This course surveys the political, religious and domestic arts, patronage and display in Rome's Mediterranean, from the 2nd c. BCE to Constantine's 4th-c. Christianized empire. Our subjects are images and decorated objects in their cultural, political and socio-economic contexts (painting, mosaic, sculpture, luxury and mass-produced arts in many media from pottery, silverware and jewelry to textiles and ornamental furniture). We start with the Hellenistic cosmopolitan culture of the Greek kingdoms and their neighbors, and the late Etruscan and Republican Italy; next we map Roman art and art industry as developed around the capital city Rome, further adapted to unify the Empire's many peoples from Britain to the Middle East. That means the nature of the intercultural exchange is consistently an issue. To understand ancient viewers' encounters, you will meet the spaces of sanctuary and tomb, house and city, garden and private collection; your readings will sample ancient people's art writing too. Diverse approaches introduce art historical aims and methods, and their relationships to archaeology, anthropology and other disciplines--and also to modern kinds of museums, not least our own University Museum of Archaeology and Anthopology.
No prerequisities. Of interest also to students of classical, middle-eastern, visual and religious studies, anthropology, history, communications and the programs of GSD.