(textbooks: WR = The World of Rome; H = The Historians of Ancient Rome; CP = Class Pak; Plut = Plutarch: Roman Lives; Aeneid = Aeneid: A New Prose Translation):

Please note that citations in WR and Plut refer to chapters, NOT pages.

For each session:

STUDY TERMS are crucial words or phrases, introduced either in the readings or the lectures, which you will have to identify on midterm and final exams.

QUIZ QUESTIONS are 5-6 study questions which will help you navigate through your readings, as you prepare short answers, two sentences/thought processes maximum.


Tue June 4
Introduction survey of Roman history; conservatism and "progressivism".


Wed June 5

Foundation of Rome: fabula as history; Aeneas complements Romulus

Origins: WR, 1-9; Aeneas and Romulus as complementary founders: Livy, 1.1-7 (H, pp. 150-56).


Who was Aeneas, and why do you think Romans would have been proud to be associated with him?

What kind of lifestyle did Romulus and Remus enjoy as they were growing up?

Why did Romulus kill Remus?

Aeneas ; Lavinium ; Romulus and Remus.


The legends of Roman monarchy

Relation of king to citizens: WR, 10-11; Romulus and Numa as regal prototypes: Livy, 1.8-21 (H, pp. 156-67).

Who comprised Romulus' "Senate"?

How did Romulus expand first the male, then the female population of his city?

How did Numa's priorities differ from those of Romulus?

patres; Numa . 


Thu June 6
 Etruscan domination and defamation.

Indifference towards Tarquinius Priscus and praise of Servius Tullius: Livy, 1.34-48 (H, pp. 179-92); the tyranny of Tarquinius Superbus and the revolt of Lucius Brutus: WR, 12; Livy, 1.49-60 (H, pp. 192-98).

Which major building projects did Tarquinius Priscus initiate once in power?

How does Livy compare him to his successor, Servius?

According to Livy, why did Romans resent Servius' successor, Tarquinius Superbus?

Tarquinius Priscus; Servius Tullius; Tarquinius Superbus; Lucretia


Republican leadership and Roman expectations

consuls, praetors, tribunes, and dictators:WR, 13-23; 130-35; 137; imperium: WR, 118-20; first secession of the plebs: Livy, 2.31-1st par. of 33 (H, pp. 211-13); WR, 158-64; censors as moral supervisors: WR, 139-41; auctoritas of the Senate: WR, 166-72.

How was the executive power of the consuls more restricted than that of the kings?

What were the political function and the time limit of dictators?

What were the political function and the time limit of the Senate?

consuls; dictator; censor; imperium; Senate; auctoritas; tribune of the plebs.  



Fri June 7

Public religion: State prescriptions for ensuring material prosperity.

WR, 361-62; appendix 1 (CP, pp. 40-43); triumph: WR, 121-26; Plut, "Aemilius," 32-34.

What is the relation between cultus and pietas?

What do the various Romans in CP, pp. 41-43, ask of their gods?

What were the religious connotations of a military ceremonial triumph?

cultus; pietas; evocatio; triumph


 Public context for the Roman family:

Patria potestas: WR, 308-20, 325-29, 346-50; Republican exempla: Brutus, Cocles, and Mucius : Livy, 2.3-5, 9-12 (H, pp. 200-02, 205-09).

How much power did patria potestas give to a pater familias?

How did the "atrium" of a Roman house resemble the central forum of a city?

For what common qualities were Cocles and Mucius celebrated as ideal Romans?



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 Mon June 10
Expansion of Roman horizons: Italy, Carthage, Greece

Mediterranean power: WR, 24-42; Hannibal: Livy, 21.1-4, 22.50-51 (H, pp. 247-49, 303-05); Greece "liberated": Livy, 33.32-33 (H, pp. 328-29); Greek and Roman values: WR, 378-79; moral decline: Sallust, 6-13 (H, pp. 80-84).

How did Romans use grants of citizenship to control their subjects?

What were municipia?

How does Livy characterize Hannibal in Book 21.4?

