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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Roman villas (PGHC11366)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course will provide an in-depth examination of Roman villas in different rural landscapes across the west of the empire. Villas facilitated essential agricultural production for the Roman world, but also functioned as luxury rural retreats for the urban elite. As such, they typify social ideals and demonstrate the control of natural resources in the rural environment. We will examine villas in the literary and archaeological records, and consider such issues as the definition of a 'villa', the architectural typology of villas, their ownership and function, and how they contributed to the Roman economy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the course, students will:
- Have gained an understanding of the chronological and geographic distribution of villas in the Roman world
- Be able to identify the function of villas based on archaeological remains and architectural plans
- Have critically engaged with literary and archaeological sources in terms of how we define the 'Roman villa' in individual landscapes
- Be able to analyse the economic relevance of villas
- Understand the advantages and disadvantages of using architectural typologies in our study of the ancient built environment
- Be able to confidently and clearly present their research and point of view both during class presentations and in written work
Assessment Information
Each student will be assessed on an individual, 20-minute presentation, which will be accompanied by a 1000 word summary of the presentation topic, worth 30% of the overall grade. Each student will also submit a ca. 3000-word essay, on a topic different to the presentation, but based on one of the remaining weekly themes, worth 70% of the overall grade.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Over the course of the semester, weekly seminars will be divided into themes, such as the design, decoration, construction, and function of the villas by focusing on specific geographic regions and dates.
Week 1: Course introduction and selection of presentation topics
Week 2: What is a villa?
-settlement types in the Roman world
-villas in literature
Week 3: Architecture of villas
-examination of the key architectural features of villas, esp compared with urban housing
-construction techniques of villas
Week 4: Villas in the Bay of Naples, 1st c B.C. - 1st c A.D.
-art and decoration of early luxury villas, evidence of the art collecting habit
Week 5: Villas in Italy to the 2nd c A.D.
-agricultural production at villas in Italy, supply and demand of grain, oil, and wine
Week 6: Maritime villas
-villas and the fish production industry
-social and luxury function of maritime villas
Week 7: Imperial villas, including Hadrian¿s Villa at Tivoli
-function, design and decoration of Imperial rural residences
Week 8: Villas in North Africa and Spain
-role of villas in the Imperial oil production industry
-design and function of provincial villas
Week 9: Villas in Roman Britain
-effect of local landscapes on villa architecture and function
Week 10: Late Roman villas in Italy, France, and Spain
-architectural and functional changes in the 3rd and 4th c A.D.
Week 11: End of the villa
-economic and social factors leading to the decline of villas as a settlement type
-examination of what happens to rural landscapes in 5th-7th c A.D.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list General books:

Becker, J.A. and N. Terrenato, 2012. Roman republican villas: architecture, context, and ideology (Michigan)

Ellis, S.P., 2000. Roman Housing (Duckworth)

Johnston, D., 1983. Roman villas (Shire)

Marzano, A.M., 2007. Roman villas in central Italy: a social and economic history (Brill)

MacKay, A.G., 1975. Houses, villas and palaces in the Roman world (Thames and Hudson)

Painter, K., (ed.), 1980. Roman villas in Italy: recent excavation and research (British Museum)

Percival, J., 1976. The Roman villa: an historical introduction (Batsford)

Smith, J.T., 1997. Roman Villas: a study in social structure (Routledge)

Additional selected books and articles:

Week 2:
Anderson, J.C. Jnr., 1997. Roman Architecture and Society (Johns Hopkins University Press), Chapter 4.

Week 3:
Allison, P.M. (2001) 'Using the Material and Written Sources: Turn of the Millennium Approaches to Roman Domestic Space,' American Journal of Archaeology 105.2: 181-208.

Dunbabin, K.M.D., 1996. 'Convivial spaces: dining and entertainment in the Roman villa,' Journal of Roman Archaeology 9: 66-80.

Vitruvius, Ten Books on Architecture, edited by Ingrid D. Rowland and Thomas Noble Howe (Cambridge 1999), esp. Book 6.

