CLASS DESCRIPTION
Covering Ancient Rome from 133 BCE, this course explores political, social, and economic factors commonly offered to explain the fall of the Roman Republic: growth of the territorial empire, increased intensity of aristocratic competition, transformation of the Italian economy, growth of the city of Rome and dependence of the urban plebs, changes in military recruitment, and dependence of soldiers on their generals. There is an emphasis on the reading of ancient sources in translation, including Cicero, Sallust, Caesar, Augustus, Appian, Plutarch, and Suetonius.

Ancient Sources Available Online at LacusCurtius: Into the Roman World.

This class will be followed by another 8-week class: The Three-Headed Monster: Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Know the primary historical events of the Roman Republic starting in 133BCE;
2. Critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Roman system;
3. Discuss in detail and with nuance the causes and effects of the change in the Republic’s governance over time;
4. Engage with ancient political theorists like Polybius and Cicero, as well as modern ones, in discussions about the nature of the Republic; and
5. Relate in what ways the Roman system validly anticipates modern political problems.

OUR APPROACH TO HISTORY
Polyhistoria classes emphasize critical thinking, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. We believe that students learn history best by doing what professional historians do.

(Read more about our approach to history.)

ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS
1) Students’ cameras and microphones must be turned on during the class.
2) This class requires the continuous use of logical thinking & hypothetical reasoning skills to critically and creatively analyze the topics covered in the class. These cognitive functions are generally not sufficiently developed until a student is 13+ years old. Students must have the ability to think critically and logically to analyze the topics covered in the class.

CLASS FORMAT
This class is taught with cliffhanger lecturing and instructor storytelling techniques designed to develop critical thinking skills and initiate lots of learner interaction.

LEARNER TIME
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 0 – 1 hours per week outside of class.

SUBJECTS
History, Classical Studies

Meets once a week for 8 weeks
4 – 9 learners, ages 13-17

CLASS TOPICS

(Aug 7)
WEEK I
The Roman story begins in the emptiness of exile and alienation. The Romans are people who have suffered great injustice, and, in attempting to extract themselves from this past, struggle with their capacity for committing crimes and creating more Romans in imperial overreach. Vergil expresses this boundless sense of expansion as Roman imperium sine fine, “power without limit.” Why and how do the conquered become the conquerors?

REFERENCES
Articles:
1. “Rome’s ’empire without end’” by Nandini Pandey

Books:
1. “The Poetics of Power in Augustan Rome” (Cambridge 2018) by Nandini Pandey
2. “Aeneid” by Virgil
3. “Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age” Reprint Edition by Peter Green
4. “Plutarch’s Lives Volume 1” by Plutarch
5. “A History of the Ancient World” by Chester G. Starr
6. “The Roman Revolution” Revised Edition by Ronald Syme
7. “Rubicon” by Tom Holland
8. “The Roman Republic” Second Edition by Michael Crawford
9. “The Last Generation of the Roman Republic” by Erich S. Gruen
10. “The Fall of the Roman Republic” (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) 2nd Edition by David Shotter
11. “Caesar and Christ: A History of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from Their Beginnings to A.D. 325” (Story of Civilization) by Will Durant
12. “Rome, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the First Multinational Corporation” by Stanley Bing
13. “The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic” (Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures) by Fergus Millar

(Aug 14)
WEEK II

The wars which elevate Rome to superpower status also sow the seed for the downfall of its political system. Money, slaves, ambition, political stalemate, and class warfare prove to be a toxic, bloody mix.

REFERENCES
1. “Lives” by Plutarch
2. “Civil Wars” by Appian
3. “Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age” Reprint Edition by Peter Green
4. “Plutarch’s Lives Volume 1” by Plutarch
5. “A History of the Ancient World” by Chester G. Starr
6. “The Roman Revolution” Revised Edition by Ronald Syme
7. “Rubicon” by Tom Holland
8. “The Roman Republic” Second Edition by Michael Crawford
9. “The Last Generation of the Roman Republic” by Erich S. Gruen
10. “The Fall of the Roman Republic” (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) 2nd Edition by David Shotter
11. “Caesar and Christ: A History of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from Their Beginnings to A.D. 325” (Story of Civilization) by Will Durant
12. “Rome, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the First Multinational Corporation” by Stanley Bing
13. “The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic” (Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures) by Fergus Millar

(Aug 21 & Aug 28)
WEEK III & IV
Disaster threatens the Republic, but the cure might be worse than the disease. The story continues with ambition-addict Marius dominating the story and Plutarch dominating the sources.

