CLAS 215
Roman Homes and Gardens Fall 2023
Division I
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Class Details

For ancient Romans, the house was far more than a private dwelling intended only for a nuclear family and close friends. Instead, it was a place where many different social roles–those of the homeowners themselves, as well as their dependents, enslaved workers, business partners, and political rivals–were enacted and expressed. The garden also had a crucial part to play, communicating a special relationship with the natural world, with travel lands, or with the divine. In this course, we will examine a wide range of Roman homes and gardens from 250 BCE-300 CE (including shepherds’ huts and military camps, apartments and townhouses, villas and palaces), traveling to different geographical regions, both throughout Italy (especially, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Rome), but also to Britain, Croatia, Israel, Spain, and Tunisia. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, this seminar will explore the archaeology, history, decoration, and social practices of these physical spaces, as well as their deployment as powerful cultural symbols in ancient life and literature–and in later historical periods, too. All readings are in translation.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 1532
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, short written assignments, and a final project. Students should also plan to take 1-2 field trips to local sites and museums.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Classics majors
Distributions: Division I

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