ANCH 046. The History and Archaeology of the Late Roman Empire
This course will examine the history and archaeology of the late Roman Empire from its height under Septimius Severus (ca. 193-211 CE), through the “conversion” of Constantine and the foundation of Constantinople, to the sack of Rome by Alaric the Visigoth (ca. 410 CE). The course will involve an historical overview of this period, with a view to understanding the social, political and military aspects of the empire, as well as the religious and cultural conflicts that emerged between pagans and Christians and within the Church itself. We will draw on a wide range of evidence to explore these themes, focusing on the close reading of works of ancient literature. Principal texts include the accounts of Christian martyrs, Eusebius, Ammianus Marcellinus, and Augustine. In order to enhance and complicate these accounts, we will also examine the archaeological remains of the empire, focusing on those recovered from the city of Rome, the important provincial centers of North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, and the frontiers of the empire. The class takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of history, and as such its main goals are to learn the history of the late Roman Empire and to interpret material and visual culture within its historical context.
Catalog chapter: Classics
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/classics
Check the Fall 2020 Schedule of Courses
Check the Spring 2021 Schedule of Courses