How does Livy explain Hannibal's reluctance to march on Rome after his crushing victory at Cannae?

In Livy, how do the Greeks react to the proclamation of Quinctius Flamininus at the Isthmian Games?

 municipia; fides; Hannibal; Battle of Zama; Flamininus


Tue June 11

Expansion of Roman ethics: Cato the Elder

Cato: WR, 43; Plut, "Cato," 1-4, 12, 16-20, 22-23; lex Oppia repealed: Livy, 34.1-8 (H, pp. 331-39).

Why was Cato determined to preserve the lex Oppia?

What did Cato feel about the increasing popularity of Greek culture?

Cato the Elder; gravitas ; lex Oppia.


 The dawn of Roman literature: tragedy and comedy.

Prejudices and adaptations: WR, 428-31, 435-40; first examples of imitatio and variatio: Ennius and Terence (CP, pp. 1-4).

What was the traditional Roman attitude towards literature?

In the opening to Terence's "Brothers", what is Micio's opinion on how to raise young Aeschinus?

In the conclusion, why does Demea begin to act like Micio?

Demea and Micio in "Brothers"; imitatioand variatio


Wed June 12
Patronage, rhetoric, and social mobility.

clients and patrons: WR, 213-16; "new men": WR, 142-49; Cicero (CP, pp. 5-8); new techniques: Plut, "Gracchi," 1-2.

[STUDY QUESTIONS: In WR, 143, whose support does Quintus Cicero recommend as crucial to get elected?

In WR, 147, why does Metellus attack Cicero?

How does the beginning of Cicero's speech "For Caelius" appeal to the sympathies of the jury?

How does Cicero exploit Terence's comic characters of Demea and Micio?]

Cicero's defence of Caelius; "new man"; Handbook Ad Herennium ("For Herennius").


 The plight of the poor.

Gracchi brothers and the redistribution of public land: WR, 45-49; Plut, "Gracchi."

[STUDY QUESTIONS: Why was the Senate so hostile to the policies of Tiberius Gracchus?

How did Tiberius circumvent the opposition of his fellow tribune, Octavius?

Who led the lynching of Tiberius and his supporters?

How did Gaius expand his political platform beyond the land distribution bill of his brother?

Who led the lynching of Gaius and his supporters?]

populares; optimates; Tiberius Gracchus; Gaius Gracchus


Thu June 13

Review quiz

1) Why is Livy's Roman foundation story so complex?

2) To what extent can Roman religion be explained in terms of Republican politics?

3) What similarities can you find in Roman conservative hostility towards Greek culture in the 2nd century and towards Etruscan culture in the 6th?

4) What traits of Livy's portrait of Romulus can you find in Plutarch's of Cato?

5) Contrast the utilitas of Terence's comedy with first century rhetoric.

6) How did the Gracchi brothers work within the Republican constitution to correct its imbalances?

Marius as the people's hero

Benefits of exploitation: WR, 179-84; Marius and the army: WR, 50-52; 173-77; backlash against optimates: Sallust (CP, pp. 9-10); career: Plut, "Marius," 2-3, 7-12, 28-31.

[STUDY QUESTIONS: How did Marius reform the Roman army?

How does Plutarch show the Senate mismanaging relations with the Numidian king, Jugurtha?

How does Marius' speech in Sallust respond to the people's loss of confidence in the Senate?]

Marius; Jugurtha; virtus


Civil war between Marius and Sulla

Marius' reign of terror in Sulla's absence: Plut,"Marius," 41-45; Sulla and the invasion of Rome: WR, 56-60; Plut, "Sulla," 1-3, 30-38.

[STUDY QUESTIONS: What first prompted Marius' hatred of Sulla?

How did Marius and Cinna deal with Sulla's supporters, once Sulla was out of the city?

What reforms did Sulla pass once in office as dictator?]



Fri June 14

Pompey "the Great": imperium maius

Military rise: WR, 61-65; Plut, "Pompey," 21-25; extraordinary provincia: WR, 150-52; political fall: WR, 69-71; Plut, "Pompey," 43-54.

