Roman Art and Archaeology

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About this course: The objective of this course is to provide an overview of the culture of ancient Rome beginning about 1000 BCE and ending with the so-called "Fall of Rome". We will look at some of the key people who played a role in Rome, from the time of the kings through the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. We will also focus on the city of Rome itself, as well as Rome's expansion through Italy, the Mediterranean, and beyond.

Created by:  University of Arizona
  • Taught by:  David Soren, Regents Professor of Classics and Anthropology

    Classics and Anthropology
Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ra…

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Archaeology, Social Sciences, Social Studies, Culture, and Classics.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: The objective of this course is to provide an overview of the culture of ancient Rome beginning about 1000 BCE and ending with the so-called "Fall of Rome". We will look at some of the key people who played a role in Rome, from the time of the kings through the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. We will also focus on the city of Rome itself, as well as Rome's expansion through Italy, the Mediterranean, and beyond.

Created by:  University of Arizona
  • Taught by:  David Soren, Regents Professor of Classics and Anthropology

    Classics and Anthropology
Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.6 stars Average User Rating 4.6See what learners said Travail en cours

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University of Arizona The University of Arizona is the state’s land-grant university and a member of the Association of American Universities—made up of just 62 universities in the country. As one of the world’s premier public research universities, the university conducts more than $625 million of research annually. Home to two allopathic medical schools in Tucson and Phoenix, the UA Tech Park, and a member of the Arizona Space Grant Consortium, the university creates an $8.3 billion economic impact for Arizona. U.S. News and World Report placed 14 University of Arizona graduate programs among the top 20 in the nation and it is one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars. With its strategic academic and business plan, “Never Settle,” as its guide, the university is producing graduates who are global citizens, engaged leaders, and fulfilled individuals.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Introduction to 'Roman Art and Archaeology'
Here you can find all of the introductory information, course syllabus, and helpful resources.


2 videos, 7 readings expand


  1. Video: Welcome!
  2. Video: Dr. Soren in Italy
  3. Lecture: About the course
  4. Lecture: About us
  5. Lecture: Syllabus
  6. Lecture: Grading policy
  7. Lecture: The textbook
  8. Lecture: Online resources
  9. Lecture: Archaeological excavation opportunities


WEEK 2


The Early Romans and Their Ancestors (ca. 1000 - 500 BCE)



In the Early Iron Age (ca. 1000 BCE), civilization in Italy was rather simple. The most sophisticated cultures in the peninsula were not the Romans at all, but rather groups to the north of Rome who have come to be called The Villanovans, who exploited the metal resources of northern Italy even before the officially noted founding of Rome. Later the Etruscans would appear (ca. 800 BCE), Rome's first great rivals. The Etruscans were a loose confederation of city-states north of Rome who even expanded into Rome and further south, as far as Pompeii. The Etruscans are particularly noted for their magnificent art, in particular the glorious painted tombs of Tarquinia.


29 videos expand


  1. Video: 1. Italy before Rome
  2. Video: 2. Rome before Rome
  3. Video: 3. The Sepulcretum
  4. Video: 4. The People of Ancient Italy
  5. Video: 5. Guest Lecture: Dr. Emma Blake on Bronze Age Italians
  6. Video: 6. Early Iron Age Chronology
  7. Video: 1. The Orientalizing Period
  8. Video: 2. The Etruscans
  9. Video: 3. Etruscan Origins I
  10. Video: 4. Etruscan Origins II
  11. Video: 5. Etruscan Origins III
  12. Video: 6. Etruscan Society
  13. Video: 7. Etruscan Artisans
  14. Video: 8. Tumuli at Cerveteri
  15. Video: 9. Tombs at Tarquinia
  16. Video: 10. Life and Death
  17. Video: 1. Greek Art in Etruria
  18. Video: 2. The Francois Vase
  19. Video: 3. Greek Myth in Etruria I
  20. Video: 4. Greek Myth in Etruria II
  21. Video: 5. Etruscan Belief
  22. Video: 6. Tomb of the Infernal Chariot
  23. Video: 7. The Necropolis at Orvieto I
  24. Video: 8. The Necropolis at Orvieto II
  25. Video: 9. Guest Lecture: Dr. Alba Frascarelli on Velzna
  26. Video: 10. Populonia I
  27. Video: 11. Populonia II
  28. Video: 12. The Etruscans in Rome
  29. Video: 13. The Early Roman Forum

