HI363 Age of Augustus
LI213 TuTh 2.10-3.30pm

Prof. Michael Arnush Starbuck 201D x8113
marnush@skidmore.edu Hrs.: TuTh 1-2


Weight Assignment (timeline; printable version)

Class participation

Class participation is the central feature of this course and it includes preparation of all readings and assignments, and regular and active participation in classroom discussions. As a seminar, this course depends upon intellectual exchanges by all participants and respect for others' perspectives. It also depends upon a collective commitment to learn from and engage with the readings and each other. You may take 2 absences from the classroom without penalty. After two absences, each absence will result in a lowering of your final grade by 2.5%. Come to class prepared to engage.

Directed discussions of readings

Beginning with the second week of the semester, you will be assigned to lead on two separate occasions the discussion of an individual class meeting's readings. Each of you will partner with two other members of the class.



This first essay focuses on the analysis of a specific problem related to historical evidence and includes an exercise in appropriate citations of primary and secondary sources. This 500-word essay is assigned on February 6th and due at 6pm on February 15th.


Response papers (5% each)

These 250-word response papers capture your analysis of the historical accuracy of the two productions we will screen: HBO's recent multi-season series Rome, and the BBC's acclaimed masterpiece, I, Claudius (based on the novel by Robert Graves). The Rome paper is due February 6th, the I, Claudius paper on March 6th.

For the first paper, you will want to consult the HBO "Rome" website and, if you need additional information on the characters, see Wikipedia. Please provide citations to any sources you consult and, since you will be submitting these papers electronically, you can embed the URL in the paper (in MSWord, highlight the text to be linked, then use "control-k" and type or copy the URL) rather than type or copy the entire URL as text.

Please employ the same format for the response papers, the essay and each written stage of the final project:

  • 1" margins (not the width default of 1.25")
  • 12-point type
  • title page only with the final draft. Until then, each component need have only your name, the assignment title (e.g., "Response Paper: HBO Rome") and the date at the top of the first page
  • pagination (location of the page number doesn't matter)
  • MS-Word format. If you use another software product, please consult with the Helpdesk long before the first due date.

Each assignment is due by 6.00pm and must be submitted by email. If you do not know how to attach a document to an email, please consult the Helpdesk. Since our class meets from 2.10-3.30pm, the early evening deadline gives you the opportunity to utilize both my office hours and the classroom to test your ideas, receive feedback and revise your thinking before handing in an assignment.


Final project

The final project consists of a written piece of research you will design and conduct throughout the second half of the semester. This 3500-word (approximately 15-page) paper has multiple components, each with a specific due date; the final version is due on Friday, May 4th, at 6:00pm.


Final exam

The final exam, administered on Tuesday, May 8th, 9am-noon in LI213, will be a comprehensive examination drawing upon material from the entire semester.

The seminar will include various required co-curricular activities including a few evening film screenings (Jan. 30th for episodes of the HBO production of Rome; Feb. 27th and Mar. 6th for episodes of the BBC production of I, Claudius; we will coordinate dinners for one or more of these screenings) and a lecture (the annual Classical World lecture, date TBA). You may earn extra credit if you present at, or attend, Parilia at Hamilton College on April 20th, and if you present your final project at the annual Academic Festival on May 2nd.