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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classical Art/Classical Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: Death and Burial in Republican and Imperial Rome (CACA10004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is concerned with the methods of burial of the dead, tombs, funerary art, iconography and afterlife beliefs of the inhabitants of the ancient city of Rome. It is a multidisciplinary course, but there will be special emphasis on the study of art and architecture in its social context It is therefore of equal interest to Classicists, art historians and archaeologists. The period covered stretches from the earliest burials in Rome to the Christian tombs of the time of Constantine.
Course description The course focuses on the burial practices, tomb monuments (design and iconography) and afterlife beliefs of the people living in Rome. Ostia and Pompeii from c. 1000BC to the mid 4th century AD. Topics discussed include: the earliest burials at Rome; Etruscan tombs and tomb painting; evidence for elite funerals and tombs of the Republic; tombs of the time of Augustus, including his Mausoleum and columbaria; tombs at Pompeii; the iconography of ash chests and grave altars; changes in burial rite (from cremation to inhumation) in the mid-imperial period; the cemeteries excavated in the Vatican and Isola Sacra; the typology, chronology, iconography and its symbolism, of sarcophagi; the interior decoration of tombs (especially wall painting); the catacombs and early Christian funerary iconography.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should have a Pass in any two of: Roman World 1B, Classical Art 2A, Classical Archaeology 2B.
Additional Costs None.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter(at least 2 of which should be in Classical Art/Archaeology) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination , command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material, especially art historical and other material evidence ;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Carroll, M. (2006) Spirits of the dead. Roman funerary Commemoration in Western
Europe Oxford
Davies, G (2003) ┐Roman funerary symbolism in the early Empire┐, in Inhabiting
Symbols: Symbol and Image in the Ancient Mediterranean. Accordia
Research Institute, ed. J. B. Wilkins and E. Herring. London.
Hope, V. and Marshall, E. eds. (2000) Death and Disease in the Ancient City London
and New York
Hopkins, K. (1983/1985) Death and Renewal Cambridge Chapter 4
Koortbojian, M. (1995) Myth, Meaning and Memory on Roman Sarcophagi Berkeley
and London
Lehmann-Hartleben K. and Olsen, E.C.(1942) The Dionysiac Sarcophagi in
Petersen, L.H., (2006) The Freedman in Roman Art and Art History Cambridge
chapter 3 (Memory making in the funerary realm); chapter 6 (Family and
community at the Isola Sacra)
Ross Holloway, R. (1994) The Archaeology of Early Rome and Latium London
Stevenson, J.( 1978) The Catacombs: rediscovered monuments of early Christianity
Toynbee, J.M.C. (1971 and 1996) Death and Burial London and Baltimore
Zanker, P. and Ewald, B. C. (2011) Living with Myths. The imagery of Roman
Sarcophagi Oxford
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3580 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsDeath and Burial in Rome
Course organiserDr Glenys Davies
Tel: (0131 6)50 3592
Course secretaryMrs Toni Wigglesworth
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
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