The City of Rome (CLAM046)

StaffDr Christopher Siwicki - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF LevelM
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks; Term 3: 8 weeks;

Module aims

The module provides students with detailed, first-hand knowledge of key sites and monuments in and around Rome. It examines the city as a whole - the topography, development and function of the imperial capital - and analyses selected monuments in terms of their structural history, their architectural characteristics, their place in the development of the urban plan, their social, economic and religious function and their subsequent use and influence. The aim will be to acquire a good understanding of the material/visual basis of the city of Rome and be able to contextualise it in terms of the historical and socio-cultural processes.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. direct knowledge of archaeological sites and monuments relevant to the history of Rome;
  • 2. the ability to correlate material remains with other evidence for the topography, the development and socio-economic history of the city and its hinterland.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. an independent understanding of the relationships between the material evidence and the context creation, use, reuse and position within its environment;
  • 4. informed capacity to identify different forms of art and architecture within the city and to analyse them chronologically and typologically.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. the ability to integrate personal observation of material evidence with a wide range of other kinds of evidence and to form independent inferences and analyses basesd on observation and guided research;
  • 6. adaptability to learning and social environments, working as part of a team in gaining information and deploying new experiences, working within a set framework in a different country and academic institution;
  • 7. skills in constructing, and defending a sustained argument (in oral and written form);
  • 8. working, with instructor and peers in an independent, constructive and responsive way.

Syllabus plan

Exeter (2 seminars)

1. A historical overview of the city of Rome and some key debates.

2. The archaeology of the city comparing Republican and Imperial Rome.

Rome (8 weeks of lectures and seminars, field-trips, and independent supervised study in the BSR Library)
One half of the course is devoted to site visits led by the Module Director in Rome and Tutors, supplemented by lectures and seminars given by distinguished guest speakers. The other half is reserved for individual study supervised by the Module Director in Rome. The course begins with a discussion of the topography and infrastructures of the city, and continues with detailed study of the most important monuments of the Roman period, emphasising recent discoveries and controversies. It concludes with a discussion of the relation of the city to its suburbium, including Ostia and the Port of Rome. Some topics may be chosen to suit the research needs of the students or the interests of the guest speakers.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching4including the field course/residency:The module director will run two preparatory two-hour seminars on the background history, archaeology and monuments of Rome and organise the first written assignment (of two) before the students go to Rome (4000 words).
Placement/study abroad296Eight weeks residence in Rome at the British School at Rome (BSR). This would be divided into two elements, lectures and seminar based at

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral element (including major presentation)40

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

D. Buitron Oliver, The interpretation of Architectural Sculpture in Greece and Rome (London 1997), 193-218.
J. Coulstron, H. Dodge (eds.), Ancient Rome: the Archaeology of the Eternal City (Oxford 2000).
C. Edwards, G. Woolf, Rome the Cosmopolis (Cambridge 2003).

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