LS2-180 IMAGES OF THE TWELVE CAESARS
BO382 MWF 1.25-2.20PM

 
Prof. Leslie Mechem, x5464, Harder 208C
 
    The first century B.C. in Republican Rome witnessed a succession of bitter civil wars which nearly destroyed the most powerful and influential civilization of its day. When Julius Caesar assumed control of the dying Republic he laid the groundwork for a new style of world governance, placing the reins of power into the hands of one man. Caesar's successor, the young Octavian, consolidated this authority and with his defeat of Antony and Cleopatra in 31 B.C., established peace throughout the known world - the pax Romana - and a new magistracy - the principate. For the next 125 years Octavian (now called Augustus) and his successors, the Julio-Claudians and the Flavians, ruled the greatest empire the world had ever seen, embracing all of the Mediterranean and stretching from Scotland in the northwest to Parthia and India in the east. The arts, education, science, philosophy, literature and politics all flourished under these first 12 Roman emperors, as the nascent empire struggled to find its place in the history of world civilizations.
 

     Students will acquire a greater understanding of the lives of 12 Caesars and of the most prominent members of their families, in particular how they viewed themselves and how their contemporaries perceived them. Since each ruler from Julius Caesar until Domitian, and on occasion their wives and children, were deified, the students in this course will consider the origins and development of the imperial cult and the promotion of a state religion championed and led by the emperor. This will generate considerations as well of the role of women, particularly members of the imperial family, in Roman life. Critical examinations by imperial historians and biographers, together with careful analyses of artistic interpretations, will help to shed light on the vast changes which occurred in the Roman empire from 59 B.C. until 96 A.D.
 
 

REQUIRED TEXTS
COURSE REQUIREMENTS
WEBSITES

 

READING SCHEDULE
JAN. FEB. MAR. APR.-MAY
 
DISCUSSION GROUP