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Tentative Schedule of Topics and Readings


Spartacus and Varinia in the gladiators' mess hall, Spartacus (1960)

Week I: Roman slavery and economy

Day 1

AM

getting acquainted; types of writing

 

PM

As the Romans Did (ARD), Chapter 1, "The Structure of Roman society"

Day 2

AM

Historical Atlas of Rome, pp. 12-29
ARD,
Chapters 7-8, "Occupations," "Slaves"

 

PM

"Reading" a Film; scenes from Psycho, The Godfather, and Spartacus

"Film Terms and Topics for Film Analysis and Writing," Chapter 3 of Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing about Film, 5th ed. 2004. (Moodle)
"Introduction," in They Say/I Say

Day 3

AM

"The Principal Ancient Sources on Spartacus," from Martin Winkler, ed. Spartacus: Film and History (Moodle)
"'They Say' Starting with What Others are Saying," Ch 1 in They Say/I Say
Spartacus (1960), starring Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons, Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov
part 1 (running time: 1 h. 44 m.); part 2 (running time: 1 h. 23 m.)

 

PM

discussion of Spartacus (begin at 2:00 p.m.)

Day 4

AM

opening paragraphs due at 8:00 a.m. Submit by email to jgruber-miller@cornellcollege.edu and sdoyle@cornellcollege.edu

The Writing Process; Paper Rubric;
Strengthening Your Thesis
"'Yes/No/Okay, But' Three Ways to Respond," Ch 4 in They Say/I Say.

 

PM

Plautus, The Haunted House (Mostellaria)

Day 5

 

AM

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) (running time: 1 h. 40 m.)

 

PM

Paper Conferences: Due: Paper 1, First Draft, at least 4 pages typed; please bring a hard copy to the paper conference


Bronze eighty drachma coin of Cleopatra. © Courtesy The Hunterian Museum

Week II: Roman Politics and the End of the Republic

Day 6

AM

Guest lecture: Prof. Phil Venticinque, "Cleopatra's Egypt"
Historical Atlas of Rome, pp. 28-35
Cleopatra's Alexandria: Strabo, Geography 17.1.6-13 (Moodle)
Decree of Cleopatra VII in Favor of Quintus Cascellius, from S. Burstein, The Reign of Cleopatra (Moodle)
Kleopatra VII as Pharoah (Moodle)
Plutarch, Life of Caesar, Chapters 1-14, 28-31, 38-69

 

PM

Due: Paper 1, Final Draft, due at 5:00 p.m. Submit by email to jgruber-miller@cornellcollege.edu

Day 7

AM

Plutarch, Life of Antony

 

PM

 

Day 8

AM

ARD, Chapter 13, "Women in Roman Society"
"Roman Attitudes toward Cleopatra," from P. Jones, Cleopatra: A Sourcebook (Moodle)
Cleopatra
(1963): part 1 (running time: 2 h.)

 

PM

Cleopatra (1963): part 2 (running time: 2 h. 6 m.)

Day 9

AM

discussion of Cleopatra
"'And Yet' Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say," Ch 5 in They Say/I Say
"'So What? Who Cares?' Saying Why it Matters," Ch 7 in They Say/I Say

 

PM

Brainstorming Paper Topics

Day 10

AM

Paper 2, First Draft, due at 8 a.m., at least 4 pages typed. Submit on Moodle before 8:00 a.m. In addition, please bring a hard copy to class and to your paper conference.

Using and interpreting evidence:
"'As He Himself Puts It' The Art of Quoting," Ch 3 in They Say/I Say

 

PM

Paper conferences


This terracotta relief shows a charioteer driving a quadriga ready to round the turning post, proceeded by a hortator on horseback; part of the body of a fallen driver can be seen at the foot of the turning post.
Roman, second half of 1st century CE. London, British Museum.

Week III: Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire

Day 11

AM

Historical Atlas of Rome, pp. 38-53, 58-59, 102-103
ARD, pp. 359-77 (Roman gods and ritual), 386-88 (emperor worship), 391-400, 404-417 (religions from the east)
"Society in Palestine," Ch 4 of Stambaugh and Balch, The New Testament in its Social Environment (Moodle)
Pontius Pilate and Jesus, from Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.55-64 (Moodle)

 

PM

Due: Paper 2, Final Draft, due at 5:00 p.m. Submit by email to jgruber-miller@cornellcollege.edu

Day 12

AM

ARD, pp. 329-46 (spectacles and circus events); Matthew 26:1 - 28:10 (passion and ressurection); John 3:1-8 (baptism); Leviticus 13:1-17 (leprosy)
Ben-Hur (1959): part 1 (running time: 2 h. 15 m.)

 

PM

Ben-Hur (1959): part 2 (running time: 1 h. 20 m.)

Day 13

AM

discussion of Ben-Hur

 

PM

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
(running time: 1 h. 34 m.)

Day 14

AM

discussion of Life of Brian

 

PM

Organizing your paper: linking paragraphs
"'As a Result' Connecting the Parts," Ch 8 in They Say/I Say
Please bring two hard copies of your first paper to class to discuss organization and transitions.

Day 15

AM

Paper 3, First Draft, due at 8 a.m., at least 4 pages typed. Submit on Moodle before 8:00 a.m. In addition, please bring a hard copy to class and to your paper conference.

Introductions and Conclusions: setting the larger context
Tricks for writing better sentences, clarifying your ideas
"'In Other Words' The Art of Metacommentary," Ch 10 in They Say/I Say

 

PM

paper conferences

Week IV: Reviving Epic Film

Day 16

AM

Historical Atlas of Rome, pp. 62-83, 86-87
ARD, pp. 348-58 (arena events)
Marcus Aurelius, selections from the Meditations
Historia Augusta, Life of Commodus (Lacus Curtius)

 

PM

Gladiator (2000) (running time: 2 h. 35 m.) (begin at 12:15)
Due: Paper 3, Final Draft, due at 5:00 p.m. Submit by email to jgruber-miller@cornellcollege.edu

Day 17

AM

discussion of Gladiator

 

PM

 

Day 18

AM

Submit portfolio and reflective essay

 

 

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