Fall 2007

Roman Civilization

Listed in: Classics, as CLAS-24


Andreola Rossi (Section 01)


Roman civilization, in the Roman view, started with war and government, the arts instilled by the city's eponymous founder, Romulus. Second came religion, and a set of cultural values that kept the Romans recognizably Roman over the 12 centuries between founding (traditionally 753 BCE) and collapse (476 CE). The civil wars that punctuate this long history reveal the difficulty of Rome's evolution from an agrarian community to a world empire. This course examines both Rome's fundamental institutions (army, constitution, law, religion, familia) and those that entered in the wake of conquest, meeting either welcome (literature, philosophy, science, new gods) or suspicion (monotheistic religion, magic). Primary readings from major literary works supply the evidence: Caesar, Cicero, Juvenal, Livy, Lucan, Lucretius, Ovid, Polybius, Sallust, Tacitus, Virgil. Three class hours per week. First semester. Professor Rossi.