Monday, March 2, 2015

Assignment for Wednesday, 03-04-2015

Dear Readers of Rome

Our topic for Wednesday is the Holy Dead. We will talk about how Christianity rethinks the relation between the living and the dead, particularly the sainted dead, and how this effects their place(s) in the City.

Please do the following:

(1) Download, print and read excerpts from Peter Brown's The Cult of the Saints.

(2) Download, print and read the fact sheet about Relics in Rome.

(3) Download, print and read the very brief outline of Mysteries and the worship of Mithras, as we will be visiting a Mithraeum in Rome.

Peter Brown says that the Christian cult of the saints broke down, and occasionally inverted, the barriers of the ancient world - - barriers that were both spatial and social. Our task for Wednesday is to analyze how such Christian practices fit into prior patterns of civic life and patronage, even as they profoundly reshape those Roman patterns, and by so doing redraw the urban map. Expect me to question you about specifics from Brown's argument, so be sure to read him closely.

gs

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Quizzes for Week 7 -- Part B

Dear Roman Readers,

As promised, the third quiz for this week, due Wednesday evening (March 4), at 11:00 p.m., is now up and running

For the sake of having everything in one place, here are all the quizzes to take this week:
  • Quiz 1: Basic Roman topography (17 pts., timer now at 2 min.)
  • Quiz 13: Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (20 pts., 3 min.)
  • !!new!! Quiz 14: Peter, Paul & Mary (10 pts., 2 min.)
Quiz 14 is a multiple-choice roundup of both readings and class discussion on Peter, Paul, and Mary -- arguably the three most important Christian saints.


Good luck!

DC

Quizzes for Week 7 -- Part A

Dear Roman Readers,

Two of the quizzes for this week, due Wednesday evening (March 4), at 11:00 p.m., are now up and running. I'll blog when the third quiz is ready (sometime tomorrow).

Please take the following quizzes:
  • Quiz 1: Basic Roman topography (17 pts., timer now at 2 min.)
  • Quiz 13: Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (20 pts., 3 min.)
Quiz 13 is a multiple-choice roundup of factsheets on the history of Judaism, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Apostles.


Good luck!

DC

Friday, February 27, 2015

Assignment for Monday, 03-02-2015

Dear Readers of Rome

On Monday, we will discuss saintliness and martyrdom, which are very closely linked concepts in Christianity.

Please do the following:

(1) Download, print, and read the fact sheet about hagiography and The Golden Legend. I have also made a timeline laying out some major religious persecutions, which you can download here.

(2) Download, print, and read the essay by Carole Straw, "A Very Special Death,"which instructively sets Christian martyrdom into a Classical context.

(3) Download, print, and read the two versions of the martyrdom of R. Akiva; the notes should help you better understand these rabbinic stories.

(4) Download, print, and read the selections about Agnes, Clement, and Lawrence from The Golden Legend.

gs

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Assignment for Friday, 02-27-2015

Dear Readers of Rome,

On Friday, we will learn about Jesus' mother, Mary, a truly important figure in Christian devotion.

Please do the following:

(1) Download, print, and read the fact sheet about Mary, Mother of God.

(2) Download, print, and read the Marian selections from the New Testament.

(3) Download, print, and read the selections from the Proto-Gospel of James.

(4) Download, print, and read the Marian hymns, introduced and translated by Vasiliki Limberis.

As you do these readings, consider how Mary might be compared and contrasted with women we read about in pagan sources, such as Tarpeia or Lucretia.

gs

Monday, February 23, 2015

Assignment for Wednesday, 02-25-2015

Dear Readers of Rome,

On Wednesday, we will have a student-led discussion centered on the figures of Peter and Paul. You should all come bright-eyed and eager to aid your classmates as they conduct a rousing review of this fascinating literature!

Please do the following:

(1) Download, print, and read the fact sheet about the Apostles, Peter and Paul.

(2) Download, print, and read the primary texts, both from the canonical Acts of the Apostles, as well as from the apocryphal Acts.

(3) Download, print, and read the background reading from Bart Ehrman, Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend.

gs

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Quizzes for Week 6

Dear Roman Readers,

The last quizzes of Unit 1, due Wednesday evening (February 25), at 11:00 p.m., are now up and running.

Please take the following three quizzes:
  • Quiz 10: Basic Roman Infrastructure (19 pts., 3 min.)
  • Quiz 11: Fora, Roads, Gates, Water (31 pts., 4 min.)
  • Quiz 12: Triumphant You (15 pts., untimed)
Quiz 10, a map quiz, asks you to locate key features of Roman infrastructure. Remember to use the best browser you can, and a large monitor.

Quiz 11, multiple choice, recaps our Blue Guide and Stambaugh readings and PowerPoint lectures on the physical aspects of Rome, from the grandiose to the humble.

Quiz 12 asks you to imagine yourself as a triumphant general parading through Rome, and what memories you will recall on the way. Read the instructions for this one carefully.


Good luck!

DC

Friday, February 20, 2015

Assignment for Monday, 02-23-2015

Dear Readers of Rome,

I know we covered a lot of material today, but please do not worry, we will be reviewing the most important points as we move forward. To this end, you should read over the timeline, available here, on your own, in order to reenforce what I said today about the Jewish revolts against Rome and the Hurban (Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem), as well as to note a couple of other things that I had to skip over.

For Monday, we turn to portions of the Bible written in Greek, which form the Christian New Testament.  Even though the stories are still set a good distance from our City, they are limned by Roman imperial power.  As the basis for Christian faith and practice, these texts become as important as any document we will read the entire semester for understanding the long history of Rome, so do give them careful consideration.

Please do the following:

(1) Download, print, and read the fact sheet about the New Testament.

(2) Download, print, and read the selections from the Gospels.

(3) Download, print, and read the rabbinic texts pertaining to the Second Great Revolt and the Coming of the Messiah.

In class, we will focus squarely on the figure of Jesus, but we will look briefly at some rabbinic texts in order to underscore how messianism continues to be a Jewish, and not only a Christian, concern, and to consider how messianic fervor plays a role in subsequent Jewish revolts against Rome.

gs

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Roman Infrastructure

Dear Readers of Rome,

I finished today's Roman Infrastructure presentation. It differs from what you saw today in the following respects:
  • new information on the Roman triumph, including a stage-by-stage recreation of the triumphal route; and
  • a complete section on Roman aqueducts, including the three we identified in class as the ones to know.
Please take the time to review this presentation, since it will form the basis for next week's quizzes. I've tweaked the design and information to make it easy to read and follow.

And now for something completely different (that scene from Monty Python's The Life of Brian (1979):



DC

Assignment for Friday, 02-20-2015

Dear Readers of Rome,

On Friday, we start our next section (cue fanfare): Messiahs, Martyrs, and Saints. We will begin with a class on Ancient Judaism, before proceeding on to an assortment of early Christian materials, tastefully complimented by a few rabbinic counterpoints.

Please do the following:

(1) Download, print, and read the fact sheet on the Hebrew Bible.

(2) Download, print, and read the selections from the Hebrew Bible.

(3) Download, print, and read the excerpt from Louis Feldman, Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World.

In class, I will be distributing a timeline of Ancient Judaism. You can also download it here.

gs