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-- Roman Art and Power --
Office Hours: Tuesday, 1:00 - 4:00
Office Telephone: 781-3489
Office: Houghton House #103
A syllabus is not a binding contract between professor
and student, but a professor's stated aspiration for how he profoundly
wishes the semester will turn out.
In this course we will consider the use Romans made
of art and architecture to shape public understanding of Roman imperial
ideologies – to make Romans of the whole Mediterranean world.
We will concentrate on 3 periods and 3 art
types. The 3 periodds are the time of Augustus, the adoptive
Antonine dynasty, and the Late Empire. The 3 art types are portraiture
(including coinage), commemorative monuments (triumphal arches, columns
and temples), and the Roman colony cities throughout the Empire.
In the final segment of the course we will consider in some detail
our course material will be available via Blackboard and
the Art Department
Visual Resources Center .
6 short writing or
sketching assignments (500 words) 30%
1 longer writing assignment (1000 words)
online discussion board
4 in-class slide quizzes
final written project
and its presentation
all required: art
Mary Beard & John Henderson, Classical Art: From Greece to Rome
Mortimer Wheeler, Roman
Art and Architecture
sources and readings:
J.J. Pollitt, Art
of Rome, Circa 753 B.C. - A.D. 337: Sources and Documents
Eve D’Ambra, Roman
Art in Context: An Anthology
There is no such thing as an excused absence –
there are only days when you are in class and days when you are not in
If you don't attend you won't do very well.
Visual material will often seem very different in color and in large
scale on the wall from its appearance in black and white in a small
paperback book, so if you don’t see both, your work will suffer.
You may miss class twice without penalty. Any further misses
count one (1) point against your final grade.
On tardiness -- I know that Houghton House is a long
way from anywhere. That is your problem to overcome - think about
On Writing Assignments
You will see me with a rough draft of each writing
assignment. A rough draft is a clean, proofread, word-processed
copy of what you are working on. Notes are not acceptable.
Showing me a rough draft does not guarantee you an A
paper. I think it would be hard to show me a rough draft and do
the work I suggest and get an F or a D, but I do give a C in that
Grade Distribution (before my comments
A - excellent analysis of the work of art showing thought beyond
the assignment to engagement with the artist’s decision-making
process. Fluent expression, especially in the apt use of the
technical terms of art history.
B - good analysis of the work of art and clear engagement
with the assignment.
C- competent completion of the assignment, but no more.
Many aspects of the assignment dealt with in one sentence.
D - partial completion of the assignment, without evidence of
thought or analysis. Signs that you wrote about a photograph.
F - no sign of effort or engagement with a real object.
I will submit your work to http://turnitin.com.
If I detect you in plagiarism through this or any other means you will
receive a zero for the assignment and be reported to the appropriate
dean or the Committee on Standards.
It is not unhelpful to think of art history courses
something like an introductory Biology course - there are lots of new
terms to memorize in order to discuss new things. You do have to
do memory work. You do have to learn to use terms correctly.
review - via the
online slide reviews - will help you memorize images. My
how to identify slides will help
you know what you should study for the identifications. Online quizzes
Blackboard will help you learn
use technical terms with fluency and accuracy.
Sept 3 (Friday) – walking tour of the cemetary
Sept 8 (Wednesday) – 1st writing assignment (description)
Sept 17 (Friday) – in class quiz
Oct 1 (Friday) – in class quiz
Oct 8 (Friday) – 2nd writing assignment
Oct 15 (Friday) – walking tour, local Roman
Oct 22 (Friday) – 3rd writing assignment (revival style or portrait)
Oct 29 (Friday) – in class quiz
Nov 12 (Friday) – in class quiz
December – presentations
December 16 (Thursday) – FINAL EXAM scheduled – your final written
version of your project is due at this time.