AP/HIST 4132 6.00
Caesar'S Palace: A Social History Of The Roman Imperial Court
Roman emperors have traditionally been studied from the point of view of the political decisions that they made. Until recently, less emphasis has been given to the court of which they formed the centre. In this course, we examine the new contributions that the historical field of ‘court studies’ are making to our understanding of the Roman emperor and his court. Topics to be covered include: the roles of concubines, freedmen, slaves, and eunuchs at court; aristocrats at court; political and artistic patronage; the physical contexts of court life; and imperial journeys. Sources to be used include: Suetonius; Tacitus; Cassius Dio; and the Historia Augusta. A major goal of the course is to give students the opportunity to undertake an original research project on the court of a particular Roman emperor. Students are also introduced to the sociological and comparative methodologies used to study royal courts in a range of historical eras from the Ancient Near East to the Early Modern period, and we examine how these methodologies can be applied to the study of the Roman imperial court.