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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2010

T C 302 • Roman Art and Society - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43540 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
CRD 007A

Course Description

This course will examine Roman social values by way of one of the most abundant artifacts from antiquity, art. More widespread — and sometimes more honest — than the literature that has survived down to our own time, fashioned images and built space made cultural codes available to people of all classes, fortunes, and occupations. To the aristocratic connoisseur of Greek culture just as to the simple slave serving him dinner, to the gladiator and to his wealthy patroness, to the prostitute and the prefect, visual representation communicated the values of a complex and vibrant society. Sometimes the language of this communication is cryptic and puzzling. Students will work to find meaning in a diverse array of artworks aligned with a number of major themes. These include politics and ideology; portraits and personal identity; death and commemoration; the roles and status of women and minorities; sexuality and eroticism; life in the private sphere; urban spectacle; and religious devotion.

Among the course activities will be included a field trip to the San Antonio Museum of Art. Students will have the opportunity to give presentations, examine objects in depth, and formulate topics of discussion.

Grading Policy

Oral presentation on an artwork or monument. 20%
Written descriptive analysis exercises. 30%
Reviews or critiques of course readings. 10%
Final evaluation. 20%
Class participation. 20%
Visit to San Antonio Museum of Art and attendance at University Lecture Series


(Subject to change)

E. D'Ambra, Roman Art
P. Stewart, The Social History of Roman Art
J. Clarke, Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans
P. Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus

About the Professor

Rabun Taylor specializes in the fields of Roman Archaeology, Urbanism, Roman Material Culture, and Greek and Roman Art. ??He has conducted fieldwork in? Morea and Naples.??His research and other work focuses on Greek and Roman art, architecture, archaeology, urbanism, social history, and material culture— particularly as understood through the lens of social sciences such as anthropology and religious studies.??His recent publications include Life of the Average Roman (co-edited with Mary DeMaine, 1999); ?Public Needs and Private Pleasures: Water Distribution, the Tiber River, and the Urban Development of Ancient Rome (2000); ?Roman Builders: A Study in Architectural Process (2003); and ?The Moral Mirror of Roman Art (2008). ?He is currently the co-author, with Joseph Alchermes, of a forthcoming book on ancient Naples.


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