Roman Civilization

Fall 2005

You can reach me any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday either by emailing me or by calling 863-1554. I am not on campus Tuesdays or Thursdays, so please do not try to contact me on those days! Unlike many people, I am diurnal (I sleep at night and am awake during the day) resulting in the following facts: if you email me in the middle of the night, it won't be looked at until normal working hours in the morning. Email tends to read like so much vomit--people seem to forget that someone on the other end actually has to look at the message! Your teacher prefers the handwritten note or the actual meeting and talking together--it is how I get to meet you! So, please make an appointment for either office hours (MWF, 10-11, Mood 223) or for a more convenient time MWF.

Meeting is good, especially if you have questions or concerns BEFORE you do an assignment!!! So, get your handwritten notes in line--you can hand them to me before or after class and we can meet and chat.

In this course, we will examine Roman civilization through ancient sources (in translation) and more recent authors. As can be seen in the schedule below, after a historical review, we will look at this civilization by topic, for example, we look at Roman government, the role of women within society, architecture, and language among other topics.

A primary goal in this course is to examine how we learn about a people such as the Romans. This involves careful assessments of our sources, both ancient and modern. Nothing assigned in this course should be accepted a face value; everything should be read critically. Some of our class discussion, especially early in the course, will be devoted to how we evaluate our sources. Our sources comprise not just written accounts but painting, archaeological remains, and architecture.


EXAMINATIONS. The three examinations will consist of short answers/ identifications, and essays, and will be based upon assigned readings and class lecture/discussion. They are all noted and all mentioned on the first day of the course. Make up exams are the RARE exception, not the rule, and are allowed only at the discretion of the instructor; such matters must be arranged in writing no fewer than forty-eight hours in advance of the regularly scheduled exam time. Only extreme, valid, documented emergencies are the exception to this rule. We have an honor code at Southwestern; it has always seemed unfair and not honorable to your instructor that your inability to plan should give you an advantage over other students.

TEN-FIFTEEN PAGE PAPER. A 10-15 page paper (paper topic due Oct. 24, 5 pm, rough draft due on Nov. 4, 5 pm, final draft on Nov. 16, 5 pm) is on an ancient work of literature that illustrates aspects of Roman history, culture, or society and is not otherwise assigned in class. The topic is to be selected by the student, and may not be otherwise assigned as one of the course readings; the instructor will provide a list of possible topics. The paper is to be prepared using the a word processing program. Deadlines are firm, and penalties are assessed for each day late (one day ends, and another begins, at 5:00 p.m.): rough draft, 5 points off for each day late off final paper grade; final draft, 10 points off for each day late off final paper grade. Your instructor is cold and cruel, and very strict about these matters. There are no second chances--you know the dates on the first day of class and are to arrange your life according to those dates. From the final draft, ten points deducted for imporoper or incomplete bibliography; ten points deducted for improer or incomplete bibliography; ten points deducted for imporoer or incomplete footnotes. Intellectual honesty is a path worth following.

JOURNAL. Assigned readings marked by * (mostly in Shelton) provide the material for the assignment. Each journal entry is to contain the following:

  1. the name, dates, and origins of the author
  2. a very brief summary of the ancient passage
  3. a short discussion of the nature of the source and its value (or lack of value) in giving us historical, cultural, or societal information.

The journal will be due and graded now and again (see pick up dates in schedule); the first time it is evaluated will be for your information only - hints for improvement, suggestions where additional material is needed, and will have a completion grade. The journal is the part of the course where you and your teacher actually get to talk with one another and where you think about actual Roman literature with no filters; it is your chance to express yourself.

FINAL PROJECT. Each student will prepare a final project, due at the end of the semester. The project is to focus on an aspect of Roman Civilization not covered in class. It can take any form you wish--it can be painting, pottery, poetry, an interview with an ancient "personality," or a powerpoint presentation. The final project is limited only by your imagination but MUST INCLUDE an annotated bibliography. It may be submitted in traditional format (hard copy), or in electronic form (including in a web or Powerpoint format). It is due by 5 p.m. on the day we are assigned a final exam, since we do not have a final exam.  THE DAY ASSIGNED FOR OUR CLASS IS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13.  MAKE SURE YOU MAKE SOME KIND OF COPY ON SOME KIND OF PHYSICAL THING--DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOUR ELECTRONIC WORK CAN BE READ BY EVERY MACHINE.  You may hand it in earlier!

