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Experiencing Rome

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Wish list 0. Your Wish List is empty. Existing Customer Sign In Email. Create Your Account Already have an Account? Create Account. Course No. Professor Steven L. Share This Course. Choose a Format. No Streaming Available Unavailable. Add to Cart Add to Wishlist. A Unique Opportunity to Explore the Roots of Our Own Culture In this fascinating course on the visual nature of ancient Rome, Professor Tuck helps you understand the foundations of your own culture that simply cannot be conveyed through standard courses in art, ancient history, architecture, or religion.

Deceased family members were represented in a home's public areas by mementos of accomplishments, such as military trophies or the blood-stained armor of defeated foes, and also by imagines of those decedents—images rendered in the form of portrait busts or wax death masks. Rome's imperial baths: In a culture in which so many of the institutions that define Rome were off limits to most people, you see how Rome's magnificent public bathing spas were an exception—a chance for every Roman to experience the tangible benefits of empire and wealth.

Free of charge and extraordinarily opulent, these grand complexes were used by everyone, from slaves to the emperor himself. Within their lavish walls, favors would be curried and the obligations of the elite met.

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Rome's triumphal arches: The triumphal arches that line the great avenues of Rome—and have inspired similar structures throughout the world—represent perhaps the quintessential form of Roman monument. In the stories told by their carvings, as well as by their very presence, they serve, as Professor Tuck notes, to "literally petrify victory imagery in stone," making ephemeral events permanent in the eyes of both the subsequent processions that march beneath them and the Romans who line the streets to watch. A Stunning View of Ancient Rome Representing the most extensive investment we've ever put into a course, this provocative and lavish learning experience is different from any visual course The Teaching Company has ever presented.

Hide Full Description. Average 30 minutes each. You examine the visual nature of Roman society and the key role of spectacular display—ranging from its center in the Roman Forum to its frontiers. This lecture provides the chronological, thematic, and geographical framework for understanding the visual components of the Roman Empire, especially how different forms of governments and their citizens affect their art, architecture, and public display.

You learn the fundamental role of Rome's military in expanding the empire through conquest and in creating and projecting the image of Roman power, as well as in introducing non-Romans to Roman values and identity. Conquest provided a reason for triumphal processions, sacrifices, games, and other grand spectacles.

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It also allowed for public and religious participation in a reinforcement of Roman values and identity. You tour the palaces of Rome's powerful rulers to see how power and culture were displayed in forms that were admired and imitated by lower social classes. As a stage for political, religious, and social display, the houses of Roman elites celebrated Roman virtues and cultural identity, reinforcing to social equals and inferiors the influence of the inhabitants.

You tour the largest house in Pompeii and an enormous pleasure villa along the Bay of Naples, seeing how Greek material became the standard for Roman prestige display in public and private venues. The House of Octavius Quartio in Pompeii offers an example of what has been termed "middle-class emulation" of the elite use of Greek material. As Romans used their homes to declare their values and identities, they also used visual display to proclaim their religious beliefs. Roman religious space was organized around sacrifice and procession but with an absence of congregational space.

You look at sanctuaries, altars, and temples as spaces for interaction with the divine. You trace a Roman elite funeral as a public and often political statement designed to celebrate the extended Roman family, its place in society, and its contribution to the Roman state. The Roman Forum, which encompassed religious, legal, commercial, and recreational spaces, reflected the forms of government and the role of elite male public service in creating public space.

Experiencing Rome: culture, identity and power in the Roman Empire | University of Nottingham

This lecture examines the purposes of spectacles, the buildings themselves, their role in reinforcing Roman social and political power, and the parts played by various participants in the spectacles. You explore the different types of gladiators, armor, weapons, and training, as well as how gladiators in the republic differed from those in the empire. Gladiators were highly skilled, specifically trained, and determined not just to kill but to entertain and display virtus, the quality of courage or martial prowess that defined Roman manhood. The animal hunts staged in Rome's amphitheaters were wildly popular, the final stage of a process that symbolized the power of Rome over the dangers of nature—especially exotic foreign nature.

Spectacular prisoner executions were used to fulfill Roman notions of punishment—reciprocal, exemplary, and public—while instructing spectators in the fates of those who reject Roman law and values. Christian martyrdom represented a confrontation of cultural values. While Rome sought to punish with public, shameful deaths those who rejected its legal, social, and political rules, Christians saw the condemned as heroes, who celebrated their status as devout followers of Christ. This lecture explores the critical role of games in a small community, where they reinforced the prestige of patrons, bolstered the political system, and were an outlet for community identity.

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The grandest of Roman spectacles might have been the aquatic displays. This lecture introduces you to nonblood sports and mock naval battles, held in large artificial basins and flooded theaters and amphitheaters designed for that purpose. For sheer scale and audience, no spectacle in ancient Rome competed with chariot races, especially those held in Rome's vast Circus Maximus. You explore how this originally Greek competition became a highly organized Roman institution. This re-creation of an ordinary Roman's experience at the Circus Maximus shows what the races contributed to the urban experience and how they were a spectacular diversion from the everyday.

You explore the rich variety of forms of entertainment in the Roman theater, including music and dance, choral performances, and the wildly popular Roman institution of mime, more pageant than pantomime. Several emperors—including Caligula, Nero, Domitian, and Commodus—chose to participate in spectacles.

This lecture discusses their motivations, performances, and the inevitable consequences. You look at the individual forums created by Julius Caesar, Augustus, Vespasian, Domitian, and Trajan, which answered a need for expanded public space and also allowed for buildings and decorations that reinforced each emperor's rule.


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You learn how these structures, through the rich sculptural reliefs and statues that covered them, celebrated imperial achievements and policy and the socially formative acts of emperors. Rome's public bath complexes provided a way for everyone to gain tangible benefits from Rome's political system and military successes.