CLAS 210
Art and Experience in Ancient Rome Spring 2025
Division I
Cross-listed ARTH 211

Class Details

To see and be seen–it could be argued that this was the very definition of Roman culture. Much like today, spectacle and the dissemination of images lay at the heart of political and social life. The visual arts were crucial both to how the Romans rehearsed their identity and goals as a community, and to how individual Romans communicated their achievements and values. In this course, lectures on the art and architecture of ancient Rome (ca. 300 B.C.-A.D. 400) will provide the backdrop for an investigation into the role visual culture played in the lives of all Romans, including slaves and former slaves, women and children. Special topics will include the funeral and funerary portraiture; the military triumph and monuments of victory; the house as a site of memory; the use of images on coins; participation in religious celebrations; displays of war booty and prisoners of war; experience and audience at the racetrack and in the amphitheater; the spectacle of food and dining; and the Roman street as both contested space and a place for art. Readings will include a combination of primary and secondary sources. All readings are in translation.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 35
Expected: 35
Class#: 3812
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and preparation, quizzes/short writing assignments, two exams, and a final project
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Classics majors
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
CLAS 210 Division I ARTH 211 Division I

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