Ancient Rome and Its Legacies


The rise and fall of ancient Rome is one of the great stories in the history of the world. From settlements on the seven hills near the Tiber River, Rome rose to conquer and rule much of the Mediterranean world and Europe. For Americans since 1776, Rome’s unlikely ascent, spectacular ambitions, and ultimate fall have provided endless fuel for national self-examination. Is the United States an empire? Will the United States also fall (or has it fallen already)? Co-taught by two faculty members—a Classics scholar and an American historian–this course uses original documents and art from both eras to explore the influence that Rome has had on American history and, more important, the American imagination. We will examine government, rhetoric, propaganda, art, iconography, revolution, and ethnography. This is an ideal course for students with interests in history, classics, political science, and art.