How did Pompey first begin to make a name for himself?

Why was Pompey given an extraordinary five-year command in the Eastearn Mediterranean?

How did Pompey alienate the optimates who had helped him into power?

Pompey; Theater of Pompey; First Triumvirate


Republican private literature: nostalgia and escapism

Principles of composition:WR, 442-47; otium vs. negotium: WR, 333; 372-73; love poetry: Catullus (CP, pp. 11-14).

What is the general topic of all of Catullus' poems, apart from #95?

What is the "plot" of Catullus, #8? What is Catullus' reaction to the situation?

What differences can you find between Sappho's poem and Catullus' imitatio, #51?

Catullus; Lesbia

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 Mon June 17
Clash of values: Cato the Younger vs Caesar.

Early career: Plut, "Caesar," 1-5, 15-18; Caesar's industria over Cato the Younger's gravitas; Sallust, 50-54 (H, pp. 100-07).

[STUDY QUESTIONS: How did Julius Caesar first begin to make a name for himself?

What does Julius Caesar propose in his speech on the fate of the Catilinarian conspirators?

What is Caesar afraid of if they execute the prisoners without appeal?

In reply, with what arguments does Cato the Younger oppose him?

How do Caesar and Cato exemplify different ideals?]

Cato the Younger


Julius Caesar: a New Roman Hero.

civil war in Plut, "Caesar": invasion of Italy: 28-35; battle of Pharsalus: 42-46; Cato as martyr, Caesar as dictator: 54-69; WR, 72-73.

[STUDY QUESTIONS: Why were Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar forced to form the so-called First Triumvirate?

Why were Caesar's soldiers so devoted to their general?

What political position did Caesar achieve after defeating Pompey?

How does Plutarch contrast Caesar and Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus?

Why was he eventually assassinated by a group of senators?]

Battle of Carrhae; Julius Caesar's dictatorship; industria; Battle of Pharsalus 


Tue June 18

Epicureanism: the philosophy of otium.

A Roman Epicurean: Lucretius (CP, pp. 15-19); idealization of Italian agriculture: WR, 272-73, 278.

 Epicureanism; Lucretius' "Hymn to Venus"

Why does Lucretius begin his poem by celebrating the power of Venus? What does he want from her in return?

What is the practical use to which Lucretius puts his poetry (see especially 1.936-50)?

How does Lucretius convey at 2.1-79 and 3.30 the pleasures of Epicureanism?


Escapism in the death throes of the Republic.

Second Triumvirate: WR, 74-78; Plut, "Antony," 15-29, 54; utopianism: Virgil, Eclogue 4, and Horace, Epode 16 (CP, pp. 20-21)

Second Triumvirate; Antonius (Antony); Octavian

How successful were the "three men in charge of establishing the respublica" (WR, 74) between 42 and 31 B.C.?

What is the only remedy to the crisis of civil war Horace can propose in Epode 16?

In Virgil's 4th Eclogue, what will happen to the world when the "boy" becomes a "man"?


Wed June 19

Augustus' "restoration" of the Republic

Republican doublespeak: WR, 79-81, 153-56; role of the Senate: WR, 185-87, 189; equites: WR, 191-92; army: WR, 82, 87-88, 190; Augustus' own spin: Achievements (H, pp. 356-64); Tacitus' cynicism: Tacitus, Annals, 1.1-2 (H, p. 417).

Why did Augustus refuse the position of dictator?

How does Augustus portray his seizure of power at the start and end of his Achievements?

To what extent did Augustus restore power to the Senate?

How did Augustus' establishment of a Military Treasury in 6 A.D. discourage soldiers from marching against Rome?

What common policy do you detect in Achievements, 15-18, 22-23?

Battle of Actium;" Augustus"; Augustan Military Treasury



Thu June 20

Literary patronage: Maecenas' influence on poetry

Horace, Odes, 1-3 (CP, pp. 22-23).

What is Horace's approach to life in Odes, 1.9 and 11?

What excuse does Horace use for not writing epic poetry in 1.6?

