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ARTH 240

Rome: City and Myth

This interdisciplinary course is organized both chronologically and thematically. It covers the period from the Renaissance to Fascism with ancient Rome being an overarching theme, since antiquity (its physical remains, how it was mythologized, conceptualized and fantasized in history, literature, travel writing and film) has been so integral to Roman identity through time and so much a part of the fabric of how others have conceptualized Rome as well. In dealing with Rome as a material entity, we cover primarily architecture, public sculpture and urban planning which were all driven by complex political, social, religious and aesthetic motivations that got encoded in the imagery. In dealing with Rome as an accumulation of 'mythic' narratives about the city, we look at poetry, short stories, novels, films, letters, journals and other forms of travel writing -- created by some of the many footloose pilgrims -- men and women of different time periods and nationalities--some famous and some not --who have journeyed to Rome and been forever changed by the experience. The 'real' and the 'mythic' Romes are, in the end, impossible to pry apart, so interwoven is the dream of this urban landscape with its material reality. May count towards European Studies minor.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course