Week 1

Week 1: Thursday, October 6, 2016
Rome in the Ancient World

LECTURE

What great cultures existed in the Mediterranean world of 500 BC? Which could compete with the new Republic of Rome? It had four major competitors in its early years. First was Greece, in 500 BC a loose federation of many great city-states, some such as Athens with large populations, but all united by language and culture. The Greek states dominated the whole of the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean. Second were the Phoenicians. The international Phoenician empire was based in present-day Lebanon, in cities such as Tyre, Byblos, and Sidonia, extending west to the great western capital of Carthage. Phoenicia dominated the south coast of the Mediterranean all the way to Gibraltar. Third were the Etruscans, who controlled central and northern Italy. We will devote a separate evening to the Etruscans since they were central to the formation of the Roman nature. And fourth were the Egyptians. These were the four great cultures that were more advanced than Rome in the year 500 BC.

MOVIE

A DVD tour of Rome from the air.

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, pages 5–10.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BOOK: USEFUL FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR OF HISTORY OF ROME

You will all want one book to use as an introduction and as a reference book to search out answers and maps and other study aids for this year on ancient Rome. Although there are books newer than this classic by one of the truly great experts on Rome, none is better. A basic introduction to the whole subject of our year of study, in one volume it covers the period from the Republic to the Decline and Fall. I encourage you to get a copy. Since it is out of print, you will have to sort through the used book options. Many copies were available in August of 2014. Don't buy the "new" volume from the UK since I have no idea whether it is a quality reprint or not. Get a used hardcover for $10.00. At that price, what Amazon classifies as "very good" is indeed a great deal. A used hardcover is more likely to have endured in good shape than a paperback. However, since purchases just from this class could exhaust the supplies of used hardcovers, don't be afraid of a used paperback classified as "excellent condition". There is nothing wrong with a used paperback described as "like new."

Michael Grant,

History of Rome,

Prentice Hall,

ISBN 0023456108

About the Author :

Michael Grant (1914-2004) was a historian whose over forty publications on ancient Rome and Greece popularised the classical and early Christian world. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, served in intelligence and as a diplomat during the Second World War, and afterwards became deputy director of the British Council's European division, when he also published his first book. He later returned to academia, teaching at Cambridge and Edinburgh, and serving as Vice Chancellor at the University of Khartoum and at Queen's University, Belfast.

RECOMMENDED READING

If, as a preface to our studies of Rome, you would like to have a general introduction to the world of the Mediterranean, this wonderful book will be perfect:

It is not too long,  but it is rich in detail about Greece and Phoenicia.  This is a grand sweep of history by the late Fernand Braudel–one of the twentieth century’s most influential historians–Memory and the Mediterranean chronicles the Mediterranean’s immeasurably rich past during the foundational period from prehistory to classical antiquity, illuminating nothing less than the bedrock of our civilization and the very origins of Western culture. Essential for historians, yet written explicitly for the general reader, this magnificent account of the ebb and flow of cultures shaped by the Mediterranean takes us from the great sea’s geologic beginnings through the ancient civilizations that flourished along its shores.

Fernand Braudel,

Memory and the Mediterranean,

Vintage; Reprint edition (December 3, 2002) ,

ISBN 0375703993

2

Week 2: Thursday, October 13, 2016
Romans and Etruscans

Couple1LECTURE

The Etruscans are a mystery. Where did they come from? What language did they speak? What was their relationship to the Greeks? What was their relationship to the Phoenicians? Their relationship to the Romans is well understood. As an older, better established, more international culture, the Etruscans exerted a powerful influence on the evolving nature of the new Roman culture. At first there was co-operation. Then there was competition. And finally there was conflict and war, with the eventual Roman triumph. Within this story are the ingredients of some of the most important qualities of the Roman culture. The Romans absorbed the Etruscans and were thereby changed dramatically.

The image at the right, of an Etruscan couple, carved in marble and adorning the top of an Etruscan sarcophagus, is in the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.

SLIDES

The Etruscans

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part I, "Etruscan Rome"

RECOMMENDED READING

You can buy this new from Amazon at 36.00
or buy used copies at very good prices. If you would like
to own one book on the Etruscans this is it. Up to date
and written by experts in the field.

Graeme Barker and Tom Rasmussen,

The Etruscans,

Wiley- Blackwell, 2000,

ISBN 0631220380

 

3

Week 3: Thursday, October 20, 2016
The Origins of Rome

LECTURE
Romulus and Remus
The research of Andrea Carandini and other archaeologists
The Romans and the Sabines: Poussin's "Abduction of the Sabines"

DVD

National Geographic: The Birth and Evolution of the city of Rome

RECOMMENDED READING:

The best book for our early weeks of study is Anthony Everitt's new book on the rise of Rome. Many of you know Everitt from reading his previous books about Cicero and Augustus.  This one is now available in paperback for less than $18.00; used hardback copies can be bought for less than $11.00.

Anthony Everitt,

The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire,

Random House,

ISBN 1400066638

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE KANSAS CITY STAR

From Anthony Everitt, the best selling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known. Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world’s preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome’s rise to glory into an erudite page-turner filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome’s shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire. And he outlines the corrosion of constitutional norms that accompanied Rome’s imperial expansion, as old habits of political compromise gave way, leading to violence and civil war. In the end, unimaginable wealth and power corrupted the traditional virtues of the Republic, and Rome was left triumphant everywhere except within its own borders. Everitt paints indelible portraits of the great Romans—and non-Romans—who left their mark on the world out of which the mighty empire grew: Cincinnatus, Rome’s George Washington, the very model of the patrician warrior/aristocrat; the brilliant general Scipio Africanus, who turned back a challenge from the Carthaginian legend Hannibal; and Alexander the Great, the invincible Macedonian conqueror who became a role model for generations of would-be Roman rulers. Here also are the intellectual and philosophical leaders whose observations on the art of government and “the good life” have inspired every Western power from antiquity to the present: Cato the Elder, the famously incorruptible statesman who spoke out against the decadence of his times, and Cicero, the consummate orator whose championing of republican institutions put him on a collision course with Julius Caesar and whose writings on justice and liberty continue to inform our political discourse today. Rome’s decline and fall have long fascinated historians, but the story of how the empire was won is every bit as compelling. With The Rise of Rome, one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells that tale in a way that will galvanize, inform, and enlighten modern readers.

