History 204: Unit 3

Ancient Rome, Winter 2020-21

Part III: Pax Romana

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

23. The First Emperors

READ: T&B, 98-106, 219-220 (list of emperors)

How well did the system of government under the emperors work? Was it better than the Republican government? Which emperor was the best/worst? Which elements seemed to make a Roman emperor successful? Come to class prepared to develop a handbook listing the elements that determine the success of a Roman emperor. (Low homework weekend 2020 assignment. It should not take you more than 30 minutes; there will not be a quiz)

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #4.

24. The Imperial City

READ: T&B, 32-42, 107-120. E format class: Please also review the reading and your notes from class number 23 which you read last week but we didn't discuss because I showed you the film in honor of low homework weekend.

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #3.

What do we learn about the Romans by studying their infrastructure?

25. Provinces

READ: T&B, 171-180; and Ward-Perkins, 167-168 and 178-179. Tacitus, Two Views of the Provinces; Scott, Fragility of the Early State, 210-211.

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #4, 26-29.

What were the differences between the eastern and western provinces of the empire? What benefits and disadvantages did the empire bring to the provinces? How does your assessment of the benefits/disadvantages compare with your conclusions after reading assignment #23? What can we conclude, if anything, from the correspondence between Pliny the Younger and Trajan, summarized on page 174? How valid is Tacitus's criticism on pages 175-176?

26. Women and Marriage in Rome

READ: T&B, 74 (from "Marriage and Weddings")-77 (stop at "Deaths and Funerals"), 133-134 (section of "Women's Dress"); Women in Ancient Celtic Society; primary sources from As the Romans Did.

What is the role of women in Rome? What is the purpose of marriage? Are women oppressed or empowered?

27. Livia, scheming women, and the death of Augustus

READ: First read the primary documents by Tacitus and Cassius Dio in the handout "Three perspectives on the Death of Augustus."

Then READ: "The historical sources" section of Anthony Barrett's Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome.

As you read Tacitus and Dio, try to evaluate the actual evidence for the film version of August's death. How plausible is that version? Then read Barrett's essay on ancient historians. How does that essay sharpen your critical reading of the ancient historians?

28. Jews, Jesus and Romans

READ: Reza Aslan, Zealot, 90-102, 146-152; Smith, "Character and Characters"; Map of Judea.

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #24, 25.

What kind of people are the Galileans? What was happening to their way of life during Jesus's time? What are the contours of the conflicts in that part of the Empire? How did Rome insert itself into these conflicts? Was it making things worse or better? Causing them or mitigating them?

29. Debate.

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4