Seminar: Early Roman Expansion and Imperialism

Early Roman Expansion and Imperialism

Date: 18-30 April 2017

Deadline for applications: 6 February 2017

KNIR course for BA and MA students in collaboration with The British School at Rome, Leiden University and Centro Didattico Internazionale di Studi Archeologici di Jelsi

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.

J. Pelgrom (KNIR); T. D. Stek (University of Leiden), Christopher Smith (BSR),  Agnese Fischetti (Groningen University), and guest lecturers.

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 KNIR partner universities (UvA, VU, UL, UU, RU and RUG), Italian and from UK universities.

The maximum number of participants is 12.

18-30 April 2017

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

The KNIR provides free lodging for the selected students from the above mentioned Dutch universities. A limited amount of UK students can be housed at the KNIR at the rate of 20 Euro per night.

Credits: 6 ECTS


Apply before
6 February 2017