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CL AR 342 A: Roman Art And Archaeology

Collage of ancient Roman architecture including the Colosseum and Pantheon
Meeting Time: 
MWF 8:30am - 9:20am
ART 003
Joint Sections: 
ART H 342 A
Headshot of Sarah Levin-Richardson
Sarah Levin-Richardson

Syllabus Description:

ARTH/CLAR 342: Roman Art and Archaeology

Spring 2020

MWF 8:30-9:20am


All class lectures will be posted on Canvas via Panopto

All quizzes, exams, and assignments will be completed online


Prof. Levin-Richardson (you can call me Professor Levin-Richardson, Professor L-R, or just Professor)

Office Hours:  Zoom by appointment



This class explores the art, architecture, and archaeology of the ancient Romans, including their most famous sites and monuments (such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon) as well as the art and objects that illuminate society (including women and slaves) more broadly. This course progresses from Rome’s hut dwellings of the 8th century BCE, through the height of the Roman Empire across Europe, Africa, and the Near East in the 2nd century CE, to the transformation of the Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire in the 4th century CE.


Learning Objectives:

  • Be able to discuss major works of Roman art, architecture, and archaeology
  • Be able to situate and discuss Roman art, architecture, and archaeology within its historical and social/cultural context
  • Be able to analyze and discuss the intersection of Roman art, architecture, and archaeology with power and various types of identities
  • Explore the ways in which Roman art influences, and is influenced by, modern cultures


Learning Support:

If you know of something that might affect your learning (health or family crisis; religious observance) please contact me as soon as possible, ideally at the beginning of the quarter, so that I can make appropriate accommodations. Below you can find further resources:

  • Disability Resources for Students:
    • If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.
    • If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.
  • Religious Accommodations:
    • Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy . Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form .
  • UW Academic Support:
  • UW Counseling Center:


Required Readings:

The required textbook for this class is listed below and can be purchased or rented from and other sites, as well as from the U bookstore. (Renting the e-book from amazon is about $25.)  Please be sure to get the right edition of the textbook (check the ISBN numbers to make sure it matches those listed below). Other required readings can be found on the course website. Each lecture in the schedule below has one or more readings to be read for that class session. For the second class, for example, please have read pages xxi-xxvi of the course textbook (which I refer to as Kleiner on the schedule). These readings are a starting point for class lectures, which often will expand upon the assigned readings and/or present new material. Thus, I strongly recommend careful reading of the assigned material as well as watching the lectures.


Kleiner, Fred. A History of Roman Art, Enhanced Edition. Wadsworth Publishing, 2010. [ISBN: 0495909874]



  • Exam 1: 35% (Friday May 1;  due online by the end of class time; covers material from W April 1-W April 29)
  • Exam 2: 35% (Friday May 29; due online by the end of class time; covers material from M May 4- W May 27)
  • Quizzes: 20% (online via Canvas; see syllabus for quiz dates; lowest quiz is dropped)
  • Writing assignment: 10% (due online Tuesday June 9 by 10.20 am; covers material from the entire course)


Your final course grade is calculated from these assignments in the proportions given. Please prepare carefully for these assignments, and please email me in advance if you have any questions about how to best prepare. There will be no extra credit.


Further Expectations:

  • Online
    • No posting or sharing of course materials of any kind is permitted without my written authorization.
    • The University of Washington prohibits the selling of notes online or through any other channels.
  • Getting in touch with each other
    • Please check your UW email daily; this is how I will communicate with you about pertinent information (like if/when we move to an in-person format). You are responsible for all information disseminated over email and through the course website.
    • I’m available via virtual office hours for you! If you are anxious about assignments, please set up a time well in advance of the assignment or exam so we can discuss strategies over Zoom. I’m also happy to chat about any other class-related concerns you have, or (on a happier note), study abroad opportunities, how to follow your interest in archaeology or ancient history, etc. I am happy to answer questions over email, but please check the syllabus first to see whether the answer is there.
    • I will respond to emails by the end of the next working day (which means that if you email me on Friday afternoon, I may not respond until Monday afternoon).
  • Grading
    • Students are expected to adhere to ethical behavior in their work, including following guidelines posted for each assignment concerning group work and plagiarism/cheating.
    • I’d be happy to discuss any of your graded work with you, but I ask that you wait twenty-four hours after receiving your assignment back in order to begin to process my feedback. After the twenty-four-hour period, please feel free to email me to set up a time for a meeting. Unfortunately, I cannot discuss grades over email.


