HIST 341
Identity, Geography and Politics in the Roman Empire Spring 2010
Division II
Cross-listed CLAS 238 / HIST 341
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

During the first century BCE, successive civil wars divided the Roman Empire along ethnic, geographical and partisan lines. Octavian’s victory at battle of Actium in 31 BCE officially brought an end to the Roman civil wars, but it did not in itself unify the empire. It is out of this matrix of social fragmentation and uncertainty that the geographical texts of the Augustan age arose. The genre of universal geography provided a convenient means to reconfigure identity boundaries in post-Actium world. By delineating stable borders between the peoples and provinces, geographical texts (whether written, sculptural or pictorial) literally mapped out identity boundaries and power relationships to create a new, unified image of the Roman Empire. This course examines the political and cosmological of implications geographical sources produced under the Roman Empire, including the Res Gestae of Augustus, Strabo’s Geography and Tacitus’ Germania. We will also look at maps and other visual representations of the Roman world, such as the personification groups depicted on the Roman imperial cult temples at Aphrodisias and Pisidian Antioch. Discussion will focus on issues such as the relationship between geography and ethnography and the differences between modern cartography and the geographical mapping techniques used in the ancient world.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on classroom performance, quizzes; one 8- to 10-page paper; a midterm, and a final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: majors or prospective majors in Classics, Anthropology, and History
Unit Notes: meets Group C and G requirements in History major only if registration is under HIST
Distributions: Division II
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under CLAS; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
CLAS 238 Division I HIST 341 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group G Electives - Global History

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