Additional Reviews

Editorial Reviews:

“Fascinating history and a great read.”—Chicago Times

“An engrossing history of a relentlessly pugnacious city’s 500-year rise to empire.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Rome’s history abounds with remarkable figures. . . . Everitt writes for the informed and the uninformed general reader alike, in a brisk, conversational style, with a modern attitude of skepticism and realism.”—The Dallas Morning News

“[A] lively and readable account . . . Roman history has an uncanny ability to resonate with contemporary events.”—Maclean’s

“Elegant, swift and faultless as an introduction to his subject.”—The Spectator

“[An] engaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end.”—Booklist

4

Week 4: Thursday, October 27, 2016
From Monarchy to Republic

LECTURE

Rome begins in the seven hills next to the Tiber River, at the crossroads that converges on the island. Due to its location, which allowed travelers to cross the sometimes surging Tiber at this one spot, the small community grew. Early on, the city evolved into a monarchy. The career of Targuin the Elder, details of which are legendary, illustrates the confused origins of Rome. Targuin was reputed to be from Etruria (the Etruscans), but to have a Greek father.  His personal story, thus, alerts us to the two major contributing influences to early Rome:  the Etruscans and the Greeks.

Here is a Wikipedia summary about Targuin the Elder, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus:

According to Livy, Tarquin came from the Etruria. Livy claims that his original Etruscan name was Lucumo, but since Lucumo (Etruscan Lauchume) is the Etruscan word for "King", there is reason to believe that Priscus' name and title have been confused in the official tradition. After inheriting his father's entire fortune, Lucius attempted to gain a political office. Disgruntled with his opportunities in Etruria (He had been prohibited from obtaining political office in Tarquinii because of the ethnicity of his father, Demaratus, who came from the Greek city of Corinth), he migrated to Rome with his wife Tanaquil, at her suggestion. Legend has it that on his arrival in Rome in a chariot, an eagle took his cap, flew away and then returned it back upon his head. Tanaquil, who was skilled in prophecy, interpreted this as an omen of his future greatness. In Rome, he attained respect through his courtesy. The king himself noticed Tarquinius and, by his will, appointed Tarquinius guardian of his own sons.

It has been part of the Roman historical drama to believe that the Romans overthrew the monarchy in 509 BC and that they then began to create the first large democratic constitution in history.  Of course, the Greeks had established many different city-states with democratic elements in their constitutions, but these were all small states, often with very simple political structures.  Rome was the first large democratic state in world history.  The Republic lasted about 400 years.  After 100 BC, the Republic passed through a series of crises, each more dangerous than the previous, culminating with the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.  The era of Civil Wars began, and ultimately Octavian created something new, something we now call the Roman Empire.  A key element in creating the Republic was the first written constitution in history, known as the Twelve Tables. Not a lengthy document like the American constitution, it is merely a group of basic legal statements that form the cornerstone of all Roman law. The fact that it was written is the most important detail about its nature.

SLIDES

Tarquin and Lucretia in art.

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part II, "The Unity of Italy"

RECOMMENDED READING

Anthony Everitt,

The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire,

Random House,

ISBN 1400066638

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE KANSAS CITY STAR

From Anthony Everitt, the best selling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known. Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world’s preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome’s rise to glory into an erudite page-turner filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome’s shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire. And he outlines the corrosion of constitutional norms that accompanied Rome’s imperial expansion, as old habits of political compromise gave way, leading to violence and civil war. In the end, unimaginable wealth and power corrupted the traditional virtues of the Republic, and Rome was left triumphant everywhere except within its own borders. Everitt paints indelible portraits of the great Romans—and non-Romans—who left their mark on the world out of which the mighty empire grew: Cincinnatus, Rome’s George Washington, the very model of the patrician warrior/aristocrat; the brilliant general Scipio Africanus, who turned back a challenge from the Carthaginian legend Hannibal; and Alexander the Great, the invincible Macedonian conqueror who became a role model for generations of would-be Roman rulers. Here also are the intellectual and philosophical leaders whose observations on the art of government and “the good life” have inspired every Western power from antiquity to the present: Cato the Elder, the famously incorruptible statesman who spoke out against the decadence of his times, and Cicero, the consummate orator whose championing of republican institutions put him on a collision course with Julius Caesar and whose writings on justice and liberty continue to inform our political discourse today. Rome’s decline and fall have long fascinated historians, but the story of how the empire was won is every bit as compelling. With The Rise of Rome, one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells that tale in a way that will galvanize, inform, and enlighten modern readers.

Additional Reviews

Editorial Reviews:

“Fascinating history and a great read.”—Chicago Times

“An engrossing history of a relentlessly pugnacious city’s 500-year rise to empire.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Rome’s history abounds with remarkable figures. . . . Everitt writes for the informed and the uninformed general reader alike, in a brisk, conversational style, with a modern attitude of skepticism and realism.”—The Dallas Morning News

“[A] lively and readable account . . . Roman history has an uncanny ability to resonate with contemporary events.”—Maclean’s

“Elegant, swift and faultless as an introduction to his subject.”—The Spectator

“[An] engaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end.”—Booklist

5

Week 5: Thursday, November 3, 2016
Cato the Elder and the Republic

Cato

LECTURE

Cato and the Republic

Cato the Elder, who lived from 234 BC to 149 BC, was the most important voice of the Republic before the age of Cicero.  Cato lived during the growth of the Republic, as it increased in size and began to dominate the peninsula.  Once Rome gained control of the Italian peninsula, it was inevitably thrust into competition with the one other great state in the western Mediterranean, Carthage.  Here is a brief Wikipedia introduction to the the story of Cato:

Marcus Porcius Cato (234 BC, Tusculum, to 149 BC) was a Roman statesman, commonly referred to as Censorius (the Censor), Sapiens (the Wise), Priscus (the Ancient), Major, Cato the Elder (to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger), or Cato the Censor.  He was known for his conservatism and opposition to Hellenization. He came of an ancient Plebeian family whose members were noted for some military service but not for the discharge of the higher civil offices. He was bred, after the manner of his Latin forefathers, to agriculture, to which he devoted himself when not engaged in military service. However, having attracted the notice of Lucius Valerius Flaccus, he was brought to Rome, where he successively held the offices of Cursus Honorum: Military Tribune (214 BC), Quaestor (204 BC), Aedile (199 BC), Praetor (198 BC) (when he expelled the usurers from Sardinia), Consul (195 BC), together with his old patron, and finally Censor (184 BC), when he tried to preserve the mos majorum (ancestral custom) and combat "degenerate" Hellenistic influences.

