Classics/History 240G: Ancient Societies
The City and Urban Lif

Course Description / Required Books / Recommended Books / Instructor / Class Format   /  Special Activities / Goals and RequirementsWeekly Statements / Play-by-Play and Color Commentary / Point System for Statements and Play-byPlays / Quizzes / Article Summary and Review / Individualized Project / Group Presentation / 1st Unit Exam / 2nd Unit Exam / Addidional Resources on Reserve / Additional Electronic Resources

MWF 9:00-9:50 A.M.
1st Semester, 1997-1998
Capron Classics Room
Wallace Hall

Course Description
The Ancient City
focuses on the complex of institutions, organizations, and structures which are associated with urban life in the ancient world. Various evidence will be studied, including readings in translation from several ancient Greek and Latin literary texts; tombstone and public inscriptions; domestic painting; sculpture and other archaeological remains. Some of the topics to be discussed include: public buildings; political organization; commerce and industry; private life in the city; and civic religion. The basic premise of this course is that the Graeco-Roman city offered a special type of social organization in the Mediterranean world which has influenced modern urban life. In the ancient world private and public perspectives, civic and religious issues, all converge in the institution called polis in Greek and urbs or oppidum in Latin. Ancient society cannot be fully understood without an understanding of its urban life. Study of the ancient city will inevitably confront students with attitudes and social structures different from their own and will put contemporary attitudes towards the city in a more historical and universal perspective.

Required Books:
Aristophanes. Complete Plays (Bantam).
Descoeudres, Jean-Paul. Pompeii Revisted (Meditarch). Click here for student summaries.
Frost, Frank J. Greek Society. 5th ed. (Houghton Mifflin).
Juvenal. Sixteen Satires (Penguin).
Plato. Dialogues (Bantam).
Plautus. Comedies. Vol. I. (Johns Hopkins).
Ramage, Nancy H. And Andrew Ramage. Roman Art . 2nd ed. (Prentice Hall).
Tomlinson, Richard. From Mycenae to Constantinople (Routledge).

Recommended Book:
Owens, E. J. The City in the Greek and Roman World (Routledge).

Dr. Thomas J. Sienkewicz
Minnie Billings Capron Professor of Classics
Office: The Jamieson Greek Room (101 Wallace Hall)
Office Phone: 457-2371
Home Phone: 734-3543
Office Hours: MWF 8:00-8:50 or by appointment

I am generally in my office every day and am eager to meet with students whenever I am not teaching. Please feel free to stop by to chat at your convenience. If you cannot find me in my office, please do not hesitate to call me (even at home in the evening if necessary) or send me an e-mail message.

Class Format:
Portions of the books listed above are assigned readings. In addition, there will be supplementary reading assignments in the library on related topics. Specific reading assignments will be given on a daily basis. Class periods will usually be a combination of lecture and class discussion on various topics pertaining to the ancient city. At least fifteen minutes of each class will be devoted to class discussion of assigned readings. from the required texts as well as hand-outs or library assignments. These readings are intended to complement class lectures and discussions. While we may not mention every reading in class, you will be expected to show your familiarity with this material on tests, in class discussions, on tests, and in other assignments. Interesting class discussions depend on faithful completion of these reading assignments by every student. Class lectures and discussions will be supplemented by frequent slide shows depicting art and life in the period.

Classes will generally meet three days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 from 9:50 A.M. While daily attendance is not recorded, persistent absence from class will inevitably affect successful completion of course requirements. In exceptional cases, the instructor may place an individual student on "no-cut" status.

Whenever possible, course handouts, including this syllabus, will be available in electronic form on the Monmouth College Computer System.

Do not hesitate to ask questions in class. There is no such thing as a "stupid question". If you don't understand something, there are inevitably others in the class who do not understand either and you will do the entire class a favor by asking for explanations.

There will be occasional films or labs, preferably on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons. Course members who cannot attend these labs are responsible for making their own arrangements to view the material at another time that week.

