History of Ancient Rome


Your grade for the course will be determined from the following:

Presentation and Write-Up on a Primary Source (2) 20%
Representations and Images Essay10%
Position Paper25%
Final Exam30%

We’ll have short quizzes at the start of most class meetings. These are to help gauge our relationship with the material in the readings. Quizzes are based on the material you’ve prepared for that class, including:

  • the textbook assignment for that meeting as listed in the Schedule, and
  • the excerpt you read from De Roma for that meeting.

If you did your reading for the class, you should be prepared for the quiz. Quizzes are always based on the materials assigned for that class meeting, even if I am slightly behind the syllabus in class. Make sure to always do the assigned readings.

Missed quizzes are not made up. If you come late to class and miss a quiz, you’ll get a zero for that quiz. Therefore, please make sure you come to class on time and prepared.

Presentation on a Primary Source (2)

You’ll make two short presentations in class on one of the primary source excerpts assigned as class readings from De Roma, one in the first half of the semester and one in the second half. Your presentations will give the class your perspective on (a) what this reading means, (b) the author’s perspective on the topics, and (c) how it relates to the material being discussed in the course. Do not merely describe the reading.

Sign up for these presentations on the sign-up sheets (sign-up sheet #1, sign-up sheet #2). Your presentation will be given the day that reading is assigned on the schedule.

A 2–3 page written version is due by the next class meeting after your presentation. The requirements are given in the Essays page.

Representations and Images Essay

You’ll write an interpretive essay, a response to your choice of nonwritten artistic depictions of the ancient Roman world, including sculpture, painting, performance, or film, comparing the history that’s come down to us with how the story and ideas has been represented.

We’ll talk in class about what’s expected. The specific assignments are given in the Essays page.

Position Paper

You’ll write an essay discussing a turning point in Roman history of your choice, examining the source material, causes, and effects of the event or transformation and drawing your own conclusions about its meaning. We’ll talk about what’s expected. The requirements are given in the Essays page.

Proposal. You will submit a proposal for the paper partway through the semester, so I can give you feedback on your plans.

Optional Draft. You can submit a draft of the paper to me up to two weeks before it’s due; I’ll give you some general feedback (but not a grade). Because I accept drafts, I do not allow students to submit revised versions of their final paper after the due date.