Department of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Social Sciences

Choate Rosemary Hall

Wallingford, Connecticut

Directed Study:

Spring 2004 term

Hypertext Course Syllabus

Goals of the Directed Study
Course Policies and Grading
Texts and Course Materials
Program and Workload
Schedule of Paper Topics
Mr. Ned Gallagher

Memorial House #114, 697-2340
Johnson Athletic Center #105, 697-2417

Goals of the Directed Study

     This is a topical exploration of Roman history. While most of the focus is traditional political, diplomatic, and military history, there will be an effort to incorporate recent scholarship in social history of the period as well.

Course Policies and Grading

     A summary of course policies and grading standards can be found online by clicking here.

Texts and Course Materials

     There are two texts for the course:

  • Allen M. Ward et al., A History Of The Roman People. Prentice-Hall, 2002. Fourth edition. ISBN 0130384801.
  • Anthony Everitt, Cicero: The Life And Times Of Rome's Greatest Politician. Random House, 2003. ISBN 037575895X.

Program and Workload

     This is designed as a tutorial. As such, the syllabus is defined by a series of questions to be answered in essay submissions. Weekly class meetings will review the most recent submission and discuss topics relating to the forthcoming assignment.

Schedule of Paper Topics

Instructions: The following topic questions are intentionally broad. You should approach each essay by articulating a specific thesis that reflects what you have learned from the texts you read. Papers should be at least 2-3 pages in length. No outside research is expected, but you may wish to supplement your reading with other sources. Remember to include the Honor Code Pledge on each submission.

Essay #1: "Victory over Carthage and achievement of empire changed Rome for the worse." Respond. (Due April 20.)

Essay #2: "The Gracchi were irresponsible demagogues who threatened the Republic and therefore richly deserved their disastrous fates." Respond. (Due April 28.)

Essay #3: Respond to one of the following: "If Julius Caesar had lived, the Roman Republic would have survived." OR "Julius Caesar’s career was the major reason that the Roman Republic did not survive." (Due May 5.)

Essay #4: "What made Augustus so great was that he combined the good things about many of his predecessors without exhibiting their bad traits." Respond. (Due May 12.)

Essay #5: Describe the three main causes of the fall of Rome and discuss which was the most important factor and why. (Due May 19.)

Essay #6 (final project): Write a review of Everitt's Cicero biography that discusses the extent to which the man's life reflects Rome's greatest strengths and weaknesses as a culture/society. The essay should be 3-5 pages in length. (Due May 28.)

This syllabus copyright 2004 Ned Gallagher. All rights reserved.
Last revised: October 17, 2004