The Constitution

The Law of the Twelve Tables (Latin: Leges Duodecim Tabularum or Duodecim Tabulae) was the ancient legislation that stood at the foundation of Roman law. The Law of the Twelve Tables formed the centrepiece of the constitution of the Roman Republic and the core of the mos maiorum (custom of the ancestors). The Twelve Tables came about as a result of the long social struggle between patricians and plebeians. After the expulsion of the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, the Republic was governed by a hierarchy of magistrates. Initially only patricians were eligible to become magistrates. this rule, among others, was a source of discontent for plebeians. In the context of this unequal status, plebeians would take action to secure concessions for themselves using the threat of secession. They would threaten to leave the city with the consequence that it would grind to a halt, as the plebeians were Rome's labour force. One of the most important concessions won in this class struggle were the Twelve Tables, which established basic procedural rights for all Roman citizens. Patricians long opposed this request, but around 451 BC, the first decemviri (decemvirate - board of ten men) was appointed to draw up the first ten tables. According to Livy, they sent an embassy to Greece to study the legislative system of Athens, known as the Solonian Constitution, and also to find out about the legislation of other Greek cities. Modern scholars believe the Roman assembly most likely visited the Greek cities of Southern Italy and did not travel all the way to Greece. In 450 BC, the second decemviri started work on the last two tables. The first decemvirate completed the first ten codes in 450 BC. Here is how Livy describes their creation, "...every citizen should quietly consider each point, then talk it over with his friends, and, finally, bring forward for public discussion any additions or subtractions which seemed desirable." (cf. Liv. III 34) In 449 BC, the second decemvirate completed the last two codes, and, after a secession plebis to force the Senate to consider them, the Law of the Twelve Tables was formally promulgated. The Twelve Tables were drawn up on twelve ivory tablets (Livy says bronze) which were posted in the Roman Forum so all Romans could read and know them. It was not a comprehensive statement of all law, but a sequence of definitions of various private rights and procedures. They generally took for granted such things as the institutions of the family and various rituals for formal transactions. It is surprising that the original text of such an important document has been lost. The original tablets were destroyed when the Gauls under Brennus burnt Rome in 390 BC. There was no other official promulgation of them to survive, only unofficial editions. What we have of them today are brief excerpts and quotations from these laws by different authors.

VIDEO

Roman Roads: Paths to Empire

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part III, "Rome Against Carthage"

6

Week 6: Thursday, November 10, 2016
Roman Theater: Plautus

LECTURE

The two great playwrights of the early Roman theater are Plautus and Terence.   When we read a play from each, we will discover how Rome was changing from the early Republic to the later Republic.  By studying these two writers of the theater, we will see how the power of Greece was one of the most important cultural issues for the growing Republic.  Plautus is a voice of the old agrarian Rome, its roots back home on the farm.  Terence is the voice of the new international Rome, fascinated and envious of Greece.

About Plautus, from Wikipedia:

Not much is known about Titus Maccius Plautus' early life. It is believed that he was born in Sarsina, a small town in Umbria in central Italy, around 254 BC.  According to Morris Marples, Plautus worked as a stage-carpenter or scene-shifter in his early years. It is from this work, perhaps, that his love of the theater originated. His acting talent was eventually discovered. He adopted the names "Maccius" (a clownish stock-character in popular farces) and "Plautus" (a term meaning either "flat-footed" or "flat-eared," like the ears of a hound). Tradition holds that he made enough money to go into the nautical business, but that the venture collapsed. He is then said to have worked as a manual laborer and to have studied Greek drama—particularly the New Comedy of Menander—in his leisure. His studies allowed him to produce his plays, which were released between c. 205 and 184 BC. Plautus attained such a popularity that his name alone became a hallmark of theatrical success.

DVD

A DVD surprise treat

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part III, "Rome Against Carthage"

We will read two plays:

  1. The Menaechmi (The Brothers Menaechmus), p. 97
  2. Pseudolus, p. 213

Plautus,

The Pot of Gold and Other Plays,

E. F. Watling, translator,

Penguin Classics,

ISBN 0140441492

7

Week 7: Thursday, November 17, 2016
Roman Theater: Terence

LECTURE

Terence's story is a great one, a saga of upward mobility that should alert us to what a mobile society Republican Rome could be.  Publius Terentius Afer (195/185–159 BC), better known in English as Terence, was of North African descent, possibly from Carthage. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–160 BC. Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, brought Terence to Rome as a slave, educated him, and, later on, impressed by his abilities, freed him. Terence apparently died young, probably in Greece or on his way back to Rome. All of the six plays Terence wrote have survived. Like Plautus, Terence adapted Greek plays from the late phases of Attic comedy. The first printed edition of Terence appeared in Strasbourg in 1470, and the first documented post-antique performance of one of Terence's plays, Andria, took place in Florence in 1476. There is evidence, however, that Terence was performed much earlier.

Terence's six plays are Andria (The Girl from Andros, 166 BC), Hecyra (The Mother-in-Law,65 BC), Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor, 163 BC), Phormio (161 BC), Eunuchus (161 BC), and Adelphoe (The Brothers, 160 BC).

 

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part III, "Rome Against Carthage"

We will read The Mother-in-Law (The Hecyra).

Terence,

The Comedies,

Betty Radice, translator,

Penguin Classics,

ISBN 9780140443240

Thanksgiving Week Monday Nov. 21 to Friday Nov. 25, 2016

Class will not meet the week of Nov 21-25, Thanksgiving week.

Students have stated they prefer having the week off, since many are traveling for the holidays. So, no class during Thanksgiving Week.