How is Cleopatra characterized in Odes, 1.37?

 "seize the day!"; recusatio  


Augustus' manipulation of the visual arts.

Augustan image: Achievements, 7; 19-21; art and architecture: WR, 83-85; 128; 475-479.

What self-image did Augustus wish to project in his new public buildings and monuments?

How does the "Prima Porta portrait" idealize Augustus?

What is the symbolism of the procession depicted on the Ara Pacis?

Ara Pacis; Forum of Augustus; "Prima Porta" portrait


Fri June 21

Midterm exam


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Mon June 24
Literary patronage: Augustus' redirection of poetry

worshipped: Horace, Odes, 4 (CP, p. 24); compared to Aeneas: Virgil's Aeneid, 1-2 (pp. 3-55) [plot and characters of the Aeneid: Appendix 2 (CP, p. 44) and chart 3 (CP, p. 48)].

[STUDY QUESTIONS: How does Horace address and portray Augustus in Book 4 of his Odes? Do you note any differences with Odes, 3?

How does Virgil begin his Aeneid (vv. 1-34)? What specifically does he ask of his "Muse"?

At vv. 224-296, how does Jupiter reassure Aeneas' worried mother, Venus?

In what circumstances do we first come across the character of Aeneas?

In Book 2 of the Aeneid, how does Aeneas rescue his father Anchises?]

Horace's 4th Book of Odes; Anchises


Tue June 25

Dido and Aeneas as tragic heroine vs. pious hero

Aeneas' love: Aeneid 4 (pp. 80-103); Aeneas' transition: 6.450-902 (pp. 146-61); lex Julia: WR, 322-24; CP, p. 25; a fan of Dido: Ovid (CP, p. 26).

Why is Dido not free to indulge her love for Aeneas?

Why is Aeneas not free to indulge his love for Dido?

How does Aeneas answer Dido's accusations that he is planning to leave her?

How is Dido portrayed after her break-up with Aeneas?

How does the sight of other ghosts in Book 6 induce Aeneas to forget about Dido?

How would the relationship between Dido and Aeneas have infringed the spirit of the lex Julia?

Virgil's Dido; furor; univira; lex Julia; Ovid's Dido


Wed June 26

 Aeneid as the story of civil war.

impious beginning of the war: Aeneid, 7.1-641 (pp. 162-83); Evander, Pallas, and Aeneas' Shield: 8.455-732 (pp. 204-13); assembly of the gods: 10.1-117 (pp. 241-45); virtue of Aeneas: 11.100-39 (pp. 275-76).

Who is responsible for instigating the war between Trojans and Italians in Book 7?

What is the symbolism of Aeneas putting on his shield at the end of Book 8?

In Book 10, how does Jupiter adjudicate between the claims of Venus and Juno? Is his the right decision?

Allecto; Juno in the Aeneid; Shield of Aeneas


Aeneid as ambiguous propaganda for Augustan Rome

Aeneid, 12 (pp. 302-32).

In the beginning of Book 12, how do Latinus and Amata feel towards Turnus?

How does Jupiter reach a compromise with Juno at the end of Book 12?

What is the last impression Virgil gives us of Aeneas?



 Thu June 27

Tiberius: no place for a Republican

Tiberius' accession: WR, 89, 341 (cf. chart 2 in CP, p. 48); Senate: WR, 90, 188; Tiberius, Germanicus, and Sejanus: Tacitus, Annals, 1.1-33, 3.1-6, 4.1-35 (H, pp. 417-26, 437-39, 445-53).

How did Tiberius treat the Senate?

What was Tiberius' public reaction to Germanicus' death?

How did Sejanus become the most powerful man in Rome?

Tiberius in Tacitus' Annals; Germanicus; Sejanus; Praetorian Guard 


Caligula and Claudius: actor and bureaucrat

Caligula: WR, 94-95; Suetonius, Life, 13-24, 54-55 (H, pp. 370-76, 388-89); Claudius: WR, 96-97, 109, 193; Annals, 11.23-38, 12.69 (H, pp. 454-63).

