You are here

CL AR 342 A: Roman Art And Archaeology

Three views of ancient roman architecture and painting
Meeting Time: 
MWF 2:00pm - 3:20pm
OUG 136
Joint Sections: 
ART H 342 A
Headshot of Sarah Levin-Richardson
Sarah Levin-Richardson

Syllabus Description:

ARTH/CLAR 342: Roman Art and Archaeology

5 credits

Winter 2023

MWF 2-3:20pm

OUG 136



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

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Office Hours: Wednesdays 3:30-4:20pm in person (I wear a mask when holding office hours in my office; Zoom option available, too—please email me in advance so I can set it up) and by appointment

Office: Denny 227; enter the main doors of Denny, pass the water fountain and elevator, and it’s the

first office on the left



This class explores the art, architecture, and archaeology of the ancient Romans and those living under Roman colonization from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE. From monuments created by women and enslaved individuals, to the public structures of the city of Rome (such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon), to the local art that persisted in Roman-occupied Britain, Egypt, Libya, Spain, and Syria, this class pays particular attention to how identities were created through art and architecture.


Learning Objectives

  1. Be able to identify and correctly apply art-historical terminology and concepts
  2. Be able to locate Roman art and architecture within its geographic context
  3. Be able to situate and discuss Roman art, architecture, and archaeology within its geographical, historical, and social/cultural context
  4. Be able to analyze and discuss the intersection of Roman art, architecture, and archaeology with power and various types of identities


Supporting your learning and well being

If you know of something that might affect your learning (technology problems; 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:

  • UW Academic Support:
  • UW Counseling Center:
  • Husky Health and Well-Being:
  • 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 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 .


Required Readings

The required textbook for this class is listed below and can be purchased or rented from the U bookstore ( ($58 for digital rental), from ($49.30 for digital rental), and from other sites, and there will be a copy on reserve in Odegaard. Other required readings can be found on the course website. Each lecture in the schedule below has one or more readings to be read in advance of that class session. For the second class, for example, please have read pages 20-33 and 36-37 of the course textbook (which I refer to as Fullerton on the schedule) before coming to class. 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 attending class.


Fullerton, Mark. 2019. Roman Art & Archaeology: 753 BCE to 337 CE. Thames & Hudson.


Assignments and Grading

  • Canvas Quizzes: see schedule below. The lowest three quizzes will be dropped. 40%
  • Exam 1: Monday February 6, in-person during class time. Covers readings, lectures, and other class material from Week 1 W – Week 5 W. 25%
  • Exam 2: Friday March 10, in-person during class time. Covers readings, lectures, and other class material from Week 6 W-Week 10 M. 25%
  • Final assignment: Submit on Canvas by Tuesday March 14 4:20pm. Covers readings, lectures, and other class material from the whole course. 10%


Canvas quizzes to be completed before each class session will assess the vocabulary/terminology you learned in the previous class session (see learning objective 1 above). Exams will assess your knowledge of geography (learning objective 2 above) and ask you to analyze Roman art and architecture in its historical, cultural, and social contexts (learning objective 3 above). The final assignment asks students, in whatever medium they prefer (writing, visual art, audio clip, etc.), to engage with four examples from class of identity being created through art and architecture (learning objective 4 above). More information about each assignment will be posted in advance on Canvas.


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


Further Expectations:

  • COVID and Wellness
  • No recording, photographing, posting, or distributing 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 Canvas and your UW email daily; this is how I will communicate with you about pertinent information. You are responsible for all information disseminated over email and through the course website.
    • I’m available in 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. I’m also happy to chat about any other class-related concerns you have, or 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. Failure to adhere to these policies will be considered an academic integrity violation and can be reported to the Office of Student Conduct, and you might receive a zero on the assignment. If you have any questions about what is or is not allowable for an assignment, I’d be more than happy to clarify!
    • 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. Due to University policy, I cannot discuss grades over email.


Schedule of Topics and Required Readings

Week 1: The Mediterranean from 1000-500 BCE

W Jan 4: Introduction; The Greeks and Italy

F Jan 6: The Etruscans and Italy [note: class is prerecorded; look under Panopto tab]

  • Fullerton 20-33 (skip “Romulus’s Rome” on p. 22, and stop before section on “The François Tomb at Vulci” on p. 33), 36-37 (stop at end of p. 37 before “During Classical and Hellenistic times”), 46 (box on “Terracotta Sculpture”)


Week 2: The Mediterranean from 1000-500 BCE; Art, Architecture and Identities during the Roman Regal Period and Republic

M Jan 9: The Phoenicians and Italy. QUIZ 1 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 1 W and F)

  • Doak, Brian R. and Carolina López-Ruiz. 2019. “Introduction.” The Oxford Handbook of the Phoenician and Punic Mediterranean, ed. Brian R. Doak and Carolina López-Ruiz Oxford.
  • Hayne, Jeremy Mark. 2019. “The Italian Peninsula.” The Oxford Handbook of the Phoenician and Punic Mediterranean, ed. Brian R. Doak and Carolina López-Ruiz Oxford.

