Portland Vase, 1st c. BCE

SSP100 The Empire Strikes Back:
Imperial Ambitions of Athens, Rome, Britain and the US

Prof. Michael Arnush
MW 11.30am-1.30pm Office hours: W 2-3.15, TH by appt.
Mask of Agamemnon, Mycenae, 15th c. BCE
    Athens timeline Rome timeline  
Day  Date 


  • Comments? Use the blog


  • Red = packet

Field trip

Wed.  9/1 

Introduction: what is empire?
Athens: development of empire and democracy

Lal, "Empires," pp. 3-43
Demand, pp. 213-237
Mon. 9/6


  • Parthenon, gallery 18
  • Daily life, gallery 69

BM assignments:
1) Parthenon readings

2) Daily life readings: groups select chs. in Garland

Meet in the BM, gallery 18 (Parthenon), 10am

BM, gallery 18

BM, gallery 69

Wed.  9/8  Athens: from Delian League to empire Osborne, pp. 1-56 (skim 5-30)  
Mon. 9/13 Athens: status, gender and religion Demand, pp. 238-258  
Wed. 9/15

Workshop: Greek daily life presentations prep (gallery 69)

Garland readings
Essay 1 assignment
Fri. 9/17

Greek daily life presentations

  BM presentations
Mon. 9/20

Summarizing Athens,
Introducing Rome

Woolf, pp. 311-322; Shotter, pp. 1-34
Greek daily life paper due
Wed. 9/22 Rome: evolution of the frontier; occupation and its infrastructure; Roman empire assignment

Shotter, pp. 35-65
Read the literary sources on "From Caesar to Claudius," pp. 11-15, 27-28, 31-32

Fri. 9/24

Rome: Roman Britain, Museum of London

Read the literary sources on "The First Century, pp. 14-30, 32, 34-38, 53, 66
Daily life readings: groups review chs. in Matz
Bank Station, 10am
Mon. 9/27

Rome: economy and society; religion in Romano-British society

Shotter, pp. 66-96
Read the literary sources on "The Second Century," pp. 31-2, 38-47, 52-3
Wed. 9/29


  • Roman Britain (gallery 49)
  • Workshop: Roman empire presentations (gallery 69)
Review Woolf, Shotter, literary sources and Matz BM, gallery 49
Sat. 10/2

Rome: Roman Britain

  Bath / Roman Baths
Mon. 10/4

Presentations on the Roman empire

  IES classroom
Wed. 10/6 Semester review; paper workshop    
Fri. 10/8 Roman daily life paper due
Mon. 10/11 Midterm    
Wed. 10/13 Fall break after last exams Photographs and blogs of cultural sites  
Mon. 10/18 Introduction: British Empire & Neoclassicism Coltman, pp. 1-16
Levine, pp. 1-29
BM, Gallery 1, 10am
Wed. 10/20 The Grand Tour including discussion of fall break trips Irwin, pp. 13-64
V&A assignment
Mon. 10/25 Artists & Architects of Neoclassical Britain
Spring registration discussion
Summerson, pp. 256-272
Irwin, pp. 213-221, 299-306, 316-318
Wed. 10/27 Lecture & research preparation for group presentations   V&A, Galleries 118-20, Cromwell Road, 10am
M-F   Individual advising sessions    
Mon. 11/1

Walking Tour of Neoclassical / Greek Revival London

  Trafalgar Square, 10am
Wed. 11/3 Colonization in the British Empire
Wrap-up: discussion and debate on the ethics of imperialism and colonialism

Levine, pp. 31-81
Final project: The Meaning of

Fri. 11/5 Presentations on Neoclassical art of the British empire   V&A presentations
Galleries 118-120, 10am 
Mon. 11/8 Waging War and Keeping the Peace: the US post-1945 Neoclassical Britain paper due via email, 6.00pm Imperial War Museum, 10am
Imperial War Museum: Circle/District Lines to Embankment Station, then Bakerloo Line South to Lambeth North Station. Kennington Road south to Lambeth Road, left (east) to the Museum. At approximately 11.15 we will leave for Grosvenor Square: Bakerloo Line to Oxford Circus Station, Central Line West to Bond Street Station. From Oxford St, south to Brook Street, west to the Square. We'll finish ca. 12.15pm. Submit your Blog postings by Tuesday, 6.00pm.
Wed. 11/10 Discussion of Monday's fieldtrip
For the American Empire

Review Blog postings
Layne/Thayer, pp. 1-47

Mon. 11/15

Against the American Empire
Articles on American imperialism

Layne/Thayer, pp. 51-96

Final project rev.
Wed. 11/17

Analysis of Responses

Layne/Thayer, pp. 103-134  
Fri. 11/19

Prologue to "Your Inner Fish"


Down House, home of Charles Darwin
Mon. 11/22 Debate: for or against the American Empire? Prepare to debate!  
Wed. 11/24 Presentation/paper prep    
Thurs. 11/25 Thanksgiving dinner    
Mon. 11/29 Final presentations   10.45am
Wed. 12/1 Final presentations   10.45am
Thurs. 12/2 Final paper due 6.00pm