AP/HIST 1100 6.00
Gladiators, Gods, Gigolos, And Goths: Reading Roman Society, C.200 Bce-C.500 Ce
Ancient Roman society is one of the most strangely familiar of all past societies. It is in many ways recognizable, since it helped form the modern societies of western Europe; yet it also had features that are bizarre and shocking to modern sensibilities. In this course, we take a number of case studies from this fascinating society as a context in which to develop the skill of critically reading and interpreting a wide variety of texts, employing the full range of methods and approaches used by scholars in the Humanities. The modules of the course are as follows: gladiators and spectacles; Roman sexualities; slavery; the Roman soldier in war and peace; religion and religious persecution; and the Germanic invasions and decline of the West in late Antiquity. We examine a variety of sources, including poems, wall paintings, biographies, histories, religious writings, inscribed funerary epitaphs, gladiatorial weapons and armour, shipwrecks, and buildings.