W Jan 11: Roman Regal Period and transition to Republic. QUIZ 2 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 2 M)

  • Fullerton 18-19, 22 (the box on “Romulus’s Rome), 44-47 (stop before section “The Legacy of Etruscan Art”)
  • 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”)]

F Jan 20: Public Art during the Republic. QUIZ 3 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 2 W)

  • Fullerton 48-73


Week 3: Art, Architecture and Identities during the Roman Republic


W Jan 18: Art of the Household during the Republic. QUIZ 4 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 2 F)

  • Fullerton 74-99

F Jan 120: From Republic to Empire. QUIZ 5 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 3 W)

  • Fullerton 100-125


Week 4: Art, Architecture and Identities during the Roman Republic and Early Empire

M Jan 23: Culture contact; Etruscans during the Roman Republic. QUIZ 6 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 3 F)

  • 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]

  • Fullerton 33-36 (“The François Tomb at Vulci”), 37-43 (starting with “During Classical and Hellenistic times”), 47 (section beginning “The Legacy of Etruscan Art”)

W Jan 25: Augustus. QUIZ 7 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 4 M)

  • Fullerton 128-151

F Jan 27: The Flavians QUIZ 8 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 4 W)

  • Fullerton 168-176 (stop before "Cancelleria Reliefs")
  • Fullerton 178-183 (stop before section on "Domus Flavia")
  • Fullerton 194-203 (start with paragraph beginning “This entire area…”)


Week 5: Art, Architecture, and Identities during the Early Empire

M Jan 30: Provincial and Private Art in the Early Empire. QUIZ 9 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 4 F)

  • Fullerton 204-231

W Feb 1: Black Individuals in Roman Art. COMPLETE QUIZ 10 BY CLASS TIME FOR A FREE 100 POINTS!

  • Sarah Derbew. “An Investigation of Black Figures in Classical Greek Art.” The Iris. April 25 2018.
  • Excerpts from Snowden, Frank M., Jr. 2010 [1976]. “Iconographical Evidence on the Black Populations in Greco-Roman Antiquity.” In The Image of the Black in Western Art: From the Pharaohs to the Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. David Bindman and Henry Louis Gates Jr. New Edition. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press. [in week 5 folder]

F Feb 3: Review


Week 6: Art, Architecture, and Identities during the High Empire

M Feb 6: Exam 1: Art, Architecture, and Identities through the Early Empire

W Feb 8: Trajan

  • Fullerton 234-259

F Feb 10: Hadrian and Antonines [note: class is prerecorded; look under Panopto tab] QUIZ 11 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 6 W)

  • Fullerton 260-286


Week 7: Art, Architecture, and Identities in the Provinces

M Feb 13: Provincial Art in the High Empire. QUIZ 12 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 6 F)

  • Fullerton 286-300, 304-305 [the section on “Hadrian’s Wall and the “Limits of Empire"], 306 [starting with the section on "Sculpture in the Provinces"]-310 [stop before section on Funerary Art and Sarcophagi]

W Feb 15: Northwest Provinces. QUIZ 13 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 7 M)

  • Hingley, Richard. 2012. “Exploitation and Assimilation: The Western Roman Empire from Augustus to Trajan.” In A Companion to Roman Imperialism. Brill.  265-276. [read sections 4-5]
  • Chimirri-Russell, Geraldine. 2008. “Taking an Oblique Point of View: The Challenges of Interpretation and Display in Museums.” The International Journal of the Humanities 5: 115-126.

F Feb 17: Rome and Egypt. QUIZ 14 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 7 W)

  • Riggs, Christina. 2018. “Art and Identity in Roman Egypt.” In Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World, Jeffery Spier, Timothy Potts, and Sarah E. Cole. Los Angles: J. Paul Getty Museum. Pp. 218-223.
  • Beyond the Nile catalogue entries 138-146


Week 8: Art, Architecture, and Identities in the Late Empire


W Feb 22: Severans. QUIZ 15 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 7 F)

  • Fullerton 316-341 [feel free to skip section on "Mummy portraits" on p. 322]

F Feb 24: The Art and Archaeology of Sexuality. QUIZ 16 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 8 W)

  • Beard, Mary. 2008. The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found. Belknap. [read pp. 233-240 "Visiting the Brothel" in the week 8 folder]
  • Levin-Richardson, Sarah. 2020. "Roman and Un-Roman Sex." In Un-Roman Sex: Gender, Sexuality and Lovemaking in the Roman Provinces and Frontiers, ed. R. Collins and T. Ivleva. Routledge. 346-359.


Week 9:  Art, Architecture, and Identities in the Late Empire

M Feb 27: Soldier Emperors and the Tetrarchy. QUIZ 17 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 8 F)

  • Fullerton 342-365

W March 1: Constantine [note: class is prerecorded; look under Panopto tab] QUIZ 18 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 9 M)

  • Fullerton 366-381

F March 3: NO CLASS! QUIZ 19 DUE BY CLASS TIME (on vocab from Week 9 W)


Week 10: Legacies

M March 6: Fascist Appropriations of the Roman Past.  QUIZ 20 DUE BY CLASS TIME (freebie!)

  • 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 March 8: Review

F March 10: Exam 2: Art, Architecture, and Identities in the High and Late Empire


Final Assignment due: Tuesday March 14 4:20pm



Grading scale for this course

Percentage Earned 

Grade-Point Equivalent




































































0.7 [lowest passing grade]

59 and x < 59




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: 
October 11, 2022 - 1:08pm