Reading the Roman City
Using literary, inscriptional, archaeological and artistic evidence, this class examines the ancient Roman city of the Imperial period, focusing on the topography of Rome itself and civic centers such as Ostia and Pompeii. We will consider how Romans wrote about and depicted cities in the visual arts. We will explore a variety of public and domestic building types — sacred precincts, sites of leisure and entertainment, commercial areas, houses, villas and palaces, streets and neighborhoods – comparing ancient texts with the surviving architecture to understand how Romans of various social statuses experienced urban spaces and interacted within them. Finally, we will examine the various scholarly methods that we use today to “read” the ancient city. No prior knowledge of Latin is required.