You may be expected to attend Convocations, public lectures, and other college functions. Questions relating to these talks may appear on quizzes, tests, and assignments.

All written work for this course (except quizzes and exams) must be competently proofed and submitted via the college computer mail system. In all your written course work you should pay attention to grammar and organization as well as the quality of your material. Work will be graded on the basis of both form and content. You have the OPTION of resubmitting for reevaluation ALL written assignments (except quizzes and exams), provided this work was submitted on time. If you resubmit your work, you are expected to revise your work based not only on the instructor's comments but also upon your own reevaluation of your initial work. If you resubmit work, you will receive the average of the first and second grades received on the assignment. Work submitted for reevaluation must be received within two weeks of its return by the instructor.

Please note that class WILL MEET on Tuesday, December 16th, at 8 A.M. , the period scheduled for a final exam. This meeting will be used for various activities, including ORAL REPORTS, a course summary, and student evaluation. Attendance at this session is obligatory.

Special Activities:
Several extra-class activities will supplement class lectures, discussions, and assigned readings. If you have scheduling conflicts for required extra-class events, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. Where possible, alternative assignments will be arranged.

Attendance is required at the following event:
13th Fox Classics Lecture
"Goofy Gods and Half-Baked Heroes: Comic Entertainment in the Ancient City"
Dr. Anne Groton, Professor of Classics, St. Olaf College

Monday, November 17, 1997
Highlander Room, 7:30 P.M.
On Wednesday, November 19, 1997, students are expected to submit via the college computer network a special 600-word statement which summarizes the specific mythological issues raised by the presenter and relates this material to course work. This report will count as TWO weekly statements, but does not replace the regular Monday statements.

Attendance at other college functions and public lectures may be assigned by the instructor. Questions relating to these talks may appear on quizzes and tests.

Extra credit will be awarded to students who attend the following archaeological lectures at Monmouth College. Please submit a 100-word statement about the event in order to receive this credit. If you want transportation to any of these events, please let Prof. Sienkewicz know in advance.

Tuesday, September 16, 1997. Illinois Archaeology Week
"Mississippian Art in Illinois" by Lawrence Conrad of Western Illinois University

Mississippian art will be discussed in its social context in validating and supporting the theocratic Mississippian governments. The illustrated lecture will touch on topics ranging from community planning to weaving.
Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. 7:30 P.M.

Tuesday, September 23, 1997
"Underwater Archaeology: Sunken Cities of Lycia" by Robert Lindley Vann of the University of Maryland
Subsidence of many areas of the coastline in southwest Turkey has left the remains of several ancient cities partially submerged. As part of a survey of ancient Greek and Roman harbors in Turkey, an American team has worked since 1991 to record the architectural remains of some of these sites.

After a brief introduction to the region of Lycia and an overview of its magnificent landscape, this lecture will focus on two sites: Aperlae and Kekova. Both are relatively unknown in the archaeological record; in fact the survey beginning in 1996 by a team from the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado is the first systematic study of Aperlae. Both cities have abundant standing remains. The lecture will show the architectural, sculptural, and epigraphic evidence concurrent with a discussion of the field techniques for an architectural survey (both in and out of the water).
Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. 7:30 P.M. Room to be announced.

Thursday, November 6, 1997
"Mimbres: Pueblo Art and Archaeology in Southwestern New Mexico" by Stephen Lekson of the University of Colorado
Mimbres is the most famous of all prehistoric Southwestern art styles. The images painted, one thousand years ago, on Mimbres bowls are recognized today as a major achievement of Native American art. But the communities which produced this art were equally remarkable for their political and social accomplishments. The first real pueblos--closely packed apartment buildings with kivas and kachina ceremonialism--were Mimbres. Two centuries before Mesa Verde, Mimbres villages developed the characteristics and institutions, later so prominent in the historic Pueblos of Arizona and New Mexico. Mimbres accomplishments were, in part, the result of a unique ecological setting: Mimbres rose where the northern Puebloan culture met the canal irrigation needed for the Southwest's low deserts. Canal irrigation, developed first in the Phoenix Basin of Southern Arizona, created degrees of sedentism and aggregation in Mimbres unknown in the larger Pueblo world of its times. Recent projects, including work by Lekson on the upper Gila, has greatly expanded our knowledge of this vibrant, important society. The history of Mimbres archaeology and our changing understandings of the Mimbres' past are reviewed; new views of Mimbres art and archaeology are presented.
Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. 7:30 P.M.

