Classics 24
Classics 54

Roman History and Civilization

Fall 2002


Robert W. Cape, Jr., Associate Professor of Classics


AD 310

PHONE: x2241

MAIL: 61653



11:00-12:00 MWF, & by appointment or just dropping by.

  • Scarre, Chris. Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome. London: Penguin, 1995.
  • Shelton, Jo-Ann. As the Romans Did: A Sourcebook in Roman Social History, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Plautus. The Pot of Gold and Other Plays. Translated by E. F. Watling. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1965 [often reprinted].
  • Cicero. Selected Political Speeches. Translated by Michael Grant. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969 [revised 1973, often reprinted].
  • Catullus. The Poems of Catullus. Translated by Peter Whigham. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966 [oft. rept.].
  • Caesar. The Gallic War. Translated by Carolyn Hammond. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • Livy. The Early History of Rome. Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960 [often reprinted].
  • Vergil. The Aeneid of Virgil. A verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum. New York: Bantam Books, 1981 (1971).
  • Seneca. Dialogues and Letters. Translated by C. D. N. Costa. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1997.
  • Petronius. The Satyricon. Translated by William Arrowsmith. New York: New American Library, 1959.
    In addition, we will use several texts on reserve and in the Reserve section of Abell Library.

    This course examines Roman civilization from its prehistoric beginnings to the first two centuries of its Empire. Our readings will come primarily from Roman historians, biographers, and the everyday Roman craftsmen and artisans who left inscriptions and artwork that we can still view. We will supplement these texts with archaeological material, lierary writings, and some modern scholarship. Our primary goal is to understand better the Romans as a foreign and historic people. A secondary goal is to trace the influence of Rome upon the literary, artistic, legal, religious, political, and social aspects of our culture.


    The class will meet three a week and the format will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. The reading assignments should be completed before the class in which they are to be discussed. Participation is an important part of the overall grade and is based on comments to and about the readings done prior to class. Both the readings and the lectures will be full of crucial names, dates, places and terms which you must remember. All such terms introduced in lecture will be written out for your convenience. Yet, despite the wealth of factual material, the focus of the course will be on making sense of this material through synthesis, analysis, and interpretation. Therefore, interpretative and communicative essays will form a major part of the grade in addition to more objective examinations.

    There will be two examinations: a midterm on Friday, October 18, and a final on Wednesday, December 11, from 9:00-11:00am. Make-up examinations are not given except under the most extreme conditions, about which I must be notified in advance if possible. There are two papers, the first due October 9, and the second due at the final exam. These papers, 4-5 pages in length, are designed to help develop skills in analyzing sources and communicating information to others. There will be one movie shown outside the regular class time (exact time and place to be announced; alternative times/places will be offered). In addition, due to my travel schedule this semester, I may have to reschedule a class or two for another time and day, but arrangements will be made in advance.

    Attendance at class meetings is mandatory. Each unexcused absence in excess of three (3) will lower your attendance/participation score by one-half letter grade (e.g. from A- to B on fourth absence, from B to C+ on the fifth). I shall drop the student from the class after the seventh unexcused absence. The College's Standards of Academic Integrity are assumed to apply to your work for this course.

    The grading structure is as follows:

    Class attendance, preparation, participation




    Papers (two papers @ 10% each; approx. 4-5 pp.)


    Three Short Projects/Reports--to be assigned (@ 5% each)


    Coin Project


    Final examination


    As you can see, participation is a significant percentage of your grade, more significant than you may have expected. One participates in several ways in such a course, and the participation indicated here is active participation, not merely attending class. This participation is a natural product of solid preparation, commitment to the class, and an eagerness to learn about the material. Participation is expressed by taking part in discussions, asking pertinent questions, being attentive in class, and showing initiative in following up discussion topics.

    For students who are taking this course as CLAS 54, you will be required to do extra reading, a term paper and one report summarizing scholarship on one aspect of Roman life. The topic of the term paper will be determined later in the semester, but it will address issues above and beyond those covered in class. It will also require further readings and a moderate knowledge of appropriate bibliographic resources, for which I shall provide assistance.

    The following is a tentative schedule of class presentations and reading/preparation assignments. There may be some adjustment during the course of the semester if we need more or less time to discuss certain topics, or if we desire to investigate a subject not currently on the list. All adjustments and the reading currently marked "to be assigned" will be announced in advance in class.

    Atlas = Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome, by Chris Scarre
    ARD = As the Romans Did, by Jo-Ann Shelton (second edition)
    AR = Ancient Rome: The Archaeology of the Eternal City, ed. by J. Coulston and H. Dodge (Oxford, 2000). ON RESERVE



    Sept. 4

    Introduction. Early Rome: Myth, Legend, History, Archaeology. Roman historiography.

    Sept. 6

    Early Italy & Its Inhabitants.

    READINGS: Atlas pp. 12-14, 20-21. Livy, pp. 7-17, 33-40. AR pp. 16-24.



    Sept. 9

    The Monarchy. The Etruscans and the Growth of Rome.

    READINGS: Livy, pp. 40-101. Atlas pp. 20-21.

    Sept. 11

    End of the Monarchy & Beginning of the Republic

    READINGS: Livy, pp. 129-142, 218-250; 269-276. ARD pp. 207-215, 220-228.

