The course focuses upon the Roman empire during the first century AD following its consolidation by the founding emperors Augustus and Tiberius. The performance of certain of their successors is discussed. But the emphasis is upon social, administrative and economic themes. There is investigation of how the provinces and cities of the empire were taxed and governed, and of how certain significant services were provided such as transport and supply of food staples. The nature and values of society are probed through exploration of such varied topics as the status and role of slaves and ex-slaves; the work undertaken by men and women; entertainment; and Roman funeral and burial practices. The fascinating world of Rome is likely to emerge as both less familiar, and more impenetrable and mysterious, than might have been anticipated.
Sensitive exploitation of original source material, both literary and non-literary (all in translation), is an important element throughout. While plenty of guidance will be given, students are expected to read widely for themselves among ancient and modern authors, as well as to take an informed part in class discussions.
Prerequisites: Classical Studies 232 or 331, or permission of the instructor