ANC 193 F; Dual listed: ANT 193 F; RES 193 F - Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
This course combines an introduction to archaeology with hands-on work on 2500 year-old archaeological nds in LdM’s Archaeology Lab. These nds have recently been unearthed in central Italy in the archaic settlement of Accesa, under the scienti c direction of the University of Florence, and in the Hellenistic necropolis of Bosco della Riserva, near Tuscania, where an excavation project is being conducted by LdM. Students will learn what happens to the nds once they leave their recovery contexts and arrive in Florence: here, under the expert guidance of the instructors, students will be involved in the fundamental activities of restoration, conservation, documentation,study and storage of the nds. This course will also give students a general survey of the evolution of the discipline of archaeology over time and it will introduce them to the ancient Etruscan civilization, which forms such an important part of Italy’s culture and heritage. Students will also have the opportunity to sign up to the summer workshop in Tuscania which operates directly at one of the archaeological sites.
ANC 210 F; Dual listed: HIS 200 F Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
This course offers a general though comprehensive introduction and overview of the 14-century lasting civilization of Ancient Rome, from its origins as a monarchy to the "Fall of Rome" and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Alongside the study of main historical events, a series of themes and issues will be explored: the range of primary sources available for ancient history; the political organization of the Roman state; the territorial expansion and its influence on the cultural and administrative sphere; Roman religion and the spread of Christianity; the end of the Roman world and the birth of a new society; the historiographical "myth of Rome." In order to stimulate students’ critical skills in observing historical phenomena, a problem-oriented approach will be supported by readings of primary sources.
ANC 215 F; Dual listed: HIS 215 F - Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
This course analyzes the ancient past of Florence from its origins to the end of the Roman Empire. A few aspects concerning the Barbarian rulers will also be considered. The ancient town of Florentia will be discovered during each lesson through a variety of sources: written texts from ancient and medieval authors, archaeological evidence, past excavations and recent discoveries, artifacts and items housed in local museums as well as objects unearthed in recent years. Emphasis will be placed on the urban pattern by tracing and locating the main temples and sacred spaces, public buildings and private houses. Beyond acquiring a basic chronology and a timeline, students will closely examine selected topics about Roman civilization, art and architecture, lifestyle and customs. To better understand certain themes, a number of visits and eld trips are planned, including to the National Archaeological Museum of Florence and little-known archaeological areas.
ANC 246 F; Dual listed: HIS 246 F - Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
An exploration of warfare in ancient Greece and Rome in terms of values and ideology, impact on society, practices, arms and artefacts, and representations. For Greece the focus is on the fth-century through the Hellenistic era, while for Rome the entire time-span from monarchy through the empire and late Antiquity is considered. Students analyze the strategy and the unfolding of major wars and events, as well as the careers of outstanding gures including Alexander the Great and the emperor Augustus, promoter of the pax romana. Students come to grips with the mindset and actual experiences of commanders and common soldiers as they prepared for campaigns and engaged in battles and sieges. The civilian experience of war is not ignored. Space is dedicated to the problematic relationship between modern regimes and ancient military culture, notably the Italian fascist excavations of imperial Roman sites for propagandistic ends.
ANT 302 F; Dual listed: ANC 302 F - Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
Prereq: Intro to Archaeology o Intro Anthropology o World Religion
When did humans first took pain to bury their dead? How did ancient people cope with death? What can graves and funerary monuments of the past tell us? This course aims to investigate the approaches, beliefs and practices of ancient societies in relation to that fundamental cultural theme that is death. Through the use of archaeological data and historical sources, with the support of anthropological theories related to death rituals, students will gain knowledge and new perspectives over the complex phenomenon of the interplay between the living and the dead. To achieve these goals, the course will be subdivided into two parts. The first part will focus on the theoretical and methodological issues related to the study of belief and ritual practice in archaeology, especially in relation to the funerary sphere. The second part will address specifically the question of how ancient societies dealt with death and treated their dead by referring to specific study-cases across the Mediterranean and the Ancient Near East, from prehistoric societies until the beginning of the Classical period.