8

Week 8: Thursday, December 1, 2016
The Decay of the Republic

LECTURE

Decay of the Republic, 150 BC to 70 BC

139 BC First Servile War, Sicily

Four hundred slaves accepted the call of Eunus to massacre the free population in the town of Enna; slaves poured from the farms and private dungeons of Sicily, swelling the number of the rebels to 70,000. They occupied Agrigentum and defeated the forces of the Roman praetor. They held nearly all of the island till 131, when a consular army penned them into Enna and starved the rebels into surrender.

133 Tiberius Gracchus

Tiberius Gracchus introduced his Agrarian Reform Laws, provoking massive opposition. He was assassinated in 133. His brother Caius continued the reform. He tried to pack the Senate, but it opposed his effort. He began to block the Gracchan reforms. The matter led to blows in the Forum in 121.   Caius Gracchus died in 121 BC.  His mother was Cornelia.
119 Marius returned as Tribune
118 Abolition of the Land Board
106 Birth of Cicero, birth of Pompey
104–100 Marius elected to the Consulate ( four times), an action against the Constitution
101 Marius triumphant against German tribes (the Teutones), greeted in Rome as a savior, later became rich with spoils of war
103-99 Second Servile War, Sicily
100 Birth of Julius Caesar
91 Drusus proposes citizenship to all; Italians and Romans enraged.  A social war erupts in Italy, against Rome. Drusus was assassinated. War between Rome and rest of Italy begins.
90 Rome proclaimed an independent federal republic; independence from Rome declared at Confinium
89 Rome ends war with Italians, awards a watered-down citizenship.
88 Sulla as Consul; flight of Marius
87 Marius, a reign of terror
83 Sulla lands at Brundisium, begins march to Rome.
82 Sulla takes Rome.
78 Sulla dies.
73-71 Third Servile War, Spartacus
70 Pompey and Crassus were Consuls; Virgil born

MOVIE

Scenes from Spartacus, one of the best films ever made about Rome

From Wikipedia:

Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas as the rebellious slave of the title. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life story of the historical figure Spartacus and the events of the Third Servile War. The film also starred Laurence Olivier as the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus, Peter Ustinov, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as slave trader Lentulus Batiatus, John Gavin as Julius Caesar, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton and Tony Curtis. The film won four Oscars in all. Douglas, whose Bryna Productions company was producing the film, removed original director Anthony Mann after the first week of shooting. Kubrick, with whom Douglas had worked before, was brought on board to take over direction.

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part IV, "The Imperial Republic," and Part V, "The Fall of the Republic."

RECOMMENDED READING

Goldsworthy presents a wonderful exploration of Caesar's life, including his military and political conquests, revealing his personality in a sympathetic telling. Many, many books have been written about Caesar and his time. This one is very accessible and worthwhile, and, I think, the best.

Adrian Goldsworthy,

Caesar: Life of a Colossus,

Yale University Press,

ISBN 0300126891

9

Week 9: Thursday, December 8, 2016
Julius Caesar

LECTURE

Julius Caesar was born in 100 BC and he died March 15, 44, BC.  Caesar may be the most controversial figure in all of European history. For two thousand years, hIs life and death have represented the fate of the Roman Republic and the onset of the Roman Empire.  The fate of the Republic has often been the most important issue of debate in various periods of European history, including our own US history.  During any crisis of democracy, whether in Rome itself, or during the many later political crises, (1215 and the Magna Carta, the crises of the Tudor century, the crises of the Stuart era)—in each one of these moments when Western democracies have debated the true nature of political health in the West—debate has often gone back to Julius Caesar: Was he a tyrant, or was he a failed savior of the Roman Republic?  In 60 BC, and 50 BC, this was exactly the debate among Romans.  And then in 44 BC, the debate was ended with a sword.  For our study of the Republic, we must evaluate Julius Caesar and his life and career, and we must also try to decide what happened.  Was he the final destructive last chapter of the 500 year old Roman Republic?  HIs life and his debate with Cicero are the most important sources for debating such an issue.

SLIDES

Julius Caesar on film

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part VI, Chapter 12: "Caesar"

RECOMMENDED READING

Julius Caesar,

The Conquest of Gaul,

Penguin,

ISBN 0140444335

Goldsworthy presents a wonderful exploration of Caesar's life, including his military and political conquests, revealing his personality in a sympathetic telling. Many, many books have been written about Caesar and his time. This one is very accessible and worthwhile, and, I think, the best.

Adrian Goldsworthy,

Caesar: Life of a Colossus,

Yale University Press,

ISBN 0300126891

Philip Freeman,

Julius Caesar,

Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (May 14, 2009),

ISBN 0743289544

From Publishers Weekly

Historian Freeman (The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts) paints a flattering portrait of Caesar in this admirable biography, exalting his cunning, military skill, political insights and allegiance to the plebeian class. In fast-paced prose and detailed historical sketches, Freeman traces Caesar's life from early youth onward, covering his marriage and service as a priest (or pontifex); his election to pontifex maximus in 63 B.C.; his command of Roman forces in the Gallic Wars; his ascension to leader of the republic; and his famous assassination. Drawing on Caesar's own writings, Freeman portrays him as a brilliant military strategist whose defense of Roman land in the Gallic Wars extended the rule of Rome from Italy to the Atlantic. Caesar returned to Italy in 49 B.C. and became dictator three years later, seeking to improve the republic through civic reforms, including the taking of a proper census, the building of a library, the codification of Roman law and the conversion of Rome to a solar calendar. Although Freeman's biography reveals little new information about Caesar, his cultural and historical knowledge bring the emperor to life and humanize him in a way no writer before him has succeeded in doing. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

10

Week 10: Thursday, December 15, 2016
The Ides of March

LECTURE

The assassination of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC by a conspiracy of powerful Roman politicians ended the Republic. We will never know whether Caesar himself was intending to end the Republic and assume total dictatorial power. His enemies thought that was exactly what he intended. Some, like Cicero, approved the deed after it was done, but knew nothing about the plot beforehand. His reaction is recorded in his letters written immediately after the murder and recounting the days after March 15, when important young men such as Brutus debated what to do next.

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part VI, "Caesar."

RECOMMENDED READING

Adrian Goldsworthy,

Caesar: Life of a Colossus,

Yale University Press,

ISBN 0300126891

Goldsworthy has an excellent account of March 15, 44 BC.

