Jason S Shattuck
Introduction to the discipline of history for new or prospective majors. Emphasizes the basic skills of reading, analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the historian's craft. Each seminar discusses a different subject or problem.
The course covers one of the best known aspects of the Roman Empire: its spectacles. It will examine a wide range of issues related to spectacle, from basic logistics - how to provide the entertainment and house the audience - to larger symbolic issues - why did the Romans spend so much money and effort on spectacle? Working with architectural, literary, numismatic, and artistic sources, the class will investigate a variety of spectacle entertainments, including gladiatorial combat, beast hunts, triumphs, and stage plays. It will focus on developing written and oral arguments, culminating in the production of a research paper investigating an aspect of spectacle.
Student learning goals
Develop the skills necessary to construct a historical research paper, beginning from gathering evidence to the final draft
Gain a familiarity with the wide world of Roman spectacle
Ability to work with ancient literary and material sources
General method of instruction
Combination of lecture, media, and discussion.
A background in Roman history will be helpful, although not required
Class assignments and grading
Primarily written assignments (the drafts and final version of the research paper, as well as a variety of smaller written assignments) and discussion.