The course provides an overview of ancient Egyptian civilization. It examines the material culture and human life of the inhabitants of the Nile Valley, and surveys major sites, objects, and texts to discover the essentials of Egyptian culture, politics, art, religion, and literature. The course covers 4000 years of ancient Egyptian civilization, from the origins of its culture in the late fourth millennium BCE to the late Roman Empire. This introduction to the art and archaeology of ancient Egypt also looks at the discipline of Egyptology, in which Italy has played an important part, and it will allow students to answer such questions as How did Ancient Egypt originate? How were the pyramids built? How do you read hieroglyphics? What did the afterlife signify for Egyptians? What was the Amarna revolution? The course will explain these and other topics using archaeological data and historical sources, starting from the pieces present in the notable Egyptian Museum of Florence.
Co(ok)quinarius: Ancient Sources of Italian Cuisine
ANC 264 F; Dual listed: NUH 264 F; ANT 264 F - Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
Co(ok)quinarius, which takes place also within the fascinating context of the Florentine Central Food Market, explores the main elements of ancient Mediterranean food culture as the forerunner of modern Italian cuisine. Following the guidelines of the Experimental Archaeology students learn to understand, prepare, taste, and evaluate ancient Etruscan, Greek, Roman as well as Near Eastern dishes within their social dimensions and cultural perspective. Starting from the distinction between consumption of food and use of food, students explore Etruscan, Greek and Roman culinary traditions. Topics include the meanings of food, its social dimensions, the history of speci c commodities; everyday eating habits and etiquette; rituals and taboos. This knowledge permits the class to accurately understand, recreate, cook, and taste ancient recipes. During interactive lessons students will improve their practical skills, learn how to prepare di erent recipes, and develop their knowledge of both the theory and practice of food anthropology. The key of the analysis is the Food Sign, a specially-developed tool with two inseparable sides: anthropological meaning and gastronomy. This instrument helps to show that in Antiquity any given dish wasn’t a mere result of a recipe to prepare food in a particular way as part of a meal, but was inevitably linked to sacral and social meanings. Students will be able to recognize and appreciate ancient traditions and to link them to modern cuisine (when a particular tradition has continued) and interests.
The traditional stories about the Greek and Roman gods and heroes have always been a fundamental part of Western Art and Literature especially since their “rediscovery” by Renaissance Humanism. The major divinities of Greek and Roman religion are examined in their historical and archaeological context, focusing on the influence that Greek myths had on the Roman world. The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Roman foundations myths and sagas will be discussed with particular emphasis on the relationship between myth and history. Visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Florence will reinforce the topics treated in class. The pictorial narratives, so common in Greek and Roman monuments and objects, will introduce the sophisticated visual language created by the Greeks to tell such elaborate tales; the visit to the Uffizi Gallery will show the students how Renaissance artists revived the Greek and Roman tradition. To know Roman mythology is to understand the real essence of the ideals and aspirations of the great Roman Empire, while in the study of Greek mythology lie the roots of modern psychology.
ANC 346 F; Dual listed: HIS 346 F - Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
Study of the extraordinary ourishing of ancient Greek culture in the region corresponding to present-day southern Italy. The course utilizes archaeological, literary, historical, and epigraphic evidence to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of the area where Western civilization and its classical heritage developed. The Homeric age of the 8th and 7th centuries BCE saw the end of the Trojan War. Just as Odysseus went westward, so did many Greek adventurers, traders, and refugees from the East. Greek city-states soon colonized the coastal areas of southern Italy and Sicily, an area that became known as Magna Graecia, “Greater Greece.” Its settlers mingled and intermarried with the local population, while the great city-states of Sicily, including Syracuse and Selinus, more closely tied to mainland Greece, even hosted such renowned Greeks as the philosopher Plato and the tragedian Aeschylus. Indeed, the Greek alphabet and traditions, mythology, religion, art and artifacts, philosophy, and political institutions all profoundly in uenced the wealthy Etruscans in central Italy and eventually the Romans (Horace spoke of “Graecia capta”). Signi cantly, this in uence did not supplant the deeply-rooted local languages and religions. The Etruscan and Roman worlds, unique classical civilizations in their own right, never became wholly Greek.