    Sept. 13

    Early Roman Society. Roman Religion.

    READINGS: ARD pp. 2-13; #15, #19, #54-55, #59, pp. 359-381.



    Sept. 16

    The Middle Republic

    READINGS: AR chp. 3, pp. 42-56, and others to be assigned

    Sept. 18

    The Beginnings of Empire: Carthage

    READINGS: to be assigned.

    Sept. 20

    Rome Meets Greece. Early Roman Literature: Roman Comedy

    READINGS: Atlas pp. 22-27. Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, Curculio .Web #2. ARD pp. 346-348.



    Sept. 23

    Roman Comedy and Society.

    READING: Plautus, Pseudolus. RS pp. 85-90.
    FILM (time to be arranged): A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

    Sept. 25

    Discussion of film and paper topics

    Sept. 27

    The Second Century: Reforms in Politics and Military Affairs.

    READINGS: Atlas pp. 28-29. ARD pp. 243-252, 393-400, #454.



    Sept. 30

    Politics and the Public in the First Century

    READINGS: Cicero, "On the Command of Cnaeus Pompeius" pp. 33-70. Caesar, The Gallic War, book 1. Atlas 30-31, 36-37.

    Oct. 2

    A Different View of Politics: The Career of Cicero

    READINGS: Cicero, "Against Lucius Sergius Catilina," (four speeches) pp. 71-145. Plutarch, Life of Cicero, Web #3. RS pp. 139-155. Other readings to be assigned.

    Oct. 4

    Is It Even Politics Anymore? The Career of Caesar

    READINGS: to be assigned.



    Oct. 7

    Roman Intellectual Life and Art.

    READING: Cicero, "In Defence of the Poet Archias," pp. 146-164. Others TBA.

    Oct. 9

    Latin Literature at the End of the Republic. The Fall of the Republic

    READINGS: Atlas 32-35. Catullus, Selected Poems.
    First Paper ("Characterization") due.

    Oct. 11

    Fall Break



    Oct. 14

    End of the Republic; Summary.

    Oct. 16



    Oct. 18




    Oct. 21

    The Augustan Age. Politics, Art, Architecture

    READINGS: Atlas 38-49. ARD 226-242.

    Oct. 23

    Literature. Vergil's Aeneid & the Traditions of Epic.

    READINGS: Vergil, Aeneid, books 1-4.

    Oct. 25

    Vergil's Aeneid & Augustan Rome

    READINGS: Vergil, Aeneid, books 5-8.



    Oct. 28

    The Meaning of Empire and "The Museum of Morals"

    READINGS: Vergil, Aeneid, books 9-12. AR chp. 4, pp. 61-71.

    Oct. 30

    Education. Roman Women in the Empire

    READINGS: Atlas 78-79. ARD pp. 20-55, 100-122, 288-306. Matrona Docta chp. 1 (on reserve)
    Reports by CLAS 54 students (1st group)

    Nov. 1

    The Julio-Claudian Dynasty: Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, Nero.

    READINGS: Atlas 50-53. ARD pp. 386-392.



    Nov. 4

    Daily Life--High and Low--in the Empire.

    READINGS: Atlas 80-83. ARD pp. 163-202, 307-358.
    Reports by CLAS 54 students (2nd group)

    Nov. 6

    Roman Philosophy

    READINGS: Seneca, "On Tranquility of Mind," and "On Shortness of Life."

    Nov. 8

    Petronius' Satyricon: Living on the Edge

    READINGS: Petronius, Satyricon, pp. 21-105. ARD pp. 332-337.



    Nov. 11

    Petronius' Satyricon & Roman Life in the Empire

    READINGS: Petronius, Satyricon, pp. 105-165. ARD pp. 312-329.

    Nov. 13

    Coin Project: Getting Dirty: Interpreting Roman Material Culture From the Ground Level (and Lower)

    READINGS: Virtual Catalogue of Roman Coins (Class held in computer lab)

    Nov. 15

    Coin Project: Getting Dirty (Part 2)

    READINGS: TBA (Class held in computer lab)



    Nov. 18

    Coin Project: Getting Dirty (Part 3)


    Nov. 20

    The Flavian Dynasty. Rome & The Provinces. The Good Emperors.

    READINGS: Atlas 54-77. ARD pp. 252-267, 270, 284-287.

    Nov. 22

    Religion & Philosophy. The Coming of Christianity

    READINGS: ARD pp. 388-430. Others TBA.



    Nov. 25

    Christians and Pagans. The Latter Empire to Constantine the Great.
    Student debate

    READINGS: Atlas 86-135. Finley, Aspects, chp. 14, "Christian Beginnings," pp. 167-184.

    Nov. 27

    ---Thanksgiving Break---

    Nov. 29

    ---Thanksgiving Break---



    Dec. 2

    War and Politics in the 3rd and Fourth Centuries


    Dec. 4

    Introduction to Late Antiquity


    Dec. 6

    "What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?" Summing up.



    Dec. 11

    Final Exam 12:00-2:00
    Second Paper ("Fragment") due

    Robert W. Cape, Jr., Associate Professor of Classics
    Classical & Modern Languages
    900 N. Grand Avenue, Suite 61653
    Sherman, TX 75090-4040
    phone: (903) 813-2241  fax: (903) 813-2011

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