Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Courses for Spring 2019

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
ANCH 027-401 ANCIENT ROME GREY, CAMPBELL MW 1200PM-0100PM The Roman Empire was one of the few great world states-one that unified a large area around the Mediterranean Sea-an area never subsequently united as part of a single state. Whereas the great achievements of the Greeks were in the realm of ideas and concepts (democracy, philosophy, art, literature, drama) those of the Romans tended to be in the pragmatic spheres of ruling and controlling subject peoples and integrating them under the aegis of an imperial state. Conquest, warfare, administration, and law making were the great successes of the Roman state. We will look at this process from its inception and trace the formation of Rome's Mediterranean empire over the last three centuries BC; we shall then consider the social, economic and political consequences of this great achievement, especially the great political transition from the Republic (rule by the Senate) to the Principate (rule by emperors). We shall also consider limitations to Roman power and various types of challenges, military, cultural, and religious, to the hegemony of the Roman state. Finally, we shall try to understand the process of the development of a distinctive Roman culture from the emergence new forms of literature, like satire, to the gladiatorial arena as typical elements that contributed to a Roman social order.
    History & Tradition Sector (all classes) SECTION ACTIVITY CO-REQUISITE REQUIRED; CROSS CULTURAL ANALYSIS; HISTORY & TRADITION SECTOR; CROSS-CULTURAL ANALYSIS; SENIOR ASSOCIATES
    ANCH 046-401 MYTHS & RELIG ANC WORLD FRAME, GRANT MW 0330PM-0500PM This course will survey the religions of the ancient Middle East, situating each in its historical and socio-cultural context and focusing on the key issues of concern to humanity: creation, birth, the place of humans in the order of the universe, death, and destruction. The course will cover not only the better-known cultures from the area, such as Egypt and Mesopotamia, but also some lesser-known traditions, such as those of the Hurrians, or of the ancient Mediterranean town of Ugarit. Religion will not be viewed merely as a separate, sealed-off element of the ancient societies, but rather as an element in various cultural contexts, for example, the relationship between religion and magic and the role of religion in politics will be recurring topics in the survey. Background readings for the lectures will be drawn not only from the modern scholarly literature, but also from the words of the ancients themselves in the form of their myths, rituals, and liturgies.
      History & Tradition Sector (all classes) CROSS CULTURAL ANALYSIS; HISTORY & TRADITION SECTOR; CROSS-CULTURAL ANALYSIS
      ANCH 136-401 THE ANCIENT ECONOMY BOWES, KIMBERLY TR 1200PM-0130PM This class presents an introduction to economies before economics, a study of economic activity in the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Greece and Rome have been called some of the first "global" economies - they engaged in long-distance trade, introduced the first coinage systems, and built and manufactured at large scales. At the same time, they remained agrarian societies, with majority peasant populations, high levels of inequality and social systems that often placed social capital ahead of profit. Using textual sources, archaeology and techniques from the natural and social sciences, this class will not only look at basic elements of economic activity in the ancient world - demographics, trade, monetization, industry - but also ask critical questions about how - or if -modern economic methods can be applied to the distant past. No previous knowledge of the ancient world or economics is necessary.
        ANCH 303-401 POWER AND PERIL WILKER, JULIA
        DOHRMANN, NATALIE
        TR 0300PM-0430PM We imagine ancient Greece and Rome as the cradles of democracy and republicanism, early Judea as a pious theocracy, but monarchy was the most common and prevalent form of government in antiquity (and the premodern world in general). In this class, we will take a special look at kinship among the Jews, Greeks, and Romans to assess and discuss similarities, differences, and mutual influences. In all these cultures, the king was a polarizing figure in reality and in conception. On the one hand, some revered the monarch as ideal leader, and monarchy provided the language with which to describe and even imagine the very gods. On the other, monarchs were widely reviled in both theory and practice, from the Greek tyrants to biblical Saul. The Emperor Augustus loudly denied his own affinity to the office of king, even as he ruled alone and was revered as a god. In other words, kings stood both for the ideal and the worst form of government. This class confronts the paradox of monarchical rule and will, through the lens of the king, explore ideas of god, government, human frailty, and utopianism.
          BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SEMINARS; BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SEMINAR
          ANCH 604-301 PROVINCIAL PERSPECTIVES WILKER, JULIA W 0200PM-0500PM Most of the primary sources available to us are commonly taken to reflect the ideology, concepts, and realities of Roman imperial rule through the lenses of the central power. However, a number of sources provide insights into how provincials and imperial subjects perceived the empire and their own status within its political, cultural, and social frameworks. In this seminar, we will focus on how ethnic, religious, cultural, and regional identities were developed, maintained, adapted, and interpreted within and in reaction to the empire in concept and reality. Historiographical and auto-ethnographic works, orations, philosophical, and religious texts reflect different attitudes towards the imperial center, ranging from open hostility and frustrated acceptance to praise and identification. Texts to be discussed include canonical works (Polybius, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Second Sophistic) as well as lesser-known texts and authors. Special emphasis will be laid on scholarly approaches, including concepts of identity, hybridization and cultural change, the dynamics of imperial integration, and the (de-)construction of modern narratives of Romanization.