The course focuses on ancient epic literature through the analysis and comparison of some of the oldest and greatest works of Western civilization. Through the reading of the most significant chapters of the Iliad and the Odyssey, students will get in contact with the supernatural world and the mighty heroes described by “Homer” in 8th century BCE. These stories, considered the “Bible” of classical civilization, show how Greeks used myth to express archetypal values, which became immortal for successive generations and civilizations. Myths are analyzed not only as amazing stories but also as expression of ancient cultural traditions, and as primary forms of communication and instruction. The influence of Greek myths on Roman legends will then be observed through the reading of some passages of the Aeneid, the national poem of Rome written by Virgil in the 1st century BCE.
Latin and Us: Uncovering the Hidden Meaning of English Words
ANC 102 F; - Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
Latin is all around us: audio, video, alibi, agenda, AM/PM, i.e., versus, vice versa et cetera. These are just some examples that show how 2,500-year-old words still serve their purpose today. This course will focus on the impact of Latin on modern society and on contemporary languages, with special attention to how it has influenced English. We will show how ancient Latin words have adapted to our times and have become part of our everyday vocabulary. After introducing a few generic concepts in Linguistics, we will analyze some aspects of Latin: its origins, its history, and how it has affected many modern European languages. In particular, we will examine the case of English: we will discuss its characteristics, as we learn why more than 50% of its words have Latin roots. We will also approach the inner workings of Latin, by analyzing its core grammatical features. Then we will study some crucial aspects of Roman society -- for example religion, family and politics -- through selected keywords such as pontifex, familia and consul. As we study their original meaning, we will uncover their history and find out how such words have outlived Rome and managed to survive up to the present. Through this course, students will have a chance to expand their vocabulary, understand the underlying meanings of words, and find unexpected connections between them.
The “Mysterious” People Of Ancient Italy: In Search Of The Etruscans
ANC 218 F; Dual listed HIS 218 F - Cr: 3; Contact hrs: 45
This course looks at the Etruscan achievements and legacy in the areas of culture and society, the visual arts, architecture, language, funerary practices, religious beliefs, trade, government, urban planning, and family life. By examining the mysterious people known as the Etruscans, students in this course will become familiar with a specific ancient culture and discover how archaeology and classical studies apply a range of tools to analyze it. While a good deal is known about the Etruscans and a substantial quantity of the material culture still survives, much is also lost, and many questions remain unanswered. They built richly furnished tombs, which are still extant, for their noble ancestors, yet their literature has virtually disappeared. After flourishing for over five centuries as the main culture in central Italy, from the Po Valley to the area around Naples, and even ruling Rome itself, they were absorbed into the Roman state in the third century BCE. Their mineral wealth, fertile fields, good harbors, and other geographical and economic advantages fueled vigorous exchanges across the lively world of the Mediterranean. This remarkable culture affected both the Greeks and the Romans, and its ideas, customs, artistic motifs and fashions spread north to the rest of Europe. Students in this course benefit from Florences prime location at the center of Etruscan power through visits to museums and excavation sites to examine firsthand the archaeological remains of the Etruscans.
Digging Up the Past introduces students to the fascinating field of anthropological archaeology in Florence--a living museum. The course will lay the foundations for understanding what anthropological archaeology is, how it’s done, how it can help us interpret the human past, and how it can help us navigate the current politics of cultural heritage. Analyzing different case studies, across the Ancient Near East, Eurasia and the Mediterranean, from Prehistory to Late Antiquity, several types of methodologies, techniques and types of evidence will be explored through lectures, hands-on lab activities and field trips to archaeological sites, museums and environmentally important locations in Florence.
