This course explores ancient Roman culture, broadly speaking, through the texts (read in translation), art and architecture, and other materials they have left for us to explore. We will follow Rome’s history for over two millennia, from the myths and realities of its foundations, through centuries of imperial expansion and cultural dominance, to its long decline and eventual fall. We will engage and critique the Romans in a variety of areas, including government and society, gender and sexuality, myth and religion, philosophy and science, war and imperialism – and we will explore the legacy, both profound and problematic, of the Romans today.
Students will respond to these materials and ideas in a variety of ways, including informal response papers, scholarly essays, and oral presentations – and will have options for more creative engagements throughout the semester.
Required textbook: The Aeneid, 2nd ed. (Ruden 2021)