The City of Rome: Topography and Urban History

History 280A/285A.001

Spring 2013
Ted Pena
308C Doe Library
Day & Time: 
M 2-5P

Modern scholarship on the city of Rome has tended to divorce its architectural and topographical history from the study of its political institutions and the social and economic history of the city's populace.  A central goal of this seminar is to combine analysis of these aspects of the city in a coherent and meaningful way.  To that end, we will approach the city of Rome from two different but interrelated perspectives.  First, we will consider the physical topography of the city.  Through close analysis of individual structures and monumental complexes we will consider the articulation of public space and the changing shape of Rome's cityscape and urban image.  Then we will examine a number of topics in the urban history of Rome, with a view to understanding the various processes that governed life in this ancient megalopolis, including the organization and practice of municipal government; the enforcing of public order; the provision and consumption of food, water, fuel, and craft goods; domestic life; labor, employment, and production; construction and demolition; immigration and emigration; health and mortality; religious practice; relations with the city’s proximate and extended hinterlands; the movement into and out of the city of people, animals, and things; the generation and flow of information; social ritual and public entertainment.  Theoretical and comparative readings will help to set our discussions in a broad interpretive context.  

Course is crosslisted with Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology 210.002 and Classics 270.  Students enrolling through history must take the course for four units and will be required to present two oral reports (c. 30 min.) and to write a seminar paper (15-25 pp.).
  • 280A.001 CCN: 39804
  • 285A.001 CCN 39912