Graded: Quiz One: The Early Romans and Their Ancestors
Graded: Quiz Two: The Etruscans, Part I
Graded: Quiz Three: The Etruscans, Part II
Graded: Essay Question One

WEEK 3


The Roman Republic's Rise and Fall (509 - 31 BCE)



Having thrown off the Etruscans in 509 BCE., Rome emerged as independent Latin community that quickly became known for its disciplined army and militaristic intentions. As the Romans expanded throughout the Mediterranean, it came into contact with various cultures, all who had an influence on the young power, especially Greek culture, art, and architecture. By the end of this period Rome may have grown to a million people. The first century BCE. was a time of amazing development in many fields of artistic endeavor, but it was also a time of civil unrest as soldiers became more loyal to their commanders than to the state. Leaders such as Sulla, Marius, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and others took advantage of this turmoil, which culminated with the powerful influence of the decadent Egyptian charmer Cleopatra and the emergence of Octavian.


23 videos expand


  1. Video: 1. The Roman Republic
  2. Video: 2. Forum Romanum I
  3. Video: 3. Forum Romanum II
  4. Video: 4. Forum Romanum III
  5. Video: 5. Ancient Architectural Orders
  6. Video: 6. The Doric Order
  7. Video: 7. The Ionic and Tuscan Orders
  8. Video: 8. The Capitoline Hill
  9. Video: 9. The Beginning of Rome's Expansion
  10. Video: 1. Early Roman Expansion
  11. Video: 2. Underwater Archaeology
  12. Video: 3. Republican Art
  13. Video: 4. Carthage
  14. Video: 5. "Carthage: A Mosaic of Ancient Tunisia"
  15. Video: 1. Rome's Revolutionary Century
  16. Video: 2. The Temple of Fortuna at Praeneste
  17. Video: 3. The Roman Domus and Theatre
  18. Video: 4. The Theater of Pompey Today
  19. Video: 5. Roman Portraiture
  20. Video: 6. Greek Art in Rome
  21. Video: 7. Roman Lamps I
  22. Video: 8. Roman Lamps II
  23. Video: 9. Roman Glass

Graded: Quiz Four: The Early Republic
Graded: Quiz Five: The Middle Republic
Graded: Quiz Six: The Civil Wars
Graded: Essay Question Two

WEEK 4


Augustus and the Early Roman Empire (31 BCE - 1st century CE)



Augustus - formerly known as Octavian - set the tone for the next major phase of Rome: the Roman empire. His family-related successors, the Julio-Claudians, would continue his rule. Yet none of his successors had the charisma or vision of Augustus himself, and some such as Caligula and Nero have become synonymous with profligacy and decadence of an extreme nature. By the year 69 CE. Rome was in chaos. But the emperor Vespasian restored order and dignity - not to mention humility - to the office, and instituted his own dynasty, the Flavians. Unfortunately, Vespasian's second son, Domitian, brought his Flavian dynasty to an end through dreadful administration. Domitian was murdered in 96 CE.


19 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: 1. Augustan Art
  2. Video: 2. "Forgotten Lives: The Ancient City of Troy"
  3. Video: 3. Guest Lecture: Dr. David Gilman Romano's Digital Map of Augustan Rome
  4. Video: 4. Guest Lecture: Dr. Marylin Skinner on Roman Gender and Sexuality
  5. Video: 5. The Legacy of Augustus
  6. Video: 1. Art After Augustus: Tiberius and the Julio-Claudians
  7. Video: 2. Roman Pottery
  8. Video: 3. The Julio-Claudians after Tiberius: Caligula, Claudius, and Nero
  9. Lecture: Peter Ustinov sings as Nero
  10. Video: 4. Guest Lecture: Dr. Phillip Waddell on Roman Historiography and Nero
  11. Video: 5. Nero's Domus Aurea
  12. Lecture: Dr. Soren's Work at Kourion (Coming Soon!)
  13. Video: 1. The Flavian Emperors: Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian
  14. Video: 2. The Arch of Titus
  15. Video: 3. The Eruption of Vesuvius (79 CE)
  16. Video: 4. Pompeii
  17. Video: 5. The Pompeian House
  18. Video: 6. Pompeii in 3D
  19. Video: 7. The Alexander Mosaic I
  20. Video: 8. The Alexander Mosaic II
  21. Video: 9. The End of the Flavians

