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COURSE NAME: "Ancient Rome and Its Monuments "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2020

INSTRUCTOR: Sophy Downes
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: Remote Learning
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 (2010)A. ClaridgeOxford University Pressn/an/a 

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 (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 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.


T, July 

Introduction. 1) Practice, theories and methods of archaeology and ancient history. 2) Topography and history of ancient Rome. Walk to the ancient city center. (Tiber - Largo Argentina - Forum Boarium).

Claridge 4-32: history. 44-60: glossary. 241-246. 253-258. 274-294. 299-300: sites; F. Coarelli in classroom 
Th, July 

Capitoline Hill and the Capitoline Museums. 3) Early Rome, Temple of Jupiter. 4) Roman civilization: portraits and sculpture.

Claridge 259-273: sites. 460-468: museum; F. Coarelli select oral presentation topic Capitol, Piazza del Campidoglio
T, July       


Palatine Hill and Forum Romanum. 5) Palatine: foundation and imperial palaces. 6) Roman Forum: Republic and Roman government. 7a) (Colosseum).

Claridge 62-123: Forum. 124-159: Palatine. (312-319: Colosseum); F. Coarelli Entrance to Forum Romanum, Via dei Fori Imperiali
Th, July 

Colosseum and Imperial Fora: Spectacles and Imperial Power. 7b) Colosseum and Ludus Magnus. 8) Forum of Caesar, of Augustus, and of Trajan. Trajan's Markets (?).

Claridge 160-196: Fora. 301-308. 312-319. 326-328: Colosseum valley; F. Coarelli quiz 1 Arch of Constantine
T, July 

Campus Martius: Politics and Religion. 9) Southern Field of Mars: Pantheon, Column of Marcus Aurelius. 10) Northern Field of Mars: Ara Pacis, Mausoleum of Augustus.

Claridge 197-239: Campus Martius; F. Coarelli paper outline due Largo Argentina, near the tower
Th, July 

National Museum and Palazzo Massimo. 11) National Museum: tombs, funerary art. Baths of Diocletian, Servian Walls.12) Palazzo Massimo: paintings, mosaics and sculpture.

Claridge 50-52: painting. 61. 391-396: sites. 481-485: museums; F. Coarelli quiz 2 Palazzo Massimo, entrance (near Termini)
T, July 

Roman city walls and aqueducts. 13) Aurelian city walls. Mount Testaccio and Porticus Aemilia. 14)  Porta Maggiore or Parco degli Acquedotti,

Claridge 61. 397-405: sites; F. Coarelli (or: Claridge 60-61. 383-387;  www.romanaqueducts.info.) at the pyramid, Piazzale Ostiense
Th, July 

Ostia Antica: City planning and daily life.  15) Harbor of Rome: history, trade. 16) Infrastructure of ancient Roman towns, public and private buildings, religious and daily life.

www.ostia-antica.org; F. Coarelli. pyramid, Piazzale Ostiense
T, Aug. 

Baths of Caracalla and Mons Caelius: From Imperial to Late Antique. 17) Circus Maximus. Baths of Caracalla: architecture, water supply. 18) Caelian Hill: aqueducts, Santo Stefano Rotondo, (San Clemente).

Claridge 60-61. 319-324. 341-356. 357-365: sites; F. Coarelli  

Metro Circo Massimo
Th, Aug. 

Arch of Constantine and St Agnes: Late Antiquity and Early Christians. 19) Arch and Basilica of Constantine. 20) Catacombs and church of St Agnes, mausoleum of Constantina.

Claridge 115-117. 307-312. 439-441: sites. 447-449. 455: catacombs; F. Coarelli paper due. review for final exam Arch of Constantine
Friday, Aug.  Final Exam. exam in classroom 
This schedule may be changed; especially on-site visits depend on other institutions than JCU.