The course is an introduction to the history and culture of the Roman world, from Rome’s beginnings in myth and legend through its rise to domination of the Mediterranean world, its violent conversion from a Republic to an Empire, and the long success of that Empire down to its collapse in the fifth century A.D. The first part of the semester focuses on the development of Roman institutions and political systems, while the second covers the social structures of the Roman Empire and the daily life of its people. As we search together to unravel the historical significance of the Roman achievement, we look at Roman literature and religion, art and architecture, and philosophy. When possible, we give a privileged place to primary sources in translation, letting the characters of this great historical drama speak for themselves. Our readings are supplemented by slides, videos and an overnight field trip to Rome.
This course runs through SRISA's partners at ISI.