She-wolf (Roman), Romulus and Remus (Renaissance)

MALS Independent Study: The Roman Republic & Early Empire, 753 BCE-68 CE

Prof. Michael Arnush & Chelsea Moody

Skidmore College, Fall 2011

Woman writer, Pompeii
Texts (abbreviations here appear throughout the schedule of readings)
Books in blue are available in the UNC-Charlotte library. Since you will be enrolled in Latin, you should have library privileges. Get these books as soon as possible; we'll deal with the Cicero (an optional set of readings) later.
  • RVE: Boatwright, M.T., et al. The Romans: From Village to Empire. NY and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • HAR: Mellor, R., ed. The Historians of Ancient Rome. 2nd ed. NY and London: Routledge, 2004 (Atkins Library has the first edition, not the second. I have both, so before we begin I'll compare the two and decide whether you need to purchase the 2nd ed.)
  • ARD: Shelton, J.-A. As the Romans Did: A Sourcebook in Roman Social History. 2nd ed. NY and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998 (get the 1998, not the 1988, edition)
  • SAT: Petronius Arbiter, T. Satyrica. Ed. and transl. by R.B. Branham and D. Kinney. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California, 1997.
  • CIC: Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Ten Speeches. J.E.G. Zetzel, translator. Hackett, 2009. I have included this text because Cicero's speeches are brilliant examples of the finest oratory the Roman world ever produced. As we approach this age of Cicero (100-43 BCE), we will decide whether to read more of his speeches; if so, then you will need to purchase this collection.
Guide to the independent study

Our goals in this course include

  • acquiring a basic background in Roman political, social and cultural history through readings in a college-level textbook (RVE) and a broad sampling of primary sources
  • developing a critical eye towards written sources from the Roman world, and as well towards scholarly assessments of ancient Rome
  • reading, in the primary sources, historians (Livy, Sallust, Tacitus), biographers (Plutarch, Suetonius, and the emperor Augustus in his "autobiography"), orators (Cicero), poets of the Augustan age, novelists (Petronius), and various other kinds of texts (inscriptions, decrees, edicts, personal correspondence, etc.)
  • honing writing skills through
      • a series of short (1-2 page) "response papers," with both the question(s) to be considered as well as the response originating from the readings and are generated by you
      • a mid-length essay (5-8 pages) on a topic selected by you, with a thesis and argument, based upon the readings
      • a final project (an in-depth, advanced research paper of ca. 20 pages) on a topic selected by you, with a thesis and argument, and a bibliography of sources consulted beyond those for the independent study

Your grade will be based upon the response papers (25% total), the mid-length essay (25%) and the final project (50%)

This brief section introduces you to the kinds of evidence we have available for the study of the Roman Republic and Empire. The readings provide an overview of what kinds of literary and other sources survive from the Roman world, and as well offer a glimpse into how and what the two most important authors for the early and middle Republic, Livy and Polybius, intended to a address in their works (Livy's History from the Foundation of the City and Polybius' Universal History).
Sources & Methods
  • RVE: pp. 4-6 ("The Evidence")
  • HAR: pp. 1-17 & Polybius 1.1-5; 3.31
  • HAR: pp. 169-70 & Livy, Preface
  • ARD: pp. 440-51

The first ten topics, from "Early Italy" to "Conquest of the Mediterranean," are all background to the late Republic, which begins in 133 BCE when the brothers Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus (the Gracchi) attempted radical political and social reform. While the topics isolate the broad key themes, the summary of all of the readings in this section is as follows:

  • RVE: pp. 1-153
  • HAR: all of Livy, all of Polybius
  • ARD: pp. 2-3, 203-211, 243-249, 381-2.

If you wish, you can tackle this background section at a fairly quick pace. When you have reached the end of the "Beginning of the Roman res publica," select an issue you wish to explore and send me a 1-2 page paper. Select one specific topic and write a focused piece: don't waste time with a lengthy introduction and avoid summarizing what we already know. Instead, explore in your paper one very narrowly defined topic in detail.

Write your second paper after the chapter on "Rome's Conquest of Italy," and your third after the chapter on the "Conquest of the Mediterranean." We will use each paper as a starting point for an e-discussion. In all three papers, try to include evidence from the sources - from Livy, from Polybius, and from the various authors and works in Shelton's As the Romans Did.

