Termini
Nov. 13

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



Paper outline due
Largo Argentina, tower
FRI. Nov. 22 (or Nov. 20)

11) & 12) Ostia Antica.
Funerary art. Baths.


pyramid, Piazzale Ostiense

Nov. 27

13) Bathing and technology: Baths of Caracalla.


Metro stop Circo Massimo
Dec. 4
14) Late Antiquity: Arch of Constantine. Santo Stefano Rotondo.


Paper due

Arch of Constantine
Dec. 9-13

Final Exam Week.


Final exam

in classroom TBA
Please not the field trip to Ostia scheduled for Friday, Nov. 22nd.


This schedule may be changed. Students will be informed of any change.

You can call the front office at 06-6819121.



Book Title


Rome and Environs (2014) also as ebook

Coarelli, F.

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.

Roman Art (1988)

Strong, D.

A Companion to Roman Art (2015)

Borg, B.

Roman Sculpture (1992)

Kleiner, D. E. E.

The Oxford Handbook of Roman Sculpture (2015)

Friedland, E. A. et al.

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

Zanker, P.

Roman Painting (1991)

Ling, R.

Ancient Mosaics (1998)

Ling, R.

Roman Building (1994)

Adam, J.-P.

Roman Builders (2003)

Taylor, R.

A Companion to Roman Architecture (2013)

Ulrich, R. B. – Quenernoen, C.

Baths and Bathing in Classical Antiquity (1992)

Yegul, F.

The Churches and Catacombs of Early Christian Rome (2001)

Webb, M.