Comparative Urbanism in the Ancient World

History 280A

Spring 2016
271 Barrows
Day & Time: 
F 200-500

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar will examine the nature, form, and functions of cities in the ancient Mediterranean world, with a particular focus on urbanism in Egypt and in the western Roman empire.  The course will be organized around a set of topics to be investigated from an explicitly comparative perspective, including settlement patterns and urban demography; the supply and provisionment of cities; neighborhoods, residential zones, and domestic spaces; cities and hinterlands; cities, towns, and urban networks; capital cities; urban services and administrative functions; public building, monumental architecture, urban space, and cityscapes; and urban leisure and sociability.  One goal of the seminar is to gain a deeper understanding of urbanism not only in Egypt and in the western Roman empire, but also in the ancient world more generally.  To that end, we will consider various theoretical works on cities, urban forms and functions, and urbanization as an historical process, and may, where appropriate, refer to case studies from outside the Mediterranean region (e.g., China and Mesoamerica).


Note that this course is cross-listed as AHMA 210 and NES 296 .  It is co-taught by Carlos Noreña (History) and Carol Redmount (Near Eastern Studies).