schedule is arranged by date, topic and readings. The texts are abbreviated
and indicated in red and
the individual assignments are either to page numbers (RR,
RE) or to item numbers in the text
If you are ever unsure about a reading assignment, contact me for
clarification. Two events are currently not on the class/reading schedule
but will be assigned shortly after the beginning of the semester:
a lecture on Roman history by a visiting scholar, and a screening
and panel discussion of Ridley Scott's film "Gladiator,"
starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix and Richard Harris.
are drawn from the required texts and the occasional print or electronic
"handout." Please complete the readings by the time of the listed
class meeting, for class discussions depend on a full grasp of the
reading assignments. Leave yourself sufficient time to read, and find
a quiet place in which to do so. Don't leave the reading until just
before class; reading under pressure is a waste of time. Take thorough
notes as you read, so you can return to them later to review essential
texts for the papers and exams.
A few comments on the readings: the two main textbooks, by Crawford
and by Wells, are straight-forward treatments of Roman history. They
each draw primarily upon the literary sources, and to a much lesser
extent on epigraphic (inscriptional) and archaeological evidence.
Their strongest suits are their understanding of the complexity of
the issues, their grasp of political relationships in ancient Rome
and their use of the sources (see the sections on "Further Reading"
at the back of each).
remaining texts contain primary sources - roughly contemporary accounts
of Roman cultural, political, military and social events. The sources
vary considerably over the centuries in content, quality, and sheer
quantity. They did not write their texts with a course in Roman history
in mind, so you cannot expect the books' structures to mirror perfectly
a college syllabus. Be patient, read them carefully but with the bigger
picture in mind, and enjoy them. The Lewis and Reinhold sourcebook
(LR 1 and
2) provides excerpts of the most critical sources for the study of
Roman history: historians, biographers, geographers, poets, orators
and philosophers all are represented here, as are many of the "random"
comments and observations made by members of the less literate and
well-to-do. As excerpts, these passages are usually out of context
and require some flexibility by the reader. Translated documents,
such as inscriptions, also appear frequently, and these are sometimes
very fragmentary and require a thoughtful reconstruction of the text.