Expressions of Power in Antiquity

University of Galway

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Expressions of Power in Antiquity

  • Host University

    University of Galway

  • Location

    Galway, Ireland

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Part 1 - This part of the module examines the material remains of pre-Roman Italy and the Roman Republic. It explores how élite groups expressed their authority, and above all else their status, through material displays of wealth and public benefactions. We will begin with an overview of the Etruscans; studying the architecture, temples and complex funerary monuments of aristocratic groups, and how these were employed to help maintain and establish power over sub-élite and competing groups. Moving on to the Roman Republic, we consider how the leading Romans families used similar methods to display their status. We investigate the phenomenon of the ?Roman Villa?, the patronage of monuments and public amenities and portraiture.

    Part 2 ? The art of persuasive speech, and indeed script, constituted a major instrument of power in Rome and, as such, this part of the course will explore how this power was wielded and exploited by various political authorities. In the lecture series we will be examining powerful exchanges (encompassing speeches and written correspondence) between the leading men of Rome. Our investigation will begin with the great trials, speeches and letters of Cicero, followed by an excursus on the nature of patronage and poetic sub-text in Virgil and Ovid, and culminating with an examination of Pliny as either self-promoter or humble servant.We will introduce a range of letters, orations, poetic verse, legal prosecutions and defenses and will explore the political, educational and administrative contexts behind their delivery. The survival of the associated texts serves to mould our appreciation, and perhaps also fuel our misconceptions, of the reputations of the leading men in Rome (and the regimes under which they rose to prominence).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.