Ancient

280A.001 Spring 2009 Mapping Urbanization in the Roman Empire

This seminar will serve as the basis for a collaborative research project. The goal is to produce a single-volume reference work that will contain a set of maps depicting city distribution and variable urban densities throughout the Roman empire, at different periods, and supported by appropriate written documentation. Each student in the seminar will be assigned a zone from the Mediterranean basin, and will be responsible for collecting the available evidence for cities in the assigned zone and for writing a short introduction (c.

108 Fall 2009 Introduction to Byzantine civilization

The social, cultural, and religious history of the Near East and eastern Mediterranean from late antiquity through the early middle ages. The survival of the Roman Empire in Byzantium, the Sassanian Empire in Iran, and the rise of Islam are the topics covered.

103A.002 Fall 2009 Rome and the Near East

The Roman empire was not born overnight. While Roman territorial expansion beyond peninsular Italy began with a war against the north African power Carthage in 264 BCE, it only reached its highpoint with the Roman emperor Trajanâ€_Äôs conquest of Mesopotamia around 115 CE. The process, then, stretched centuries. And all the while, the resulting empire stretched thousands of miles, taking in all regions touching the Mediterranean sea, as well as deep swathes of inland territory.

101.008 Fall 2009 Religion and Politics in Ancient Greece

In the first few weeks of this course, we will examine the close connections between religion and politics in Archaic and Classical Greece, using ancient Athens as a case study. Our initial assignments will consist of readings that introduce the current, and often divergent historiographical approaches to the study of ancient Greek religion and politics. In evaluating these readings, we will pay particular attention to the array of raw material available to historians, including literary (in translation), archaeological, and epigraphic evidence.

149B Spring 2009 Italy in the Age of Dante (1000-1350)

The history of medieval Italy is one of vivid contrasts: of beauty and brutality, freedom and tyranny, piety and blasphemy. The great poet of the Inferno summons us to consider such contrasts in nearly every canto: how can such stunningly beautiful language conjure images of such horrendous violence? This course explores the world that produced Dante, Giotto, and Saint Francis. It first traces the emergence of independent city-states in northern and central Italy after the millennium, emphasizing the particular conditions and experiences that created this distinctive medieval civilization.

106B Summer 2008 The Roman Empire

This course offers an introduction to the history of the Roman empire, from the reign of the first emperor, Augustus (31 BCâ€_Ä"AD 14), to the end of the 4th century AD. Major themes include the changing configurations of power in the Roman empire (institutional, personal, social, religious), the unity and diversity of Roman imperial culture, the relationship between state and society, the political economy of the Roman empire, and the geography of the Mediterranean world.

101.008 Spring 2009 Research Seminar in Ancient History

This course is open to all students intending to write a thesis in ancient history, Greek or Roman. The first few sessions will be devoted to exploration of several major historiographical approaches to the doing of ancient history, which may serve as points of reference or departure for students' own research projects. These readings will be focused around the subject of the ancient city, a tremendously pervasive socio-cultural phenomenon in the ancient world.

108 Fall 2008 Introduction to Byzantine civilization

The social, cultural, and religious history of the Near East and eastern Mediterranean from late antiquity through the early middle ages. The survival of the Roman Empire in Byzantium, the Sassanian Empire in Iran, and the rise of Islam are the topics covered.

280A.001 Fall 2008 Topics in Ancient History: History and Historiography - Emperor Julian, aka the Apostate

Literary engagement with emperor Julian, by historians as well as other writers, began the moment Julian became sole ruler in 361 and it has continued without interruption until today. Among the reasons for this continuous and vigorously conducted engagement with this emperor are the fact that he encapsulates many of the changes then affecting the Roman empire as a whole: military engagements on the Western as well as Eastern frontier, financial reforms, shifts in urban administration and the transfer of religious affiliation from one set of gods to another God.

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