Friday, November 7, 1997
"Chaco Canyon, Aztec Ruins, and Paquime: The Political History of the Ancient Southwest, AD 900-1500" by Stephen Lekson of the University of Colorado
For one hundred years, archaeologists have viewed the Southwest as a patchwork of boom-and-bust cultures, small in scale and politically independent. These polities were originally understood as New World analogues for "city states." New data and reanalysis of old data now indicate that an overarching political structure shaped the Pueblo Southwest from perhaps AD 900 to about 1500. A series of three historically-linked ceremonial cities--Chaco Canyon (900-1125), Aztec Ruins (1110-1270), and Paquime (also called Casas Grandes, 1250-1500--controlled vast political economies based on precious goods (turquoise, shell, copper bells and exotic birds). Historical connections, signalling the continuity of these three centers, were symbolized by a range of conspicuous architectural features unique to these sites, and by a remarkable landscape language of "positional legitimation"--much like the alignment of mosques to Mecca. The three major centers were sited on a shared meridian, manifesting principals of cardinality strongly evident in the city planning of Chaco Canyon and Paquime. The history of Chaco, Aztec, and Paquime is still told, in poetic form, in Pueblo origin stories. This rapidly evolving research, led by Lekson, will be presented, and its implications discussed; much of what we thought we knew about Pueblo prehistory will require significant reassessment.
Highlander Room, Stockdale Center, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. Noon.

Summary of Goals and Requirements:

Your final grade will be determined in the following way:

Weekly Statements 15%
Play-by-Play and Color Commentary 5%
Quizzes 10%
Article Summary and Review 10%
Individualized Project 20%
Group Presentation 10%
1st Unit Exam Grade 15%
2nd Unit Exam Grade 15%

I. Weekly Statements
Every Monday morning each student will submit a personal statement on a class discussion, reading, film, convocation, or assigned reading. These statements are informal, short, non-research essays on discussion topics. They are not just summaries of activities. They should go beyond mere recording of events to include personal analysis and commentary. Emphasis will be on (1) integration of the student's own ideas and thoughts with the subject matter of the course and on (2) coherent and logical expression of these ideas. c.500 words in length. In these statements you will briefly summarize the main points, offer your own opinion and thoughts about the topics raised, and support your statement with specific data. At least TEN (10) of these weekly statements will be assigned during the semester. These statements will be graded on a three-point scale. Submission of the work on time earns the student one point. Additional points will be earned for following content and stylistic requirements and for personal analysis and commentary. The average of these weekly statements will be 15% of your final grade.

II. Play-by-Play and Color Commentary
Throughout the semester students will work in pairs to summarize and comment upon the daily reading assignments. Usually one student will provide a play-by-play (summary) of the texts while a second student interjects color commentary, but the pair can divide these tasks as they see fit. These presentations will be graded on a three-point scale. Doing the presentation as scheduled earns the student one point. Additional points will be earned for summarizing and for providing color commentary. Individual students can expect to do between one and three of these presentations, which will count 5% of your final grade.

