HI363 (CC365) Age of Augustus

Prof. Michael Arnush Ladd 209 x5462
marnush@skidmore.edu Office hours: MW 12.15-1.15pm

All of the assignments for this course have deadlines which are non-negotiable, although I do reserve the right to make changes to the schedule. Please adhere to the deadlines, since I will not entertain requests for extensions. All late papers will receive a grade of "F" (unless due to illness).
Weight Assignment


Each class session after the first three meetings will include discussions of the readings that you will lead. You should arrive for each class having formulated an informal response to the reading(s) to be discussed that day. These responses, typed up on a single sheet, should contain a brief summary of the author(s)’s points (noting key passages, concepts, moments, etc.) and should then extend to the formulation of original questions or comments.  These can be questions regarding your own understanding of the text, or they can critique the text, supportive of its argument, or (best) can link various texts together and/or apply their insights.  Each day, I will call on many of you to relate your responses to the class. This does not mean that you need to come to class with a paper to read each day; however, a few paragraphs or—at the very least—some clear and detailed notes outlining your response will be necessary. 

Many of the ideas and texts that we are dealing with in this class are hard to understand on our own.  Because of this and because this class includes discussion and discussions need participants, attendance is mandatory and you are expected to take part in all class discussions.  This aspect of your performance will be reflected in a portion of your grade that reflects its overall importance to the class and that includes the informal presentation of your “responses” to each text. This grade is based upon both the quality and quantity of your participation.

Essays: two, each @ 10%

These essays, each scheduled during the first half of the semester (due Tues. 2/14 and Thurs., 3/1), focus on the analysis of a specific problem related to historical evidence and include an exercise in appropriate citations of primary and secondary sources.



The midterm, scheduled for the last class meeting before Spring Break (Thurs., 3/8), will draw upon all of the readings and discussions up to the exam.


Final project

The final project consists of a piece of research you will design and conduct throughout the second half of the semester. This project has multiple components:

  • Proposal, 5%: 300-500 word proposal stating the issues you wish to address (Thurs., 3/22)
  • Outline, 5%: outline of the entire structure of the paper with an annotated bibliography (Thurs., 4/5)
  • Rough Draft, 10%: 3500-4000 words (~15-20 pages) with footnotes and works cited
  • Presentation, 10%: an oral presentation of your project
  • Final Draft, 20%: 4000 words (~20 pages)

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.

Extra credit: you may earn 2.5 additional percentage points towards the class participation grade (i.e., one half-grade) by attending and writing two separate 250-word essays about any two of these spring Classics events:

  • performance of Penelope by playwright & actor Ellen McLaughlin (Fri., 2/17)
  • poetry reading of Homer's Odyssey at the "Homerathon!" (Tues., 2/7)
  • performance of Ajax in Iraq by the Theater Department (Apr.)
  • presentations by students at Parilia, the annual undergraduate Classics conference (Fri., 4/20)
  • presentations by students on topics relevant to the seminar at Academic Festival (May)
Weight Assignment Due Date
1o% Discussions Throughout the semester
1o% Class participation Throughout the semester
10% Essay 1 Tuesday, February 14th
10% Essay 2 Thursday, March 1st
10% Midterm Thursday, March 8th
5% Project topic statement Thursday, March 22nd
5% Project outline & annotated bibliography Thursday, April 5th
10% Project rough draft and works cited Thursday, April 19th
10% Project oral presentation with handout April 24th, 26th, May 1st
20% Project final project Friday, May 4th