Caesar_1865

All

Week 1: Thu., Oct. 6, 2016
Rome in the Ancient World

LECTURE

What great cultures existed in the Mediterranean world of 500 BC? Which could compete with the new Republic of Rome? It had four major competitors in its early years. First was Greece, in 500 BC a loose federation of many great city-states, some such as Athens with large populations, but all united by language and culture. The Greek states dominated the whole of the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean. Second were the Phoenicians. The international Phoenician empire was based in present-day Lebanon, in cities such as Tyre, Byblos, and Sidonia, extending west to the great western capital of Carthage. Phoenicia dominated the south coast of the Mediterranean all the way to Gibraltar. Third were the Etruscans, who controlled central and northern Italy. We will devote a separate evening to the Etruscans since they were central to the formation of the Roman nature. And fourth were the Egyptians. These were the four great cultures that were more advanced than Rome in the year 500 BC.

MOVIE

A DVD tour of Rome from the air.

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, pages 5–10.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BOOK: USEFUL FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR OF HISTORY OF ROME

You will all want one book to use as an introduction and as a reference book to search out answers and maps and other study aids for this year on ancient Rome. Although there are books newer than this classic by one of the truly great experts on Rome, none is better. A basic introduction to the whole subject of our year of study, in one volume it covers the period from the Republic to the Decline and Fall. I encourage you to get a copy. Since it is out of print, you will have to sort through the used book options. Many copies were available in August of 2014. Don't buy the "new" volume from the UK since I have no idea whether it is a quality reprint or not. Get a used hardcover for $10.00. At that price, what Amazon classifies as "very good" is indeed a great deal. A used hardcover is more likely to have endured in good shape than a paperback. However, since purchases just from this class could exhaust the supplies of used hardcovers, don't be afraid of a used paperback classified as "excellent condition". There is nothing wrong with a used paperback described as "like new."

Michael Grant,

History of Rome,

Prentice Hall,

ISBN 0023456108

About the Author :

Michael Grant (1914-2004) was a historian whose over forty publications on ancient Rome and Greece popularised the classical and early Christian world. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, served in intelligence and as a diplomat during the Second World War, and afterwards became deputy director of the British Council's European division, when he also published his first book. He later returned to academia, teaching at Cambridge and Edinburgh, and serving as Vice Chancellor at the University of Khartoum and at Queen's University, Belfast.

RECOMMENDED READING

If, as a preface to our studies of Rome, you would like to have a general introduction to the world of the Mediterranean, this wonderful book will be perfect:

It is not too long,  but it is rich in detail about Greece and Phoenicia.  This is a grand sweep of history by the late Fernand Braudel–one of the twentieth century’s most influential historians–Memory and the Mediterranean chronicles the Mediterranean’s immeasurably rich past during the foundational period from prehistory to classical antiquity, illuminating nothing less than the bedrock of our civilization and the very origins of Western culture. Essential for historians, yet written explicitly for the general reader, this magnificent account of the ebb and flow of cultures shaped by the Mediterranean takes us from the great sea’s geologic beginnings through the ancient civilizations that flourished along its shores.

Fernand Braudel,

Memory and the Mediterranean,

Vintage; Reprint edition (December 3, 2002) ,

ISBN 0375703993

Week 2: Thu., Oct. 13, 2016
Romans and Etruscans

Couple1LECTURE

The Etruscans are a mystery. Where did they come from? What language did they speak? What was their relationship to the Greeks? What was their relationship to the Phoenicians? Their relationship to the Romans is well understood. As an older, better established, more international culture, the Etruscans exerted a powerful influence on the evolving nature of the new Roman culture. At first there was co-operation. Then there was competition. And finally there was conflict and war, with the eventual Roman triumph. Within this story are the ingredients of some of the most important qualities of the Roman culture. The Romans absorbed the Etruscans and were thereby changed dramatically.

The image at the right, of an Etruscan couple, carved in marble and adorning the top of an Etruscan sarcophagus, is in the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.

SLIDES

The Etruscans

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part I, "Etruscan Rome"

RECOMMENDED READING

You can buy this new from Amazon at 36.00
or buy used copies at very good prices. If you would like
to own one book on the Etruscans this is it. Up to date
and written by experts in the field.

Graeme Barker and Tom Rasmussen,

The Etruscans,

Wiley- Blackwell, 2000,

ISBN 0631220380

 

Week 3: Thu., Oct. 20, 2016
The Origins of Rome

LECTURE
Romulus and Remus
The research of Andrea Carandini and other archaeologists
The Romans and the Sabines: Poussin's "Abduction of the Sabines"

DVD

National Geographic: The Birth and Evolution of the city of Rome

RECOMMENDED READING:

The best book for our early weeks of study is Anthony Everitt's new book on the rise of Rome. Many of you know Everitt from reading his previous books about Cicero and Augustus.  This one is now available in paperback for less than $18.00; used hardback copies can be bought for less than $11.00.

Anthony Everitt,

The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire,

Random House,

ISBN 1400066638

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE KANSAS CITY STAR

From Anthony Everitt, the best selling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known. Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world’s preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome’s rise to glory into an erudite page-turner filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome’s shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire. And he outlines the corrosion of constitutional norms that accompanied Rome’s imperial expansion, as old habits of political compromise gave way, leading to violence and civil war. In the end, unimaginable wealth and power corrupted the traditional virtues of the Republic, and Rome was left triumphant everywhere except within its own borders. Everitt paints indelible portraits of the great Romans—and non-Romans—who left their mark on the world out of which the mighty empire grew: Cincinnatus, Rome’s George Washington, the very model of the patrician warrior/aristocrat; the brilliant general Scipio Africanus, who turned back a challenge from the Carthaginian legend Hannibal; and Alexander the Great, the invincible Macedonian conqueror who became a role model for generations of would-be Roman rulers. Here also are the intellectual and philosophical leaders whose observations on the art of government and “the good life” have inspired every Western power from antiquity to the present: Cato the Elder, the famously incorruptible statesman who spoke out against the decadence of his times, and Cicero, the consummate orator whose championing of republican institutions put him on a collision course with Julius Caesar and whose writings on justice and liberty continue to inform our political discourse today. Rome’s decline and fall have long fascinated historians, but the story of how the empire was won is every bit as compelling. With The Rise of Rome, one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells that tale in a way that will galvanize, inform, and enlighten modern readers.

Additional Reviews

Editorial Reviews:

“Fascinating history and a great read.”—Chicago Times

“An engrossing history of a relentlessly pugnacious city’s 500-year rise to empire.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Rome’s history abounds with remarkable figures. . . . Everitt writes for the informed and the uninformed general reader alike, in a brisk, conversational style, with a modern attitude of skepticism and realism.”—The Dallas Morning News

“[A] lively and readable account . . . Roman history has an uncanny ability to resonate with contemporary events.”—Maclean’s

“Elegant, swift and faultless as an introduction to his subject.”—The Spectator

“[An] engaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end.”—Booklist

Week 4: Thu., Oct. 27, 2016
From Monarchy to Republic

LECTURE

Rome begins in the seven hills next to the Tiber River, at the crossroads that converges on the island. Due to its location, which allowed travelers to cross the sometimes surging Tiber at this one spot, the small community grew. Early on, the city evolved into a monarchy. The career of Targuin the Elder, details of which are legendary, illustrates the confused origins of Rome. Targuin was reputed to be from Etruria (the Etruscans), but to have a Greek father.  His personal story, thus, alerts us to the two major contributing influences to early Rome:  the Etruscans and the Greeks.

Here is a Wikipedia summary about Targuin the Elder, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus:

According to Livy, Tarquin came from the Etruria. Livy claims that his original Etruscan name was Lucumo, but since Lucumo (Etruscan Lauchume) is the Etruscan word for "King", there is reason to believe that Priscus' name and title have been confused in the official tradition. After inheriting his father's entire fortune, Lucius attempted to gain a political office. Disgruntled with his opportunities in Etruria (He had been prohibited from obtaining political office in Tarquinii because of the ethnicity of his father, Demaratus, who came from the Greek city of Corinth), he migrated to Rome with his wife Tanaquil, at her suggestion. Legend has it that on his arrival in Rome in a chariot, an eagle took his cap, flew away and then returned it back upon his head. Tanaquil, who was skilled in prophecy, interpreted this as an omen of his future greatness. In Rome, he attained respect through his courtesy. The king himself noticed Tarquinius and, by his will, appointed Tarquinius guardian of his own sons.

It has been part of the Roman historical drama to believe that the Romans overthrew the monarchy in 509 BC and that they then began to create the first large democratic constitution in history.  Of course, the Greeks had established many different city-states with democratic elements in their constitutions, but these were all small states, often with very simple political structures.  Rome was the first large democratic state in world history.  The Republic lasted about 400 years.  After 100 BC, the Republic passed through a series of crises, each more dangerous than the previous, culminating with the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.  The era of Civil Wars began, and ultimately Octavian created something new, something we now call the Roman Empire.  A key element in creating the Republic was the first written constitution in history, known as the Twelve Tables. Not a lengthy document like the American constitution, it is merely a group of basic legal statements that form the cornerstone of all Roman law. The fact that it was written is the most important detail about its nature.

SLIDES

Tarquin and Lucretia in art.

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part II, "The Unity of Italy"

RECOMMENDED READING

Anthony Everitt,

The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire,

Random House,

ISBN 1400066638

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE KANSAS CITY STAR

From Anthony Everitt, the best selling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known. Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world’s preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome’s rise to glory into an erudite page-turner filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome’s shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire. And he outlines the corrosion of constitutional norms that accompanied Rome’s imperial expansion, as old habits of political compromise gave way, leading to violence and civil war. In the end, unimaginable wealth and power corrupted the traditional virtues of the Republic, and Rome was left triumphant everywhere except within its own borders. Everitt paints indelible portraits of the great Romans—and non-Romans—who left their mark on the world out of which the mighty empire grew: Cincinnatus, Rome’s George Washington, the very model of the patrician warrior/aristocrat; the brilliant general Scipio Africanus, who turned back a challenge from the Carthaginian legend Hannibal; and Alexander the Great, the invincible Macedonian conqueror who became a role model for generations of would-be Roman rulers. Here also are the intellectual and philosophical leaders whose observations on the art of government and “the good life” have inspired every Western power from antiquity to the present: Cato the Elder, the famously incorruptible statesman who spoke out against the decadence of his times, and Cicero, the consummate orator whose championing of republican institutions put him on a collision course with Julius Caesar and whose writings on justice and liberty continue to inform our political discourse today. Rome’s decline and fall have long fascinated historians, but the story of how the empire was won is every bit as compelling. With The Rise of Rome, one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells that tale in a way that will galvanize, inform, and enlighten modern readers.

Additional Reviews

Editorial Reviews:

“Fascinating history and a great read.”—Chicago Times

“An engrossing history of a relentlessly pugnacious city’s 500-year rise to empire.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Rome’s history abounds with remarkable figures. . . . Everitt writes for the informed and the uninformed general reader alike, in a brisk, conversational style, with a modern attitude of skepticism and realism.”—The Dallas Morning News

“[A] lively and readable account . . . Roman history has an uncanny ability to resonate with contemporary events.”—Maclean’s

“Elegant, swift and faultless as an introduction to his subject.”—The Spectator

“[An] engaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end.”—Booklist

Week 5: Thu., Nov. 3, 2016
Cato the Elder and the Republic

Cato

LECTURE

Cato and the Republic

Cato the Elder, who lived from 234 BC to 149 BC, was the most important voice of the Republic before the age of Cicero.  Cato lived during the growth of the Republic, as it increased in size and began to dominate the peninsula.  Once Rome gained control of the Italian peninsula, it was inevitably thrust into competition with the one other great state in the western Mediterranean, Carthage.  Here is a brief Wikipedia introduction to the the story of Cato:

Marcus Porcius Cato (234 BC, Tusculum, to 149 BC) was a Roman statesman, commonly referred to as Censorius (the Censor), Sapiens (the Wise), Priscus (the Ancient), Major, Cato the Elder (to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger), or Cato the Censor.  He was known for his conservatism and opposition to Hellenization. He came of an ancient Plebeian family whose members were noted for some military service but not for the discharge of the higher civil offices. He was bred, after the manner of his Latin forefathers, to agriculture, to which he devoted himself when not engaged in military service. However, having attracted the notice of Lucius Valerius Flaccus, he was brought to Rome, where he successively held the offices of Cursus Honorum: Military Tribune (214 BC), Quaestor (204 BC), Aedile (199 BC), Praetor (198 BC) (when he expelled the usurers from Sardinia), Consul (195 BC), together with his old patron, and finally Censor (184 BC), when he tried to preserve the mos majorum (ancestral custom) and combat "degenerate" Hellenistic influences.

The Constitution

The Law of the Twelve Tables (Latin: Leges Duodecim Tabularum or Duodecim Tabulae) was the ancient legislation that stood at the foundation of Roman law. The Law of the Twelve Tables formed the centrepiece of the constitution of the Roman Republic and the core of the mos maiorum (custom of the ancestors). The Twelve Tables came about as a result of the long social struggle between patricians and plebeians. After the expulsion of the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, the Republic was governed by a hierarchy of magistrates. Initially only patricians were eligible to become magistrates. this rule, among others, was a source of discontent for plebeians. In the context of this unequal status, plebeians would take action to secure concessions for themselves using the threat of secession. They would threaten to leave the city with the consequence that it would grind to a halt, as the plebeians were Rome's labour force. One of the most important concessions won in this class struggle were the Twelve Tables, which established basic procedural rights for all Roman citizens. Patricians long opposed this request, but around 451 BC, the first decemviri (decemvirate - board of ten men) was appointed to draw up the first ten tables. According to Livy, they sent an embassy to Greece to study the legislative system of Athens, known as the Solonian Constitution, and also to find out about the legislation of other Greek cities. Modern scholars believe the Roman assembly most likely visited the Greek cities of Southern Italy and did not travel all the way to Greece. In 450 BC, the second decemviri started work on the last two tables. The first decemvirate completed the first ten codes in 450 BC. Here is how Livy describes their creation, "...every citizen should quietly consider each point, then talk it over with his friends, and, finally, bring forward for public discussion any additions or subtractions which seemed desirable." (cf. Liv. III 34) In 449 BC, the second decemvirate completed the last two codes, and, after a secession plebis to force the Senate to consider them, the Law of the Twelve Tables was formally promulgated. The Twelve Tables were drawn up on twelve ivory tablets (Livy says bronze) which were posted in the Roman Forum so all Romans could read and know them. It was not a comprehensive statement of all law, but a sequence of definitions of various private rights and procedures. They generally took for granted such things as the institutions of the family and various rituals for formal transactions. It is surprising that the original text of such an important document has been lost. The original tablets were destroyed when the Gauls under Brennus burnt Rome in 390 BC. There was no other official promulgation of them to survive, only unofficial editions. What we have of them today are brief excerpts and quotations from these laws by different authors.

VIDEO

Roman Roads: Paths to Empire

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part III, "Rome Against Carthage"

Week 6: Thu., Nov. 10, 2016
Roman Theater: Plautus

LECTURE

The two great playwrights of the early Roman theater are Plautus and Terence.   When we read a play from each, we will discover how Rome was changing from the early Republic to the later Republic.  By studying these two writers of the theater, we will see how the power of Greece was one of the most important cultural issues for the growing Republic.  Plautus is a voice of the old agrarian Rome, its roots back home on the farm.  Terence is the voice of the new international Rome, fascinated and envious of Greece.

About Plautus, from Wikipedia:

Not much is known about Titus Maccius Plautus' early life. It is believed that he was born in Sarsina, a small town in Umbria in central Italy, around 254 BC.  According to Morris Marples, Plautus worked as a stage-carpenter or scene-shifter in his early years. It is from this work, perhaps, that his love of the theater originated. His acting talent was eventually discovered. He adopted the names "Maccius" (a clownish stock-character in popular farces) and "Plautus" (a term meaning either "flat-footed" or "flat-eared," like the ears of a hound). Tradition holds that he made enough money to go into the nautical business, but that the venture collapsed. He is then said to have worked as a manual laborer and to have studied Greek drama—particularly the New Comedy of Menander—in his leisure. His studies allowed him to produce his plays, which were released between c. 205 and 184 BC. Plautus attained such a popularity that his name alone became a hallmark of theatrical success.

DVD

A DVD surprise treat

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part III, "Rome Against Carthage"

We will read two plays:

  1. The Menaechmi (The Brothers Menaechmus), p. 97
  2. Pseudolus, p. 213

Plautus,

The Pot of Gold and Other Plays,

E. F. Watling, translator,

Penguin Classics,

ISBN 0140441492

Week 7: Thu., Nov. 17, 2016
Roman Theater: Terence

LECTURE

Terence's story is a great one, a saga of upward mobility that should alert us to what a mobile society Republican Rome could be.  Publius Terentius Afer (195/185–159 BC), better known in English as Terence, was of North African descent, possibly from Carthage. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–160 BC. Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, brought Terence to Rome as a slave, educated him, and, later on, impressed by his abilities, freed him. Terence apparently died young, probably in Greece or on his way back to Rome. All of the six plays Terence wrote have survived. Like Plautus, Terence adapted Greek plays from the late phases of Attic comedy. The first printed edition of Terence appeared in Strasbourg in 1470, and the first documented post-antique performance of one of Terence's plays, Andria, took place in Florence in 1476. There is evidence, however, that Terence was performed much earlier.

Terence's six plays are Andria (The Girl from Andros, 166 BC), Hecyra (The Mother-in-Law,65 BC), Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor, 163 BC), Phormio (161 BC), Eunuchus (161 BC), and Adelphoe (The Brothers, 160 BC).

 

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part III, "Rome Against Carthage"

We will read The Mother-in-Law (The Hecyra).

Terence,

The Comedies,

Betty Radice, translator,

Penguin Classics,

ISBN 9780140443240

Thanksgiving Week Monday Nov. 21 to Friday Nov. 25, 2016

Class will not meet the week of Nov 21-25, Thanksgiving week.

Students have stated they prefer having the week off, since many are traveling for the holidays. So, no class during Thanksgiving Week.

Week 8: Thu., Dec. 1, 2016
The Decay of the Republic

LECTURE

Decay of the Republic, 150 BC to 70 BC

139 BC First Servile War, Sicily

Four hundred slaves accepted the call of Eunus to massacre the free population in the town of Enna; slaves poured from the farms and private dungeons of Sicily, swelling the number of the rebels to 70,000. They occupied Agrigentum and defeated the forces of the Roman praetor. They held nearly all of the island till 131, when a consular army penned them into Enna and starved the rebels into surrender.

133 Tiberius Gracchus

Tiberius Gracchus introduced his Agrarian Reform Laws, provoking massive opposition. He was assassinated in 133. His brother Caius continued the reform. He tried to pack the Senate, but it opposed his effort. He began to block the Gracchan reforms. The matter led to blows in the Forum in 121.   Caius Gracchus died in 121 BC.  His mother was Cornelia.
119 Marius returned as Tribune
118 Abolition of the Land Board
106 Birth of Cicero, birth of Pompey
104–100 Marius elected to the Consulate ( four times), an action against the Constitution
101 Marius triumphant against German tribes (the Teutones), greeted in Rome as a savior, later became rich with spoils of war
103-99 Second Servile War, Sicily
100 Birth of Julius Caesar
91 Drusus proposes citizenship to all; Italians and Romans enraged.  A social war erupts in Italy, against Rome. Drusus was assassinated. War between Rome and rest of Italy begins.
90 Rome proclaimed an independent federal republic; independence from Rome declared at Confinium
89 Rome ends war with Italians, awards a watered-down citizenship.
88 Sulla as Consul; flight of Marius
87 Marius, a reign of terror
83 Sulla lands at Brundisium, begins march to Rome.
82 Sulla takes Rome.
78 Sulla dies.
73-71 Third Servile War, Spartacus
70 Pompey and Crassus were Consuls; Virgil born

MOVIE

Scenes from Spartacus, one of the best films ever made about Rome

From Wikipedia:

Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas as the rebellious slave of the title. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life story of the historical figure Spartacus and the events of the Third Servile War. The film also starred Laurence Olivier as the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus, Peter Ustinov, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as slave trader Lentulus Batiatus, John Gavin as Julius Caesar, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton and Tony Curtis. The film won four Oscars in all. Douglas, whose Bryna Productions company was producing the film, removed original director Anthony Mann after the first week of shooting. Kubrick, with whom Douglas had worked before, was brought on board to take over direction.

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part IV, "The Imperial Republic," and Part V, "The Fall of the Republic."

RECOMMENDED READING

Goldsworthy presents a wonderful exploration of Caesar's life, including his military and political conquests, revealing his personality in a sympathetic telling. Many, many books have been written about Caesar and his time. This one is very accessible and worthwhile, and, I think, the best.

Adrian Goldsworthy,

Caesar: Life of a Colossus,

Yale University Press,

ISBN 0300126891

Week 9: Thu., Dec. 8, 2016
Julius Caesar

LECTURE

Julius Caesar was born in 100 BC and he died March 15, 44, BC.  Caesar may be the most controversial figure in all of European history. For two thousand years, hIs life and death have represented the fate of the Roman Republic and the onset of the Roman Empire.  The fate of the Republic has often been the most important issue of debate in various periods of European history, including our own US history.  During any crisis of democracy, whether in Rome itself, or during the many later political crises, (1215 and the Magna Carta, the crises of the Tudor century, the crises of the Stuart era)—in each one of these moments when Western democracies have debated the true nature of political health in the West—debate has often gone back to Julius Caesar: Was he a tyrant, or was he a failed savior of the Roman Republic?  In 60 BC, and 50 BC, this was exactly the debate among Romans.  And then in 44 BC, the debate was ended with a sword.  For our study of the Republic, we must evaluate Julius Caesar and his life and career, and we must also try to decide what happened.  Was he the final destructive last chapter of the 500 year old Roman Republic?  HIs life and his debate with Cicero are the most important sources for debating such an issue.

SLIDES

Julius Caesar on film

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part VI, Chapter 12: "Caesar"

RECOMMENDED READING

Julius Caesar,

The Conquest of Gaul,

Penguin,

ISBN 0140444335

Goldsworthy presents a wonderful exploration of Caesar's life, including his military and political conquests, revealing his personality in a sympathetic telling. Many, many books have been written about Caesar and his time. This one is very accessible and worthwhile, and, I think, the best.

Adrian Goldsworthy,

Caesar: Life of a Colossus,

Yale University Press,

ISBN 0300126891

Philip Freeman,

Julius Caesar,

Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (May 14, 2009),

ISBN 0743289544

From Publishers Weekly

Historian Freeman (The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts) paints a flattering portrait of Caesar in this admirable biography, exalting his cunning, military skill, political insights and allegiance to the plebeian class. In fast-paced prose and detailed historical sketches, Freeman traces Caesar's life from early youth onward, covering his marriage and service as a priest (or pontifex); his election to pontifex maximus in 63 B.C.; his command of Roman forces in the Gallic Wars; his ascension to leader of the republic; and his famous assassination. Drawing on Caesar's own writings, Freeman portrays him as a brilliant military strategist whose defense of Roman land in the Gallic Wars extended the rule of Rome from Italy to the Atlantic. Caesar returned to Italy in 49 B.C. and became dictator three years later, seeking to improve the republic through civic reforms, including the taking of a proper census, the building of a library, the codification of Roman law and the conversion of Rome to a solar calendar. Although Freeman's biography reveals little new information about Caesar, his cultural and historical knowledge bring the emperor to life and humanize him in a way no writer before him has succeeded in doing. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Week 10: Thu., Dec. 15, 2016
The Ides of March

LECTURE

The assassination of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC by a conspiracy of powerful Roman politicians ended the Republic. We will never know whether Caesar himself was intending to end the Republic and assume total dictatorial power. His enemies thought that was exactly what he intended. Some, like Cicero, approved the deed after it was done, but knew nothing about the plot beforehand. His reaction is recorded in his letters written immediately after the murder and recounting the days after March 15, when important young men such as Brutus debated what to do next.

REQUIRED READING

Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part VI, "Caesar."

RECOMMENDED READING

Adrian Goldsworthy,

Caesar: Life of a Colossus,

Yale University Press,

ISBN 0300126891

Goldsworthy has an excellent account of March 15, 44 BC.

Caesar_1865