Early Roman Expansionism

Early Roman Expansionism and Imperialism in Italy

Date: 8-21 April 2015

Deadline for applications: 1 February 2015

MA/ PhD MASTERCLASS in collaboration with Leiden University

Teaching staff: Dr. J. Pelgrom (KNIR); Dr. T. D. Stek (University of Leiden) and guest lecturers

Credits: 6 ECTS


Apply before
1 February 2015

Course content
The question how Rome won its empire is as old as the study of Roman history and continues to dominate modern scholarship. An important difficulty these studies encounter is that the available textual sources describe and explain Roman imperial success from hindsight, thus after Rome had defeated most of the Hellenistic states. As a consequence, the explanations these anachronistic sources offer are mostly teleological and Romano-centric. Instead, this course adopts a synchronic approach by analyzing the available material record of mid-Republican Rome as well as that of two of its most important rivals in Italy: the Etruscans and the Samnites. The course starts with two introductory lectures, after which the archaeology of Mid-Republican Rome will be analyzed on-site and in the various museums. Amongst other things, we will study Roman defensive works, military organization and technology, triumphal architecture, but also burial customs, housing and iconography. In the second week, Roman military and societal organization will be compared with that of the Etruscans and the Samnites. We will visit key-sites of these peoples, such as Veii, Cerveteri, Pietrabondante and Bovianum, as well as Roman colonial sites that were installed to control these regions after the conquest.

Form of education
On-site classes, library assignments, excursions

Assessment & Grading
Participants are required to give an on-site oral presentation and write a short essay on the question how Rome won its Empire.

Target Group
Students in Classics, (Ancient) History, Archaeology, Political sciences enrolled in one of the Dutch universities. The maximum number of participants is 8.

Participating students will receive free tuition, accommodation in Rome and Molise, and excursions (including most entry fees for museums and archaeological sites). Travel expenses to and from Rome, and meals are not included.