The study of Roman history involves questions and problematics central to the development of Western institutions, religion, and modes of thought. Roman history also encompasses the most far-reaching experience of diverse cultures, beliefs, and practices known in the Western tradition until perhaps contemporary times. As this course addresses the history of Rome from its mythologized beginnings through the reign of the emperor Constantine, it will place special emphasis on the Roman ability time and again to turn crisis and the unexpected into a rich source of cultural development, as well as the complex tendency later to interpret and present such ad hoc responses as predestined and inevitable. The Romans also provide a vivid portrait of the relationship between power and self-confidence on the one hand, and violence and ultimate disregard for dissent and difference on the other. Readings for this course will include a wide variety of original sources, and there will be a strong emphasis on problems of historical interpretation.
Format: lecture; The course features a mix of lecture and discussion. There will also be a visit to WCMA's collection of ancient Roman artifacts.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
Class preparation and participation, several short response papers, one 6- to 8-page paper, a midterm exam, and a final exam. Students who have a B+ average or better may substitute a 10 to 15-page research paper for the final exam.
None; open to all
Preference given to students who are or are considering majoring in Classics or History, or who are concentrating in Leadership Studies. Preference is then given to first-year students and sophomores.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern