Expressions of Power in Antiquity
National University of Ireland, Galway
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits2
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units3
Hours & Credits
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).
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.
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