Schedule of Topics and Required Readings:

Week 1

M March 30: Introduction

W April 1:Greeks in Italy (Kleiner xxi [start with paragraph “But the Rome of popular imagination”]-xxvi [stop before section on “Etruria”])

F April 3: Etruscans in Italy (Kleiner xxvi- xxxviii [stop before “Classical Period”])


Week 2

M April 6: Roman Regal Period (Kleiner 1-4)

W April 8: Rome and Latium under the Republic (Kleiner 4-15)

F April 10: Quiz 1 on Torelli, Mario. 2006. “The Topography and Archaeology of Republican Rome,” in A Companion to the Roman Republic, eds. N. Rosenstein and R. Morestein-Marx. Blackwell. 81-101. [read only pages 81-84 (stop before the heading “The Patrician Republic”); 88 (beginning with paragraph “The ruling class of the mid-Republic…”)-94 (stop before heading “Luxuria Asiatica”)]


Week 3

M April 13: Etruscans during the Roman Republic (Kleiner xxxviii -xlvii)

W April 15: Republican Town Planning and Pompeii (Kleiner 16-29)

F April 17: Republican Domestic Architecture and Mural Painting (Kleiner 30-45)


Week 4

M April 20: Republic: From Marcellus to Caesar (Kleiner 46-59)

W April 22: Quiz 2 on Versluys, Miguel John. 2013. “Material Culture and Identity in the Late Roman Republic (c. 200–c. 20),” in Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic, ed. J. D. Evans. Blackwell. 429-440. [read only sections 2, 3; and 6: pages 431-432; 436-438]

F April 24: Augustus (Kleiner 60-73 [stop before “Mural Painting”])


Week 5

M April 27: Augustus (Kleiner 73-77)

W April 29: work on your exam :)

F May 1: Exam 1 due by 9:20am


Week 6:

M May 4: The Afterlife in the Early Empire (Kleiner 78-87)

W May 6: The Flavians and Nerva (Kleiner 120-137)

F May 8: Trajan (Kleiner 152-169)


Week 7:

M May 11: Hadrian (Kleiner 170-185)

W May 13: Antonines and Egyptian Mummies (Kleiner 187-201, 227-229)

F May 15: Quiz 3 on Lenski, Noel. 2013. “Working Models: Functional Art and Roman Conceptions of Slavery,” in Roman Slavery and Roman Material Culture, ed. M. George. University of Toronto Press. 129-157. [read only pp. 129-141 (stop before section on Dumb-Waiters), and the Conclusion on pp. 146-7]


Week 8:

M May 18: Severans (Kleiner 230-245)

W May 20: Lepcis Magna and the Eastern Provinces (Kleiner 246-261)

F May 22: The Tetrarchs and Constantine (Kleiner 278-282 [stop before “Architecture and Relief

Sculpture”]; 290-298 [stop before “Aula Palatina, Trier”])


Week 9:


W May 27: Work on your exam :)

F May 29: Exam 2 due by 9:20am


Week 10:

M June 1: Quiz 4 on Gessert, Genevieve. 2014. “Ideological Applications: Roman Architecture and Fascist Romanità,” in A Companion to Roman Architecture, ed. R. B. Ulrich and C. K. Quenemoen. Blackwell. 426-445.

W June 3: Quiz 5 on Talbot, Margaret. “The Myth of Whiteness in Classical Sculpture.” New Yorker. 29 October 2018.

F June 5: Work on your final assignment :)


Final Assignment due Tuesday June 9 10:20am



Catalog Description: 
Roman architecture and art, with emphasis on the innovations of the Romans; illustrated by slides. Offered: jointly with ART H 342.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
February 14, 2020 - 1:14pm