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Big Screen Rome

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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 (formal and informal, author, reader, and text)

 

PM

As the Romans Did (ARD), Introduction and 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.)

 

PM

Spartacus, part 2 (running time: 1 h. 23 m.);
discussion of the film

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, due at 8 a.m., at least 4 pages typed. Submit on Moodle before 8:00 a.m. 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

Slide Lecture: "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 1-17, 28-31, 38-69

 

PM

Due: Paper 1, Final Draft, due at 5:00 p.m. Submit on Moodle

Day 7

AM

Plutarch, Life of Antony
"'And Yet': Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say," Ch 5 in They Say/I Say

 

PM

Brainstorming Paper Topics
"'So What? Who Cares?' Saying Why it Matters," Ch 7 in They Say/I Say

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
"'I Take Your Point': Entering Class Discussions," Ch 12 in They Say/I Say

 

PM

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

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.

 

 

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 Roman Religion

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 on Moodle.

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 and "'In Other Words' The Art of Metacommentary," Ch 10 in They Say/I Say
Please bring two hard copies of your second 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

 

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 on Moodle.

Day 17

AM

discussion of Gladiator

 

PM

 

Day 18

AM

Submit portfolio and reflective essay
Use the suggestions in Ch 11 and the Sample Essay in They Say/I Say to reflect on how you might improve your writing at the macro- and micro-level:
"'He Says Contends': Using the Templates to Revise," Ch 11 in They Say/I Say

 

 

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