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Ancient Roman Civilization: The City and Culture of Rome

Instructor: Prof. Crispin Corrado [see profile]
Disciplines: Classics, History

This survey course will familiarize students with the city and culture of ancient Rome, focusing on the period of the high empire. The in-class lectures will cover topics relevant to the life and customs of the Romans themselves, including politics, social structure, religion, economics, history, public services as well as food, clothing, and daily tasks, among others. Where possible, these special topics will be highlighted by relevant site visits to the major sites and monuments in Rome, and the viewing of ancient objects in Rome’s museum collections.

This course aims to provide students with a general knowledge of the topography of ancient Rome as well as the most significant monuments and artifacts of the period in question, and, through investigation of these materials in their original contexts, to help students achieve a better understanding of the daily lives of the ancient Romans. A very important aspect of the course will be studying an additional Roman town, Ostia, which provide vastly different evidence, in order to round out students’ ideas of the ancient city by understanding what Roman towns shared, and by seeing firsthand which aspects made each of them unique. At the end of the course, students will have gained a better understanding of what the Romans have left us in terms of physical and cultural legacy.

This course has several Friday or Saturday site visits.


  • group literature review
  • midterm exam
  • research paper (8-10 pages)
  • final exam