Pompeiian fresco, 1st c. AD

MWF 1.25-2.20 (Ladd 307)

Prof. Michael Arnush Ladd 209 x5462
marnush@skidmore.edu Hours: TuW 11

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Classics Department
Skidmore College
The study of the history of Rome, or of any civilization, calls upon a set of distinct skills that require time and patience to cultivate. History is neither a collection of facts lacking careful and critical analysis, nor an analysis devoid of factual information; indeed, the historian needs to have the facts at his or her fingertips in order to build a cogent and thoughtful analysis. The assignments for this course will help you develop both skills: the exams will test your ability to grasp and recall salient information, while the short responses, essay, and research paper will ask you to craft arguments based upon that information. The classroom will serve as an informal laboratory where you can test your own abilities to coordinate these two sets of skills.

Over the course of the semester you will develop writing skills (outlined in the Overview) that will help you craft clear and cogent prose, and study skills that will assist you in doing fine work on an exam. The course requirements are designed to help you sharpen these skills. You will write three short (300-600 words) responses and one long (3000 words) final project (a creative project - either a non-fictional piece of research or a fictional work that draws upon research): the first will ask you to compare and analyze primary sources on a particular subject; the second offers you a broader choice of topics and requires some research. This final project will focus on building your research skills so that they culminate with the successful completion of this 3000-word paper.

You will take two exams: one midterm and one final. The midterm will cover the lectures, readings and class discussions through the middle of the semester, and the final exam will be comprehensive but focus on the latter half of the course material.
All assignments will have due dates specified in advance, and you yourself must turn each one in on time and in class (except the research paper, which is due in my office, LADD 209, on Thursday, December 16th at noon). Failure to hand any assignment in on time will result in an "F" for that assignment. This is not open to negotiation.
EXAMS: 40%
MIDTERM: 20% Short i.d.s, source analysis, essays
FINAL: 20% Short i.d.s, source analysis, essays
SHORT ESSAYS (3): 30% Source analysis: 300-600 word essay
FINAL PROJECT : 20% Research paper: 3000-word essay
Class participation is an essential aspect of this course and consists of the preparation of all readings before class, and participation in discussions in the classroom. To earn CLASS PARTICIPATION points you need to come to class on time, contribute regularly and thoughtfully, and demonstrate a grasp of the readings and lectures. You must be respectful and tolerant of others' views.

Obviously, if you do not attend class you can not participate in the in-class discussions. You may take THREE absences from the classroom during the semester without penalty - no questions asked, no explanation necessary, although if you miss a class on which an assignment is due you will fail that assignment. After three absences, each absence will result in a significant lowering of the CLASS PARTICIPATION component. Come to class.
As you hone your skills as an ancient historian you will develop your own perspectives, methodologies and solutions to some of the vexing questions that Roman history raises. It is absolutely essential that you take credit for your own work, and give credit to others when you draw upon their ideas and words. In this course you are expected to distinguish, and indicate to your reader the differences, between your own work and that of others. We will discuss what constitutes plagiarism and how you will go about acknowledging properly the effort of another scholar.

Accordingly, plagiarism and cheating of all sorts will not be tolerated in this course and are grounds for an "F". Be sure to read carefully the Ethics of Scholarship webpage and the section on "Academic Integrity" in the Academic Information Guide.

All members of the College community are bound by Skidmore's Honor Code, included here:

"I hereby accept membership in the Skidmore College Community and, with full realization of the responsibilities inherent in membership, do agree to adhere to honesty and integrity in all relationships, to be considerate of the rights of others, and to abide by the college regulations."