Print Version

Effective: Summer 2017

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: Honors Institute participant.
Advisory: Advisory: HIST 4A or equivalent; not open to students with credit in HIST 16.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Social & Behavioral Sciences Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • The Student will be able to create and deliver to seminar participants a researched and evaluative examination of an assigned individual, group of individuals, or theme by lecture or shared paper.
  • The Student will be able to recognize and assess the impact of individuals on the course of history - in writing.
  • The Student will be able to synthesize and analyze the major themes and patterns of Ancient Rome - in writing.
  • The Student will be able to critically assess the legacy, heritage, impact of the Roman Empire.
Description -
Enhanced comprehensive study of Roman history from the founding of Rome to the reign of Constantine. Emphasis upon the political, social, economic development in the Late Republic and Empire. Consideration of literature, art, architecture, texts in translation. As an honors course, it is a full seminar with advanced teaching methods focusing on major writing, reading, and research assignments, student class lectures, group discussions and interactions.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Identify and distinguish among social, economic, political, ideological dimensions of the development of Republic and Empire.
  2. Analyze the Roman debt to the Near East, Africa, Greece.
  3. Synthesize interdisciplinary approaches to the study of culture and multiculturalism.
  4. Isolate and investigate features of a society that is central to Western Culture.
  5. Apply critical thinking approaches to evaluating strategies, expansion, decline, imperialism, slavery and persecution.
  6. Develop a chronological and topical understanding of Roman history.
  7. Examine and evaluate the significant historical issues of the Roman past which impact upon historical development.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Seminar room with tables, media enhanced, with computer and full VHS, DVD.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. The Roman Monarchy
    1. Myth and legend
    2. Etruscans
    3. Growth of Rome
  2. The Roman Republic
    1. Early Republic
      1. The Republican Constitution
      2. The Growth of Republican Institutions
      3. Society and early literature
    2. Middle Republic
      1. Internal and External Challenges
      2. Imperial Expansion and strategy under the Republic
      3. Conquest and mastering of Italy
      4. Economic and political impact
      5. The Punic Wars
    3. The Late Republic
      1. Economics, land reform and the Gracchi
      2. Caesar's wars
      3. Marius and Sulla
      4. Pompey, Crassus, & Caesar
      5. From the Ides to Actium
  3. The Roman Empire
    1. The Principate Augustus
    2. Strategies, policies
    3. Politics, art, architecture
    4. The Augustan Reformation and Moral Legislation
    5. The Empire and its subjects
    6. Freedom and Slavery
    7. The Slave Revolts
    8. The Principiate - Successors and the Succession
  4. The Julio-Claudian Dynasty
    1. The Flavian Emperors
    2. The Good Emperors
    3. The Dominate
    4. The Severi
    5. The Empire: Conditions, institutions, provinces, life
    6. Roman Law
      1. The Army, The Empire and Provinces
      2. Rome: As Imperial Capital
      3. The Empire as a Unity
        1. Africa, Egypt, Syria/Judea, Asia, Asia Minor, Europe, Britain
      4. Literature, Art and Architecture
      5. Education, Economic and Everyday Life
      6. Slavery and Persecution
      7. Gender and Sexuality
    7. Religion and Christianity
    8. The Divided Empire
      1. The Western Empire and Decline
    9. The Eastern Empire and Constantine
  5. Modern Perspectives on Ancient Rome
    1. Recent scholarship
    2. Social, cultural influences
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Seminar preparation, participation, contribution
  2. Student presentations, student lectures or research paper
  3. Final Critical Thinking, Analytical four-essay paper/exam, 18 pages using secondary and primary sources, and the class student lectures and papers
  4. Assessment of primary source reports
  5. The evaluation process also follows the student progress in the following areas:
    1. Each student selects a original source and reports to group.
    2. Each student becomes one of the emperors or the class specialist on one theme from the Professor's list, such as slavery, women, wars, economic, empire, army, leaders, life in the empire - institutions and conditions, law, education and daily life, decline.
    3. At each of the full afternoon seminar meetings once a week, students make brief presentations around the table on their country or theme. In the second half of the course, each student prepares a 30-minute lecture on his/her theme/country with a one-page handout. Or a student may choose to write a paper on the country/theme which is electronically sent to all members of the seminar.
    4. Professor meets in extra out-of-seminar meetings with all seminar students in a series of 4-person learning communities to work together on their research and presentation preparation.
Representative Text(s) -
Suggested Readings and Texts:
Boardman, John, Jasper Griffith, and Oswyn Murray. The Roman World. Oxford, 1988 (reprinted 1996).
Boren, Henry C. Roman Society. 2nd ed. Lexington, MA.: D. C. Heath, 1992.
Bowman, Alan. Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier. New York: Routledge, 1994.
Crawford, Michael. The Roman Republic. Hassocks: Harvester Press, 1978.
Crook, J.A. Law and Life of Rome, 90BC-AD212. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982.
Dando-Collins, Stephen. Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome. New York: John Wiley, 2002.
Goldsworth, Adrian. The Complete Roman Army. London, England: Thames & Hudson, 2003.
Goodman, Martin. The Roman World, 44 BC-AD 180. London, England: Routledge, 1997.
Hildinger, Erik. Swords Against the Senate: The Rise of the Roman Army and the Fall of the Republic. New York: DaCapo Press, 2002.
Matyszak, Philip. The Enemies of Rome: From Hannibal to Attila the Hun. London: Thames and Hudson, 2004.
Nardo, Don. Women of Ancient Rome. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent Books, 2003.
Potter, David and David Mattingly. Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire. Ann Arbor, 1999.
Scare, 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.
Ward-Perkins, Bryan. The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Texts, biographies of the major Emperors.
Focus on Original Sources, including:
Caesar. The Gallic War. Translated by Carolyn Hammond. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Catullus. The Poems of Catullus. Translated by Peter Whigham. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966 [often reprinted].
Cicero. Selected Political Speeches. Translated by Michael Grant. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969 [revised 1973, often reprinted].
Lucretius. On the Nature of the Universe. Translated by Ronald Latham. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1958 [reprinted].
Livy. Complete Works of Livy. New York: Delphi Classics, 2014.
Vergil. The Aeneid of Virgil. Verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum. New York: Bantam Books, 1981 (1971).
Passages in translation from Josephus, Tacitus, Plutarch, Suetonius, Juvenal, Petronius.
Research Tools: Journals, Texts in Translation, Time Line for Roman History, Guide to Roman Names; the Fordham Paul Hasall website for literature in translation; all the original sources on the web.

Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
Taught as a seminar, lecture, Discussion, Cooperative learning exercises, Field work, Oral presentations, Independent study, Demonstrations.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading: original sources, thematic material (like war in the Empire).
  2. Writing: student "becomes" a particular emperor or statesman or general, presents lecture or paper to seminar colleagues; 20 page essay exam.