TuTh 2.10-3.30 LI 213


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

Sept. 9
Introduction: Spectacle, luxury and decadence
Sept. 14
A mad dash through 1000 years of Roman history: The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome, pp. 1-87.
Sept. 16

Introduction to spectacle, luxury and decadence:

  • "Introduction," and "Prodigal Pleasures," in Edwards, The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome, introduction and ch. 5, pp. 1-33 and 173-206.
  • "Leisure," "Definitions," and "Leisure and Otium," in Toner, Leisure and Ancient Rome, chs. 2-4, pp. 11-33
Sept. 21

Spectacle and everyday life: Katherine and Pat

  • "The Setup: Public Entertainments in the Late Republic," in Beacham, Spectacle Entertainments, ch. 1, pp. 1-44
  • See the McManus webpage on leisure and entertainment
Sept. 23

Gladiatorial contests: Jeremy and Clementine, Bari and Jess

  • "Beginnings," in Futrell, Blood in the Arena, ch. 1, pp. 9-51
  • "Gladiators and Roman Identity," and "The Context," in Wiedemann, Emperors and Gladiators, chs. 1-2, pp. 1-101.
  • "Despair: The Scandal of the Arena," in Barton, The Sorrows of the Ancient Romans, ch.1 , pp. 11-46
  • See the Dunkle and McManus webpages on gladiators
Sept. 28

Bread and circuses (pt. 1): Tara and Emily

  • "Feeding the City," and "Amusing the Masses," in Potter and Mattingly, eds., Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire, chs. 5-6, pp. 171-255.
Sept. 30

Bread and circuses (pt. 2): Katie and Katy

  • "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," in Potter and Mattingly, ch. 7, pp. 256-326.
  • See the McManus webpages on the circus
Oct. 5

Theatrical performances: Meredith and Christina

  • "Playing Romans: Representations of actors and the theatre," in Edwards, The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome, ch. 4, pp. 98-136
  • "The Theater and the City," in Slater, Roman Theater and Society, ch. 5, pp. 113-127 (photocopy)
Oct. 7

Spectacles of death: Jeff and Nick

  • "Introduction: violent spectacles and Roman civilization," and "The phenomenon: the development and diversity of Roman spectacles of death," in Kyle, Spectacles of Death, chs. 1-2, pp. 1-75.
Oct. 12

Sport and violence: Ann and Eduardo

  • "Introduction" and "Arena Games and Public Uses of Violence," in Plass, The Game of Death in Ancient Rome, pt. 1, pp. 1-77.
Oct. 14

Baths and bathing: Pat and Jeff

  • "Introduction," "A Visit to the Baths with Martial" and "The Growth of the Bathing Habit," in Fagan, Bathing in Public in the Roman World, chs. 1-2, pp. 1-74.
  • B. McManus, Roman Baths and Bathing.
  • Also worth consulting: F. Yegul, Baths and bathing in classical antiquity. NY: Architectural History Foundation; Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992. (on reserve)
Oct. 19 Research methodologies: research tools; sources (printable)
Plagiarism: Louis Roberts, SUNY; Doris Kearns Goodwin
Oct. 21

Food and dining: Cena Trimalchionis: Clementine

  • "Dinner with Trimalchio," in Petronius' Satyricon, trans. J.P. Sullivan (NY and London: Penguin, rev. ed. 1986), pp. 51-91.

Food and dining: selected scholarship on the Satyricon: Katy, Jess

  • J.H. D'Arms, "Slaves at Roman Convivia," in Dining in a Classical Context, ed. W.J. Slater (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1991), pp. 171-183.
  • C.P. Jones, "Dinner Theater," in Dining ..., pp. 185-198.
Oct. 26

Food and dining: general scholarship: Tara, Emily, Nick, Katie, Jeremy, Christina

  • Presenters: Jeremy, Christina. Readers: Katy, Ann, Eduardo
    • "Introduction," 'Imperium sine fine,' " and "Ausonia," in Dalby, Empire of Pleasures, pp. 1-81
  • Presenters: Emily, Katie. Readers: Meredith, Katherine, Jeff, Jess
    • "The Use of Empire: the art of dining; the art of courtship; the art of being Roman," in Dalby, Empire of Pleasures, ch. 8, pp. 243-272
    • A. Corbeill, "Dining Deviants in Roman Political Invective," in Hallett and Skinner, Roman Sexualities, pp. 99-128
  • Presenters: Tara, Nick. Readers: Clementine, Pat, Bari
    • "The Roman Feast: An Overview," and "Public Feasting in Rome: The Principate," in Donahue, The Roman Community at Table, pp. 14-42 and pp. 65-91
Oct. 28

Sexuality and Prostitution: Bari, Katherine, Meredith

  • "Unspeakable Professions: Public Performance and Prostitution in Ancient Rome," in Hallett and Skinner, Roman Sexualities, pp. 66-95
  • "Basic Economics," in McGinn, The Economy of Prostitution in the Roman World, ch. 2, p. 14-77 (readers: skim)
Nov. 2 Research paper preliminary reports
Nov. 4

Arnush out of town
Film (class meets at 7pm): Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2002). Place TBA

Nov. 9 In-class films: Gladiators: Roman Blood Sport; Dinner at Trimalchio clip from Fellini's "Satyricon"
Nov. 11 Film critiques of Gladiator; Fellini's "Satyricon"; Gladiators: Roman Blood Sport
Nov. 16 Thesis, abstract and preliminary bibliography due
In-class film: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (film starts at 2.00pm)
Nov. 18 Research paper updates
Film critique of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Nov. 30


  • Christina Bruno
  • Katy Drennan
  • Clementine Harriman
Dec. 2


  • Emily Clark
  • Katie Hallaran
  • Jess Lubniewski
Dec. 7


  • Tara DiDomenico
  • Bari Kessler
  • Katherine Rankin
Dec. 9


  • Meredith Atkinson
  • Jeff Field
  • Nick Merrill
Dec. 14


  • Jeremy Grubman
  • Pat Kelsey
Dec. 17 Due: research paper