Point System for Statements and Play-By-Plays
All assignments described as "statements" as well as the Play-By-Play and Color Commentaries will be evaluated according to the following point system. For this purpose, the average will be converted to a letter grade in the following way:

3.0 A++
2.5 A
2.0 B
1.5 C
1.0 D
0.5 F
below 0.5 M (=0)

III. Quizzes
There will be ONE (1) map (geography) quiz which must be passed in order to pass the course. Other quizzes, both announced and unannounced, may be given at the discretion of the instructor. No make-ups for quizzes (except for the map quiz) will be given, but a certain number of low quiz grades may be dropped. The average of these quizzes will be 10% of your final grade.

IV. Article Summary and Review

Each student will prepare a short review (c.600 words) on an article dealing with some aspect of urban life in ancient Greece or Rome. The article must come from the Hewes Library collection, including the American Journal of Archaeology, American Journal of Philology, Archaeology, Classical Journal, Classical Outlook, Classical Philology, Classical World, Helios, Phoenix, and Transactions of the American Philological Association. Since individual articles cannot be reviewed by more than one student, you should confirm your choice with the instructor as soon as possible. Each review must include in its top matter standard bibliographic information about the article. A photocopy of the article MUST also be submitted to the instructor along with the review. Within the body of the review you must address the following questions: 1.) What are the main points of the article? 2.) How does the author illustrate these points? What ancient sources and evidence are used to illustrate these points? 3.) How is the subject of this article related to urban life in ancient Greece or Rome? How is this material related to topics and evidence discussed in class? and 3.) What is your own evaluation of the author's work? All reports are to be submitted electronically to all members of the course via the college computer network. The grade for this project will be 10% of the final grade

Both the instructor and one other student will write statements evaluating this review (which will be submitted only to the author of the review, not to the entire class). Authors are encouraged to use the reviews of other classmates as resources in revising their reviews for resubmission. Your evaluation of a student's work should address at least the following questions: 1.) Does this review follow the assignment guidelines? 2.) What are the best features of this review? 3.) How would you improve it? 4.) How would you use this review to improve your own review?

Students are expected to read all of these reviews, which become part of the course material. Since all of these materials are part of the non-circulating holdings in Hewes Library, students will be responsible for accessing these articles on their own. Those who make significant reference to this material in other assignments, and especially on tests, will automatically receive higher grades.

NOTE: Ideally, this article review will lead you naturally into a topic for your individualized project.

V. Individualized Project
Each student will pursue a semester-long project which focuses on some special aspect of ancient urban life and relates this material to life in a modern city setting. In this project you will compare ancient Greek, Roman, and modern American material and analyze some feature of urban life. Preparation for this project must include library research, analysis of historical evidence, and original work. The central product of this project can take the form of a research paper, creative writing, artwork, or any other work which deals with material covered in course readings or discussions. All central products must be supplemented by a written statement (c.600 words) which contains the following information: 1.) a summary of the project; 2.) a description of its preparation; 3.) a list of at least five works consulted (i.e., a bibliography) and an explanation of how these works were used in the project; and 4.) an explanation of original aspects of this project. This individualized project will be 20% of your final grade.

NOTE: Course books can be cited in the bibliography but only as complements to at least five additional works.

VI. Group Presentations
Working in groups of three or four, students will choose one of their own individualized projects for a ten-minute presentation to the entire class. In order to do this, each member of the group will prepare a written c.600-word statement evaluating each of the projects and share these statements with other members of the group and with the instructor. The group will decide which project is best suited for presentation and decide how to make this oral presentation. The group will be graded on oral technique, originality, and content. Presentations using the personae of ancient Greeks and Romans will automatically be given a higher grade. All participants are also expected to submit at least a 300-word statement which summarizes their own individual contributions to the planning and the actual presentation. All of these presentations will take place at the final meeting during the examination period, on Tuesday, December 16th, at 8 A.M. Students will receive a group grade for the presentation and an individual grade based upon the information in the statement. The average of the group and individual grades will be 10% of the final score.