Graded: Quiz Seven: The Age of Augustus
Graded: Quiz Eight: The Julio-Claudian Emperors
Graded: Quiz Nine: The Flavian Emperors
Graded: Essay Question Three

WEEK 5


Rome at its Zenith (2nd century CE)



Rome is said to have reached its zenith in security and expansion during the period of the "Five Good Emperors" (96 to 180 CE.). The time of Trajan (98 to 117 CE.) was a particular epoch of conquest and building, highlighted by the construction of Trajan's Markets and enormous Forum, the ruins of which still dominate the center of Rome. Trajan's successor, Hadrian, was a horse of a different color. He was himself an architect obsessed with circles, squares, spheres, and cubes. And his fondness for Greek art bordered on manic.


12 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: 1. Trajan
  2. Video: 2. The Imperial Roman Forum
  3. Video: 3. Trajan's Forum
  4. Video: 4. Hadrian
  5. Video: 5. The Pantheon
  6. Video: 6. Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli
  7. Video: 1. Antoninus Pius
  8. Video: 2. The Roman Sarcaphogus
  9. Video: 3. The Roman Domus in the 2nd Century CE
  10. Video: 4. Marcus Aurelius and the Beginnings of Crisis I
  11. Lecture: Hollywood's "Gladiator"
  12. Video: 5. Marcus Aurelius and the Beginnings of Crisis II
  13. Lecture: Richard Harris plays Marcus Aurelius
  14. Video: 6. The Severans

Graded: Quiz Ten: Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian
Graded: Quiz Eleven: The Antonine and Severan Emperors
Graded: Essay Question Four

WEEK 6


Crisis and Conclusion (3rd to 7th centuries CE)



What does it mean to talk about the fall of Rome? The far-flung empire collapsed in varying degrees in different places at different times. In the fourth century enormous earthquakes caused such devastation that in the Roman east the whole fabric of ancient religious belief was called into question. In central Italy along the Tiber River an epidemic of malaria, a virulent new-mutated strain from North Africa, left many dead. The legacy of Rome, however, continued into the Carolingian and Byzantine empires. And yet the city of Rome underwent a major revival in the later Middle Ages, continuing through the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Romantic Periods, playing a major role in the foundation of our own country.


23 videos expand


  1. Video: 1. The Years of Crisis
  2. Video: 2. The Baths of Caracalla
  3. Video: 3. The "Soldier Emperors"
  4. Video: 4. Ostia, The Port of Rome
  5. Video: 5. Diocletian
  6. Video: 6. Roman Sculpture in the 3rd century CE
  7. Video: 1. Constantine and the Rise of Christianity I
  8. Video: 2. Constantine and the Rise of Christianity II
  9. Video: 3. The Arch of Constantine
  10. Video: 4. Kourion and Seismic Archaeology I
  11. Video: 5. Kourion and Seismic Archaeology II
  12. Video: 6. Lugnano and the Fall of Rome I
  13. Video: 7. Lugnano and the Fall of Rome II
  14. Video: 8. The Silver Amphora of Baratti I
  15. Video: 9. The Silver Amphora of Baratti II
  16. Video: 10. 5th and 6th Century Disruptions
  17. Video: 11. Climate Change and the Fall of Rome
  18. Video: 12. Guest Lecture: Dr. Charlotte Pearson on Dendrochronology
  19. Video: 13. Guest Lecture: Cynthia Hart on Digitally Reconstructing Antiquity
  20. Video: 14. A Patchwork of Settlements
  21. Video: 15. The Column of Phocas: The Last Roman Monument
  22. Video: 1. From Dr. Soren and Lana, "Farewell!"
  23. Video: 2. "Malaria and the Fall of Rome"

Graded: Quiz Twelve: The Beginning of the End
Graded: Quiz Thirteen: Rome in Late Antiqutity
Graded: Essay Question Five
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