The course provides a survey of the European “Dark Ages” by following the long transition that transformed the Western Roman Empire into a turmoil of barbarian kingdoms. This “Age of Barbarians” (4th -7th centuries CE; from Constantine to Charles the Great), also known as “Late Antiquity,” witnessed important political, religious and socio-economic changes, which effectively shaped Western Europe: during the process, several Roman institutions and traditions were granted continuity, while many others were forever obliterated. The available and often fragmentary sources – the most significant of which will be analyzed in class – paint a complex scenario, oscillating between aborted legacies, political upheavals and attempted revivals of an unsurpassable ancient glory; the former imperial unity slowly dissolves in a plurality of different new national and cultural identities. Respective focuses on each specific context involved (Italy, France, Spain, Britain, Germany, North Africa) will encompass most of the classes. Instability, delusional hopes and the lack of an imperial authority in the West, will last until the Christmas Night of 800 CE, when the Pope will crown a new Emperor of Rome, who will be defined “Roman,” although being a “barbarian.”
Beyond the Bible: Peoples and Cultures in the Biblical World
ANC 250 F; Cr: 3; Credit hrs: 45
The Old Testament (i.e., the Hebrew Bible) has been used as a source for understanding how people inhabited the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean basin in ancient times. However, archaeological research has demonstrated how some of these interpretations are biased because of the religious beliefs connected to the Bible. Thus, how can we critically read the Bible and combine its historical and religious elements with the data yielded by archaeological investigations? What does the daily life of the people described in the Bible involve? And why has the Bible been used by biblical scholars without taking into consideration these prejudices? Following this
critical perspective, the course focuses on the Old Testament episodes as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel. The objective of the course is to contextualize the biblical story within its history, as well as in contemporary society, by using the available historical / archaeological data of the biblical civilizations. The course is a valuable approach to the historical dimension of the Bible, useful for all students interested not only in religious studies, but also anthropology, archaeology and history.
Prerequisites: None; a fair interest in ancient history is strongly recommended.
Wine, the Nectar of the Gods! Was wine as important in Italy in the ancient past as in today’s culture? Who drank wine in ancient times? Was wine only used for individual gratification and private banquets, or were there other social implications? Why is wine closely tied to “mysteries” and “bacchanals,” and what were the “symposia”? These are among the main questions that this course intends to analyze and connect to our modern consumption and cultural use of wine. In the Ancient World, viticulture, wine, and then “drinking Greek style” spread throughout the Mediterranean in succeeding waves of acculturation that involved Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans. Since wine played a major role in social cohesion, identity construction, and symbolic boundary-making, the course provides a privileged point of observation on different aspects of the Classical civilizations. The first half of this course offers a diachronic and interdisciplinary profile of wine production, trade and consumption in ancient Italy from the 9th century BCE to the end of the Roman Empire, through a variety of primary sources: artifacts, artworks, and ancient texts. In the second part of the course students explore and discuss with a synchronic and anthropological perspective topics such as wine in Greek myth/religion, gender implications in the polis and in Etruria, wine abuse, and the consumption of wine as status symbol, in order to link the Classical past to our world.
This course looks at the supernatural (i.e. spirits, ghosts, afterlife, netherworld etc.) and at the different practices through which humans – in ancient cultures – got in touch with, and represented it. A large part of the course will be dedicated to the various aspects of magic and sorcery, along with shamanism, divination, necromancy (evocation of the dead) and curses (namely binding and love curses). Several classes will also be focused on restless dead and ghosts, a privileged medium through which ancient people were believed to get in touch with the beyond. Documentary material, such as reproductions of ancient magical papyri and cursed tablets will be shown, and comparisons will be drawn – when relevant – with modern cultures and folklore.
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