Early Italy
  • RVE: pp. 1-4, 6-25
  • HAR: Livy 1.1-7
Rome & Etruscans
  • RVE: pp. 25-31
  • UPenn exhibit: The Etruscan World (at UPenn)
  • HAR: Livy 1.8-17
  • ARD: pp. 2-3 (#1)
Urban Community: Rome under Kings
  • RVE: pp. 32-48
  • HAR: Livy 1.34-49
  • ARD: pp. 381-2 (#423)
Beginning of Roman res publica
  • RVE: pp. 48-57
  • Livy 1.18-21 (Perseus); 2.1-2 (Perseus)
  • HAR: Livy 1.55-60; 2.31-40; 3.33-7, 44-9, 56-8
Roman magistracies
  • RVE: pp. 58-75
  • HAR: Polybius 6.1, 3-9, 11-8, 56-7
  • ARD: pp. 203-11 (#251-8)
Rome in 4th C.
  • RVE: pp. 75-86
  • HAR: Livy 5.34-49
  • The conquest of Veii: Livy 5.1 (Perseus), 5.21-2 (Perseus)
  • The Samnite Wars: Livy 7.29 (the start of hostilities, 343 BCE) (Perseus), 9.5-6 (the defeat at the Caudine Forks, 321 BCE) (Perseus), 10.28-9 (the decisive battle at Sentium, 295 BCE) (Perseus)
Rome's conquest of Italy
  • RVE: pp. 86-96, 98-104
  • ARD: pp. 243-9 (#291)
  • The Pyrrhic Wars: Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus 21 (Lacus Curtius — scroll down)
Beginning of empire: First Punic War & onset of Second
  • RVE: pp. 97-8, 104-11
  • HAR: Polybius 1.6-14
  • Polybius 1.20-3 (Perseus), 62-3 (Perseus)
  • HAR: Polybius 3.1, 4, 6-30
Second Punic War
  • RVE: pp. 111-9
  • HAR: Livy 21.1-2, 20-48; 22.3-7, 44-51; 30.28-37
Conquest of Mediterranean
  • RVE: pp. 119-35
  • HAR: Livy 31.1; 33.30-3, 38-40; 38.37-8; 39.51
  • Plutarch, Life of Flamininus 16.3-4 (Lacus Curtius)
133-31 BCE
The late Roman Republic begins, arguably, with the first two topics here: the creation of a pan-Mediterranean Roman empire (though still called the Republic) and a shift in the sources, and our focus, from the external world to the internal politics of Rome with the proposed social reforms of the Gracchi. This is the age of Marius and Sulla, Pompey and Crassus, and Caesar and Cicero, and the extent of our sources expands dramatically. We will move more slowly through this section. At the halfway point, when you have completed the reading on the conspiracy of Catiline (called the "Catilinarian Conspiracy"), you will write a five-page essay, again on a question you wish to explore. For this paper, you will draw even more extensively on the primary (ancient) and secondary (RVE) sources and build on your abilities to write an extended, in-depth analysis.
Italy & Empire
Roman religion in the Republic
The Gracchi
Rise of Dynasts: Marius
Social War and Civil War: Sulla
Crassus, Pompey & Revolt of Spartacus
Cicero & Catiline
  • RVE: pp. 219-25
  • HAR: Cicero, Letters p. 128 (To Atticus 1.2)
  • HAR: Sallust, Catilinarian Conspiracy
  • HAR: Cicero, First Oration against Catiline
Cicero's career
  • CIC: selections from Cicero, Ten Speeches
Breakdown of the res publica: First Triumvirate
  • RVE: pp. 225-36
  • HAR: Cicero, Letters p. 129
  • ARD: pp. 225-6 (#266)
  • Cicero on the triumvirs (PDF)
  • HAR: Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar 19-23
The 50s: Caesar in Gaul, conflict in Rome
  • RVE: pp. 236-44, 248-51
  • HAR: Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War pp. 135-6 & 1.1-33; 6.11-28
  • HAR: Suetonius, Life of Caesar 24-7
Civil War I: Dictator
  • RVE: pp. 244-48, 251-66
  • Cicero, Letters to Friends 16.11 (Perseus)
  • Caesar, Commentaries on the Civil War 1.1-8 (Perseus)
  • HAR: Suetonius, Life of Caesar 28-37, 40-4, 75-89
Civil War II: Second Triumvirate & triumph of Octavian
  • RVE: pp. 267-91
  • HAR: Suetonius, Life of Augustus 12-18
Roman social issues
  • ARD: select any two chapters of interest from Shelton, As the Romans Did
31 BCE - 68 CE
This final section looks brief - only five topics - and it only encapsulates 100 years, from the creation of the Augustan principate in 31 BCE until the death of Nero in 68 CE. Yet, this age of the Julio-Claudian emperors served as the foundation for 500 years of empire and it also lies at the heart of the period of Roman history that interests you. We will take our time in this section, as we did on the late Republic, examining the primary sources, using RVE as our on-going guide, and zeroing in on a topic you'll address in your final project. That project can begin as early as where you left off with your last paper - the Catilinarian conspiracy of 63 BCE - and go as late as Nero's death in 68. You will decide what overarching issue you wish to explore, and I will steer you towards conducting extensive research on your chosen topic.
Augustus & Pax Romana
  • RVE: pp. 291-316
  • HAR: Suetonius, Life of Augustus 19-35, 46-65
  • ARD: pp. 227-9 (#267)
  • HAR: Augustus, Achievements of the Deified Augustus
Women in the Age of Augustus
  • ARD: pp. 37 (#54), 43-7 (#57-66), 50-1 (#71-2), 54-5 (#77), 288-91 (#325-9), 296 -7 (#333), 299 (#336), 301-6 (#339-47)
Julio-Claudians I: Tiberius & Caligula
  • RVE: pp. 317-28
  • HAR: pp. 393-4 & Tacitus, Annals 1.1-14, 33-53 (skip 1.8-10, 45-51); 2.69-73; 3.1-18; 4.1-12, 32-5; 6.50-1
  • ARD: pp. 235-6 (#275-6)
  • Suetonius, Life of Tiberius; Life of Caligula
Julio-Claudians II: Claudius & the Principate
  • RVE: pp. 328-32
  • HAR: Tacitus, Annals 11.23-38; 12.65-9
  • ARD: pp. 191-5 (#233)
  • Suetonius, Life of Claudius
Julio-Claudians III: Nero & Civil War
  • RVE: pp. 332-7
  • SAT: all of the novel
  • HAR: Tacitus, Annals 13.1-5; 14.1-11, 60-5; 15.37-44, 60-4; 16.18-9; Histories 1.1-16; 3.66-72
  • Suetonius, Life of Nero