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City of Rome - Outline & Learning Outcomes

This module takes place on Thursdays from 4-6 in H0.30

There will be two Seminars each in the Autumn and Spring terms (weeks 4 and 8), in which students will make presentations on specific buildings, considering both archaeological, historical, and literary evidence.


This course is organised chronologically and thematically so as to explore the urban experience of living in Rome over time. The aim is to build the students knowledge as the city itself was constructed: layer by layer from the foundation upwards; and to teach students how to identify and use varying types of evidence in reconstructing a picture of the ancient city.

Term 1 will take students from the foundation of the city and the origin of most building types in the Republican period to the innovations made by the Julio-Claudians. We will consider not only the 'grand designs' of Emperors and benefactors, but how people experienced the city in day to day life, through roads, sewers, apartment blocks and markets. Does 'restoring' a building mean retaining its function? How are historical events reflected in the cities monuments and buildings?

Term 2 will consider how the city changed under the Empire: how it expanded, how it developed, how it was rebuilt and restored after a series of fires (as well as how its monuments were reused). How did these developments change the urban experience? While the first term focuses on living, the second term will focus more on aspects of religion & cult (including Christianity), dying and the afterlife of the city, its monuments and its people.

Term 3 will mainly include exam revision.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the module, students will be abl:

• to demonstrate an understanding of the topography of the City of Rome;

• to demonstrate an understanding of the chronology, political events and institutional structures of the City of Rome;
• to demonstrate an understanding of the monuments, the material culture and culture from of Rome;

• to demonstrate an understanding of how the former points shape the history of the City of Rome;

• to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of Rome in the wider Empire, in historiography and in later periods of Western culture;

• to demonstrate skills in the evaluation of primary source material and secondary literature;
• individually, and as a member of a team, research, analyse and contextualise relevant information and evidence from primary and secondary sources in the form of a structured argument.