Class participation, attendance. The final factor is class participation/attendance. The Southwestern University Catalog states "Southwestern University considers class attendance to be an essential component of its educational mission. Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes, laboratories, studios, rehearsals. etc. for which credit is granted."

The normal expectation is that students will be at every class, for one cannot participate in absentia! Participation also involves preparation of homework assignments before class. Participation will be assessed not so much on quantity as on quality.

Students should feel free to express their OWN opinions. Roman civilization, like all ancient civilizations, is understood only partly--much is missing and we make reasoned assumptions as to the rest. The important thing to keep in mind is to be respectful of each other, our classmates, and the ancient Romans. Students should feel free to express opinions on various matters related to the course and to ask questions. The SU Academic Rights for Students bears repeating here: "Faculty members should encourage free thought and expression both in the classroom and out. Students are entitled to disagree with interpretation of data or views of a faculty member and reserve judgment in matters of opinion, but this disagreement does not excuse them from learning the content of any course for which they a re enrolled or from demonstrating skills and competencies required by a faculty member. Students should be evaluated solely on academic performance."

Accommodation Policy: "Southwestern University will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students should provide documentation and schedule an appointment with the Academic Services Coordinator (Cullen Hall Rm 336; 863-1536) at least two weeks before services are needed. In each class where a student requests academic accommodations, the student must meet with the faculty member teaching the course at least one week prior to the requested accommodation."

Work outside of class. Students should study togther in preparation for daily classes and for exams. Students are not permitted to share responsibilities for the preparation of written assignments (paper, journal,final project). While the instructor has no control over test files and paper files, students should be aware that content and methodological approaches change each time that the course is offered. It is crystal clear from past experience that reliance on such files is detrimental to one's grade.
Note: Make-up exams are the exception, and not the rule, and will not be granted automatically. Make-ups must be arranged no fewer than forty-eight hours with the instructor in advance of the regularly scheduled time, and will be given (or not) at the discretion of the instructor.

Final Grades. The plus and minus grading system will be used for final grades. Semester % averages will translate to the following letter grades:


The plus and minus grading system in effected at Southwestern will be used for final grades. The ancients were absolute giants in terms of math, science, and natural philosophy unlike your merely mortal instructor. If you feel that the grades have been averaged incorrectly, please do not hesitate to contact the instructor. Semester percentage averages will translate to the following letter grades (anything below 60 if a failure):

Grade Inclusive % Range GPA POINTS
A+ 96.7-100 4.00
A 93.4-96.6 4.00
A- 90.0-93.3 3.67
B+ 86.7-89.9 3.33
B 83.4-86.6 3.00
B- 80.0-83.3 2.67
C+ 76.7-79.9 2.33
C 73.4-76.6 2.00
C- 70.0-73.3 1.67
D+ 66.7-69.9 1.33
D 63.4-66.6 1.00
D- 60.0-63.3 0.67









Monday, August 29 Classes begin
Introduction, Review of Assignments
Wednesday, August 31 Language, Topography World, p. xvii, maps 1-6
Helpful Hint:  On reserve in the library for our class are four copies of Howe and Howe, The Ancient World.  If you want to have some backup to our history reading, this is a really quick, easy-to-read review of Roman history.  You would do well to read the short, relevant chapters!!!
Friday, September 2 Pre Imperial History World, pp. 3-13, *Shelton #1  
Monday, September 5
Labor Day, No Class
Wednesday, September 7 PreImperial History World, pp. 13-18  
Friday, September 9 PreImperial History World, pp. 18-31  
Monday, September 12 PreImperial History World, pp. 31-39  
Wednesday, September 14 PreImperial History World, pp. 39-48  
Friday, September 16 Imperial History World, pp. 49-70  
Monday, September 19 Princeps and imperator World, pp. 83-111
Wednesday, September 21 Governing Rome World, pp.112-139
Friday, September 23

