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Ancient Roman Art

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

This survey course covers a broad chronological range from the archaic to the late antique, focusing primarily on the artifacts and how they reflect and chronicle the history of the city of Rome. The course seeks to define what is Roman about Roman art, essentially an eclectic, synthetic mix of styles and traditions from other cultures, primarily from Italy (e.g., Etruria, Latium) as well as various areas of Greek culture, acquired with the expansion of the Roman empire. We consider bronze and marble sculpture, state relief sculpture, portraiture, mosaics, and wall paintings, in their original architectural contexts, whenever possible. We also address the role of patrons, nationality of artists, and actual technical production of the works of art (e.g., quarrying, stone carving, bronze-casting), as well as the socio-historical and religious significance of Roman art.

Site visits will focus on the major monuments and museum collections in Rome. This course has several Friday or Saturday site visits.


  • a midterm¬†
  • a paper (10 pages)
  • a final exam