The Roman Republic

History 106A

Spring 2014
Day & Time: 
MWF 12-1P

“I found Rome city of brick and left it a city of marble,” boasted the first Roman emperor, Augustus. It was to be the end of the Republic. In this class, we shall investigate how Rome grew from a village of farmers into an Empire of provinces between the eighth and first centuries BCE, but not without destroying its beloved Republic in civil war. The lecture course familiarizes students with Rome’s expansionist success into an empire, first within Italy, and later across Europe and throughout the Mediterranean. Within this narrative framework, we pay close attention to the political, economic, social, and culture impact Rome had on its territories, but also the influence foreign people, especially Greeks, had on Roman daily life. We will want to explore excitingly new models of power, for cities, kings, usurpers, and pirates and investigate more closely the dealings of ordinary people and their lived, albeit anonymous, experience – that is, history from the top down and history from the bottom up.


In addition to attendance and participation, there will be short written assignments, a midterm, and a final.

Course Books

Polybius: The Rise of the Roman Empire by I. Scott-Kilvert Penguin Classics. ISBN: 978-0140443622 Required