Week 4:
D'Arms, J.H., 1970. Romans on the Bay of Naples: a social and cultural study of the villas and their owners, from 150 B.C. to A.D. 400 (Harvard)

Gazda, E., (ed.), 1991. Roman art in the private sphere. New perspectives on the architecture and decor of the domus, villa, and insula (Michigan)

Wallace-Hadrill, A., 1994. Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum (Princeton)

Week 5:
Purcell, N., 1995. 'The Roman villa and the landscape of production,' in T.J. Cornell and K. Lomas (eds.) Urban society in Roman Italy (UCL): 151-79.

Rossiter, J.J., 1981. 'Wine and oil processing at Roman farms in Italy,' Phoenix 35: 345-61.

Week 6:
Begovic, V. and I. Schrunk, 2011. 'Maritime villas on the eastern Adriatic coast (Roman Histria and Dalmatia)', in E.C. De Sena and H. Dobrzanska (eds.), The Roman empire and beyond. Archaeological and historical research on the Romans and native cultures in Central Europe. (Oxford): 3-21.

Tomalin, D., 2006. 'Coastal villas, maritime villas, maritime villas. A perspective from southern Britain,' Journal of Maritime Archaeology 1: 29-84.

Week 7:
Anderson, M.L., 1987. 'The portrait medallions of the imperial villa at Boscotrecase,' American Journal of Archaeology 91: 127-135.

Fracchia, H. and M. Gualtieri, 1996. 'The imperial villa at Ossaia (Arezzo, Italy). Peliminary data on the territory of Roman Cortona,' Echos du monde classique/ Classical views 15: 157-200.

MacDonald, W.L. and John A. Pinto, 1995. Hadrian's villa and its legacy (Yale)

Week 8:
Blázques, J.M., 1992. 'The latest work on the export of Baetican olive oil to Rome and the army', Greece and Rome 39: 173-88.

Mattingly, D.J., 1988. 'Oil for export? A comparison of Libyan, Spanish and Tunisian olive oil production in the Roman empire', Journal of Roman Archaeology 1: 33-56.

Mattingly, D.J. and G.S. Aldrete, 2000. 'The Feeding of Imperial Rome: the mechanics of the food supply system', in J. Coulston and H. Dodge (eds) Ancient Rome: the archaeology of the eternal city. (Oxford): 142-65.

Thébert, Y., 1987. 'Private life and domestic architecture in Roman Africa,' in P. Veyne (ed.) A history of private life: from pagan Rome to Byzantium, 313-409. (Harvard)

Week 9:
Black, E.W., 1987. Roman Villas of South-East England, BAR British Series 171 (Oxford)

Cunliffe, B., 1971. Fishbourne. A Roman palace and its garden. (Thames and Hudson)

Goodburn, R. 1972 The Roman Villa, Chedworth (National Trust)

Meates, G.W, 1979. The Roman Villa at Lullingstone (Kent)

Week 10:
Chavarría Arnau, A., 2005. 'Villas in Hispania during the fourth and fifth centuries', in K. Bowes and M. Kulikowski (eds.), Hispania in late antiquity. Current perspectives (Brill): 519-552.

Francovich, R. and R. Hodges, 2003. Villa to Village: The Transformation of the Roman Countryside in Italy, c. 400-1000. (Duckworth)

Wilson, R.J.A., 1983. Piazza Armerina (Granada)

Week 11:
Bowes, K. and A. Gutteridge, 2005. 'Debate: Rethinking the later Roman landscape,' Journal of Roman Archaeology 18: 405-413.

Duncan-Jones, R.P., 2004. 'Economic change and transition in Late Antiquity,' in S. Swain and M. Edwards (eds.), Approaching Late Antiquity: The Transformation from Early to Late Empire. (Oxford): 20-52.

Ellis, S., 1988. 'The End of the Roman House,' American Journal of Archaeology 92: 565-579.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserMs Elizabeth Munro
Course secretaryMs Rosie Edwards
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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