This course aims to teach you not only about various aspects of Roman civilization—its history, society, the objects as well as ideas it produced, but also about how our current understanding of the Romans was constructed through centuries of scholarly work on the so-called "sources". These include texts written by ancient authors—copied and recopied, printed and reprinted to reach us in their present forms, inscribed stones and coins—hundreds of thousands in number, founded in bits and pieces over the centuries and collected into hundreds of volumes, papyri unearthed in Egypt and elsewhere, ancient ruins that still dot the landscape of the Mediterranean basin today, etc.
When you leave this class, you will have learned much not only about the Romans, but also how such an ancient civilization as that of Rome is and can be studied. The skills you acquire in the class will help you conduct your own intellectual inquiries into your fields of interest in your college years and beyond.
This class meets two hours per day, five days a week, for six weeks, in a combined lecture/discussion format. We will read Roman authors such as Cicero, Caesar, Virgil, Livy, Tacitus, and Augustine, and looks at inscriptions, coins, papyri, mosaics, monuments and sculptures. The class will include at least one field trip to a museum. Evaluation will be based on a midterm, final, one short paper, one student presentation and, very importantly, participation in discussion. There is no prerequisite for this class.