REFERENCES
1. “Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age” Reprint Edition by Peter Green
2. “Plutarch’s Lives Volume 1” by Plutarch
3. “A History of the Ancient World” by Chester G. Starr
4. “The Roman Revolution” Revised Edition by Ronald Syme
5. “Rubicon” by Tom Holland
6. “The Roman Republic” Second Edition by Michael Crawford
7. “The Last Generation of the Roman Republic” by Erich S. Gruen
8. “The Fall of the Roman Republic” (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) 2nd Edition by David Shotter
9. “Caesar and Christ: A History of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from Their Beginnings to A.D. 325” (Story of Civilization) by Will Durant
10. “Rome, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the First Multinational Corporation” by Stanley Bing
11. “The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic” (Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures) by Fergus Millar
12. ”History of Rome” by Michael Grant
13. “The Civil Wars” by Appian (Author), John Carter (Translator)
14. “The Roman Triumph” by Mary Beard
15. “The Celtic Empire: The First Millennium of Celtic History, 1000BC – AD51” by Peter Berresford Ellis

(Sep 4 & Sep 11)
WEEK V & VI
Rome’s political violence expands in intensity from riots and assassinations to outright war as the hyper-ambitious generals Marius and Sulla tear the Republic and its constitution apart vying for power and glory.

REFERENCES
1. “Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age” Reprint Edition by Peter Green
2. “Plutarch’s Lives Volume 1” by Plutarch
3. “A History of the Ancient World” by Chester G. Starr
4. “The Roman Revolution” Revised Edition by Ronald Syme
5. “Rubicon” by Tom Holland
6. “The Roman Republic” Second Edition by Michael Crawford
7. “The Last Generation of the Roman Republic” by Erich S. Gruen
8. “The Fall of the Roman Republic” (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) 2nd Edition by David Shotter
9. “Caesar and Christ: A History of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from Their Beginnings to A.D. 325” (Story of Civilization) by Will Durant
10. “Rome, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the First Multinational Corporation” by Stanley Bing
11. “The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic” (Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures) by Fergus Millar
12. ”History of Rome” by Michael Grant
13. “The Civil Wars” by Appian (Author), John Carter (Translator)
14. “The Roman Triumph” by Mary Beard
15. “The Celtic Empire: The First Millennium of Celtic History, 1000BC – AD51” by Peter Berresford Ellis
16. “Classical Bearings” by Green
17. “The Outline of History” by H. G. Wells
18. “The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome” by Susan Wise Bauer
19. “Catiline’s War, The Jurgurthine War, Histories” Unabridged by Sallust
20. “Caesar: Life of a Colossus” by Adrian Goldsworthy
21. “Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician”
by Anthony Everitt

(Sep 18 & Sep 25)
WEEK VII & VIII
Sulla returns to Rome to show the Republic what REAL political violence looks like. Civil war and deadly partisan payback will pave the way for reforms pushed at sword point. Lots of heads will roll.

REFERENCES
1. “Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age” Reprint Edition by Peter Green
2. “Plutarch’s Lives Volume 1” by Plutarch
3. “A History of the Ancient World” by Chester G. Starr
4. “The Roman Revolution” Revised Edition by Ronald Syme
5. “Rubicon” by Tom Holland
6. “The Roman Republic” Second Edition by Michael Crawford
7. “The Last Generation of the Roman Republic” by Erich S. Gruen
8. “The Fall of the Roman Republic” (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) 2nd Edition by David Shotter
9. “Caesar and Christ: A History of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from Their Beginnings to A.D. 325” (Story of Civilization) by Will Durant
10. “Rome, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the First Multinational Corporation” by Stanley Bing
11. “The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic” (Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures) by Fergus Millar
12. ”History of Rome” by Michael Grant
13. “The Civil Wars” by Appian (Author), John Carter (Translator)
14. “The Roman Triumph” by Mary Beard
15. “The Celtic Empire: The First Millennium of Celtic History, 1000BC – AD51” by Peter Berresford Ellis
16. “Classical Bearings” by Green
17. “The Outline of History” by H. G. Wells
18. “The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome” by Susan Wise Bauer
19. “Catiline’s War, The Jurgurthine War, Histories” Unabridged by Sallust
20. “Caesar: Life of a Colossus” by Adrian Goldsworthy
21. “Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician”
by Anthony Everitt



HAVE DOUBTS, QUESTIONS, OR SUGGESTIONS?
Feel free to send me an email at Crystal@polyhistoria.com