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Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS)

CAMS 150 (GH;IL) Classical Archaeology--Ancient Rome (3) Literary sources for the development of Roman civilization in relation to the relevant archaeological discoveries.

CAMS 150 Classical Archaeology-Ancient Rome (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements

Roman Archaeology (CAMS 150 GH) presents the literary and physical evidence for ancient Roman culture, from its formation in the Republican Period through Late Antiquity, over 1200 years later. The course emphasizes three archaeological sites that illustrate stages of Roman culture, Cosa, Pompeii, and Ostia. The connections between political and economic changes and artifacts, both impressive buildings and humble fragments of broken pottery, are emphasized. The course begins with some fundamental principles of archaeology, with particular emphasis on survey methodologies; the various scientific and comparative methods used to establish dating; problems with existing ethical guidelines concerning the destructive marketing of antiquities; and the connections among geography, environment, and human settlement patterns. The site of Cosa, in Etruscan territory, is used to demonstrate features of Roman urbanism in the Republic and the ways in which influences enter Roman culture from other Italic cultures, both Etruscan and Greek. The course then turns to the extraordinarily well preserved site of Pompeii. This course emphasizes the planning and organization of housing at Pompeii, as well as the artifacts and decoration typical of Pompeii at different stages in its history. The public baths, arena, temples, tombs, and forum are also emphasized. The port of Ostia, where an ethnically diverse population was housed in impressive apartment blocks, provides information on economic and social relationships through a series of funerary reliefs, and the well published excavations. Throughout the course, comparisons to Rome and its major monuments enable students to become familiar with the Roman and Imperial fora and landmark structures such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the Baths of Caracalla. Lectures illustrate some ways that archaeologists have used information provided by ancient authors such as the Elder and Younger Pliny, Vitruvius, Suetonius, and others to understand Roman culture. Assignments include essays based on the assigned readings and participation in student group-directed classroom reviews throughout the semester. Students will be evaluated on essay tests and a final examination, which assess students' ability to identify artifacts and discuss their significance, to compare cultural features at various stages of historical development, and to interpret the relationship between written and physical evidence for Roman culture. Collectively these count for 75 percent of the course grade. In addition, students are graded on five homework assignments, each of which comprises 5 percent of the course grade. Four are essays based on textbook assignments. The fifth consists of a team-led classroom review of the previous six to eight classes. CAMS 150 GH is an appropriate prerequisite for CAMS 440W, an upper level archaeology course. CAMS 150 GH is one of several courses that fulfill common requirements in the major under two categories: (1) for a 3 credit course concerned with Greek or Roman language, literature, civilization, or archaeology, and (2) 6 credits of study in the general field of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at any level. CAMS 150 GH may be used to fulfill the requirements for 12 credits of course work at any level toward a CAMS Minor. CAMS 150 GH is an approved General Education course that may fulfill three credits of the six credit Humanities requirement. It may also be used to fulfill the three credit B.A. humanities requirement.

Classroom discussion, written assignments based on text readings, and student led review classes are required in CAMS 150. As it is available, assignments will requires the use of Perseus II, a major and reliable Web resource for the study of ancient Greek and Roman civilization. In CAMS 150, students have an opportunity to study the geographically dispersed areas of Roman settlement across a long period of time, from Britain to Africa and Spain to Mesopotamia. CAMS 150 allows students to see how the Romans were influenced by the non-Roman cultures of the Mediterranean region as they gained political and economic control over them, and how these regions were Romanized. Students have an opportunity to master the geography and historical developments of this wide-flung area over a 1,200-year period. By seeing how Mediterranean cultures were interrelated in antiquity through trade, colonization, invasion, and accommodation, students are led to reflect on cultural interchange in the present. Some class time is devoted to consideration of the problems brought about by the antiquities market in destroying a shrinking resource for understanding our past. The difficulty in regulating the trade in antiquities through current ethics guidelines permits students to consider the difficult relationship between policy and enforcement in this area, and ethical choices more generally.

General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Summer 2005

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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