HIST 341
Envisioning Empire: Geography in the Graeco-Roman World Fall 2014
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed ARTH 239 / CLAS 341 / 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. Out of this matrix of social fragmentation and uncertainty arose the geographical texts of the Augustan age. 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 such issues 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: seminar/lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on classroom performance; a midterm and one 12-15 page paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: majors or prospective majors in Classics, Anthropology, and History
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under CLAS or ARTH; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 239 Division I CLAS 341 Division I HIST 341 Division I
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group G Electives - Global History

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