Why was Gaius Caligula so popular in his early days as princeps?

What did he feel about gladiators and actors?

How did Claudius convince the Senate to accept Gauls into their numbers?

Gaius "Caligula" ; Claudius; Pallas, Callistus, and Narcissus; Messalina and Agrippina


Fri June 28

Review quiz

1) Is Vergil's flattery of his sponsor any different than Horace's in Odes, 4? Compare two passages that celebrate Augustus and his pax Augusta.

2) To what extent does Ovid's "letter " in CP, p. 26, faithfully reflect Vergil's character of Dido?

3) How heroically does Aeneas deal with Dido? Contrast one passage in Book 4 that makes him appear strong/mature/pius with one that does the opposite.

4) How does Aeneas change between the first and the second half of the Aeneid? Compare two representative passages in depth.

5) Based on the characterizations of the gods within the Aeneid, what does Vergil feel about traditional Roman State religion?

6) Why was Augustus more popular than Tiberius OR Claudius?

Nero's populism

Nero's reign: WR, 98-100; Annals, 13.1-15.44 (H, pp. 463-74).

[STUDY QUESTIONS: What did Nero feel about stage performers?

Why did Nero kill his mother, Agrippina the Younger?

How did Nero provide emergency relief after the "Great Fire" of 64?

According to Tacitus, why did Nero initiate the first persecutions of Christians?

What was Nero's attitude towards Greek culture?]

Nero's Domus Aurea ("Golden Palace"); Nero's tour of Greece


Stoicism and the conservative reaction

Seneca and Lucan (CP, pp. 27-32); WR, 387.

[STUDY QUESTIONS: How does the introduction to Lucan's epic compare to that of Virgil?

How does Lucan contrast Julius Caesar with Pompey?

What is the role of Cato in Lucan's poem?]

Stoicism; Lucan's figure of Cato; Lucan's figure of Caesar


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Mon July 1 Paper due
2nd-century pax Romana.

Trajan's micromanagement: Pliny (CP, pp. 33-34); prosperity: WR, 102-10, 486; Tacitus, Agr. 1-3, 42 (H, pp. 394-95, 414); Hadrian's peace: Life of Hadrian, 1-16 (H, pp. 493-504); integration of West: WR, 112-14, 368-371, 374-77; Agr. 19-21 (H, pp. 403-04).

[STUDY QUESTIONS: What was the first law Vespasian had ratified upon his accession?

How did Trajan manage to restore military pride to Rome?

How does the beginning of Tacitus' Agricola reflect this new confidence?]

lex de imperio Vespasiani; Trajan; Trajan's Forum; Trajan's column; Hadrian


 Tue July 2

The export of public and private Romanization.

government, city planning, baths, theater, amphitheater and circus: WR, 98, 218, 484; appendix 3 (CP, pp. 45-47); Commodus: WR, 106, 190.

How does Seneca contrast baths of past and present?

What kinds of activities does Seneca say took place in imperial baths apart from bathing?

What are the main characteristics of the theatrical show described by Apuleius?

Why was the regular celebration of "games" so important politically to emperors like Nero?

What kinds of entertainment took place in amphitheaters like the Colosseum?

Roman baths; Circus Maximus; Colosseum; Commodus



Wed July 3

The import of Eastern religions and the fall of Classical Rome.

Eastern cults: WR, 254-59; Isis: Apuleius (CP, pp. 35-37); an emperor's fascination: Life of Elagabalus (CP, pp. 38-39); Christianity replaces Roman gods: 382-84; end of an ideal: WR, 115-117, 493-96.

[STUDY QUESTIONS: Why was Rome so receptive to different religious beliefs?

What attracted Romans to Eastern cults like Cybele, Bacchus/Dionysus, Mithras, Isis -- and even Christ?

Why were conservative Romans particularly hostile to Christians?

When did persecutions of Christians cease?]

Mithras; Isis; Elagabalus; Constantine.


Fri July 5

Final Exam (10 a.m.)