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Course - Art and power in the Roman empire

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Comments about Course - Art and power in the Roman empire - At the institution - London - Greater London

  • Course description
    What is the course about?

    The mysterious Etruscans whose frescoed tombs contained exotic jewellery and masterpieces in bronze. Greek cities in Italian colonies included some of the loveliest in the classical world. These were the inspiration for Imperial Rome. This destiny required a new grandeur expressed in massive architecture, exquisite gems and fine art.

    Generations of rulers, including imperial women, left vivid portraits in sculptures, cameos and coins. It is fascinating to match images of Livia or Nero, for example, with ancient historical descriptions of them. Roman art can only be understood in terms of the great issues of the day including: the nature of the gods and of government, of identity, status, sexuality and gender, morality and death. The evidence is fascinating and often beautiful.

    What topics will we cover?


    Art used to exploit the power of spectacle and manipulate the viewer. Stunning portraits in sculptures and coins.

    Rich jewellery – especially cameos.

    Magnificent architecture – arches, vaults & domes adventurously enclosed vast and complex spaces.

    Precious marbles, gorgeous mosaics, wonderful wall paintings.

    The majesty and prestige of Roman art was a model for the powers of Western Europe from late antiquity to modern times.

    By the end of this course you should be able to:

    - Have gained a critical understanding of the art, archaeology and ancient texts of this period.
    - Have gained knowledge and understanding of the issues and debates relating to Roman art.
    - Be able to think critically and independently about what you have seen and read.

    What level is the course?


    No previous knowledge of the subject is expected. But any students with prior knowledge of the Roman Empire will find it enhances their understanding.

    How will I be taught?

    Illustrated lectures using slides. Discussion, readings and analysis of original texts (in translation) in the form of handouts. Discussions and questions.

    Are there any other costs (e.g. certification, materials, equipment or books I need to buy)?

    No. A book list for optional reading will be supplied at the start of the course.

    What feedback will I get?

    You will receive regular feedback from your tutor throughout the course, as and when appropriate. At the end of the course you and your tutor are asked to assess the progress you have made.

    Will I have a chance to give my views on the course?

    Yes, please complete the evaluation form at the end of your course. These are monitored and help us to continually improve our courses.

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