Society and Religion I,
The Cosmopolis
World, pp.140-168
*Shelton #321, 322, 323
Monday, September 26
Society and Religion II, Slavery   *Shelton #198, 199, 203, 206, 210
Wednesday, September 28
Society and Religion III, Slavery, farming   JOURNAL DUE, 5pm

Friday, September 30

Exam Number 1
Monday, October 3
this one "web handout" is for all religion lectures
Religion IV *Shelton #405, 407, 408, 419, 423, 426, 427, 429, 432
Wednesday, October 5 Religion V *Shelton #446,447, 449
Friday, October 7 Religion VI *Shelton #434, 435, 437, 439
Monday, October 10 Production, Consumption, Technology World, pp. 181-207  
Wednesday, October 12
Technology Reading Assignment: Why did the Ancients Not Develop Technology?
Friday, October 14
Fall Break begins at 10 p.m.
Roman family, Roman Women World, pp. 208-234, *Shelton #325, 330  
Monday, October 17
Fall Break
Wednesday, October 19
Fall break ends at 8 AM

Roman Women Reading Assignment: Selections From Women's Life in Roman World
Friday, October 21 Roman Mind
Education I
World, pp. 235-241
*Shelton #134, 135
Monday, October 24 Roman Mind
Education II
Paper Topic Due, 5 p.m. (submit online)
Shelton *143, 145, 152, 153, 154, 157, 160 (journal entries can be really quick here--this is more directed writing, as I discussed in class--focus on the effect of the system of education)  
Wednesday, October 26 Philosophy I
World, pp. 241-260
Shelton *466, 467, 469, 470, 471
(group these together in your journal by author)
Friday, October 28 Philosophy II Shelton *460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465 (group these together in your journal by author)
Journal Due 5 p.m.
Monday, October 31 Exam Number 2

N.B. If you wear a costume, make sure you are able to write while wearing it!  
Wednesday, November 2 Roman Literature I World, pp. 262-286  
Friday, November 4 Roman Literature II Rough draft of paper due, 5 p.m.
This reading assignment is due Monday, Nov. 7
Get to it on the reading assignment section of segue.
Monday, November 7 Roman Art and Architecture, architecture I World, pp. 287-316
Study pictures
Shelton #79, 97

Wednesday, November 9

Roman Art and Architecture, architecture II
FINAL PROJECT SUBMIT FORM DUE, 5 p.m., submit on the segue site

Study Pictures
Friday, November 11 Roman Art and Architecture, Painting I Learn Pictures
Monday, November 14 Roman Art and Architecture, Painting II Learn Pictures  
Wednesday, November 16 Medicine I
PAPER DUE, by 5 p.m.
For really GREAT Roman medical information to appreciate, go to this site.  
Friday, November 18 Medicine II Shelton *111, 112, 114, 115, 118.  
Monday, November 21 Later History Reading Assignment: Selections from Later History  
Tuesday, November 22
Thanksgiving Holiday begins at 10 p.m.
Classes resume, 8 am
Monday, November 28
Bread and Circuses I A Reminder: there is no final exam in this class, but a really great final project in which you get to learn about an aspect of Roman culture that has always interested you! It is due (as stated on the first day, way long ago) the day our final exam is assigned; our day is Tuesday, December 13, bring your creations to MoodBridwell 223 by 5 p.m.  

Wednesday, November 30

Bread and Circuses II

Shelton #377, 378, 379, 380, 382, 391, 392, 396, 397
Friday, December 2
Petronius' "Satyricon"
This reading assignment is on "Reading Assignments," it's short and fun! Gives you great insights into Roman culture.  
Monday, December 5 Course Evaluations
Final Journal Due

Wednesday, December 7

Exam Number 3
This is now a review day--ponder the questions beforehand (read all the material assigned in class before this class if you wish to have the review be most useful!).

Friday, December 9
Exam Number Three is now on this day, due to popular demand

Reminder: our final project is due on Tuesday, December 13 by 5 p.m., the day assigned to our class for its final.