VII. Unit Exams
There will be two (2) unit tests--one on Wednesday, October 8th, and the other on the LAST DAY of regular class, Friday, December 12th. Both will consist of single essay questions which offer students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of class lectures and text readings, to draw general conclusions about the material, to evaluate their own attitudes towards urban life in the ancient world, and to compare urban life in the ancient and modern worlds. In answering this essay questions you should be prepared to make reference to a variety of material, including class lectures, slides, text readings and films.

Here is the essay question for the FIRST UNIT EXAM:

Discuss the main features of ancient Greek city planning. Use evidence from the city of Athens and other cities you have studied to support your statements. How are these cities similar to and different from modern American cities?

Here is the essay question for the SECOND UNIT EXAM:

Illustrate the importance of the city in the political, religious and social life of both the Greeks and Romans. Show how urban life in the Mediterranean evolves from the early Greek period through the Late Roman Empire. Include a wide variety of evidence from as many ancient cities as possible and make appropriate comparisons to modern American cities.

Missing a test is considered a serious lapse. Students who do not present an acceptable explanation IN ADVANCE of a test or a valid medical excuse will be permitted to take a make-up, but will suffer a penalty of one letter grade.

Each test will be 15% of the final grade.

A word on plagiarism:

Plagiarism is copying someone else's work without giving credit. Such copying--from a book, another classmate's paper, or any other source--is dishonest. Any student submitting plagiarized work will receive a failing grade for that assignment. If two papers with identical or nearly-identical work are submitted by different students, both papers will receive a failing grade.


This syllabus is subject to revision by the instructor, provided that written or verbal notice is given in class.

Additional Resources (On Reserve):
Information about Monmouth, Illinois:
History of Warren County, Illinois. 1878.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Warren County, Illinois. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1886.
Robinson, Luther E., editor. Historical and Biographical Record of Monmouth and Warren County, Illinois. Chicago: Munsell, 1927.
Rankin, Jeff, editor. Born on the Prairie. A History of Monmouth Illinois. Monmouth. 1981.
Urban, William. "The Birthplace of Wyatt Earp." Western Illinois Regional Studies 12 (1989), 20-43.

Information about ancient Greek and Roman cities:

Primary Sources:
Aristophanes. Complete Plays (Bantam).
Barnstone, W. Greek Lyric Poetry.(Schoken).
Juvenal. Sixteen Satires (Penguin).
Lefkowitz and Fant. Women's Life in Greece and Rome. 2nd ed. (Johns Hopkins).
Livy. Early History of Rome. (Penguin).
Plato. Dialogues (Bantam).
Plautus. Comedies. Vol. I. (Johns Hopkins).
Thucydides. Histories. (Penguin).

Secondary Sources:
Camp, J. The Athenian Agora. London, 1986.
Carcopino. Daily Life in Ancient Rome
Coulanges, Fustel de. The Ancient City. (Johns Hopkins).
Descoeudres, Jean-Paul. Pompeii Revisited.
Dinsmoor, W. B. The Architecture of Ancient Greece. London. 1950
Frost, Frank J. Greek Society. 5th ed. (Houghton Mifflin).
Jones, A. H. M. The Greek City from Alexander to Justinian
Keppie, L. J. E. Colonization and Veteran Settlement in Italy, 47-14 B.C.
Nash, E. Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome. London, 1968.
Owens, E. J. The City in the Greek and Roman World (Routledge).
Ramage, Nancy H. And Andrew Ramage. Roman Art . 2nd ed. (Prentice Hall).
Robinson, D. M. Architecture of Pompeii.
Scientific American. Special Issue on Cities, 1994.
Tomlinson, Richard. From Mycenae to Constantinople (Routledge).
Travlos, J. Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens. London, 1971.
Wycherley, R. E. The Stones of Athens. Princeton, 1978.

Videos and CD-ROM:
"Rome and Pompeii"
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
"In the Shadow of Vesuvius"
Scientific American CD ROM on Ancient Cities

Additional Electronic Resources:
Student summaries of Pompeii Revisited
A Satire on the City of Naperville, Illinois, by Brad Mandeville (pace Juvenal)

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