The people of ancient Rome established one of the most successful societies of all time. In many ways, their society was very much like our own, with many of the same strengths and many of the same problems. This course will include a survey of Roman history from the time of the Roman monarchy through the reign of Constantine. It will include also a discussion of many of the greatest works of Latin literature, including the histories of Tacitus, Suetonius, and Sallust, the plays of Plautus, and the poems of Catullus, Ovid, Virgil, and Horace.
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I'm Ancient History



The Immense Majesty (Africa)
The Pot of Gold and Other Plays (Plautus)


For each class day that includes a “primary source” reading assignment (almost every day the class meets!), please add an entry to the class blog http://romankeylineblog2020.blogspot.com/.

Since part of the goal here is to make sure you are prepared for class discussion, late blog entries will not be accepted. There will be a few extra credit blogs here and there throughout the semester, but only enough to makeup for three of four missed blog assignments. Please *don’t* fall behind on the blogs.

If for some reason you have trouble posting or do not have easy internet access, please see me right away. The selections posted on the blog should be of use to you as you prepare the potential exam essay questions. You should also find useful the comments/insights of other students. Do remember that your blog comments are public.  Use appropriate academic diction, and remember that that wonderful gal or guy who sits next to you in class will be reading your comments.   

If you do not have easy internet access, I can give you an alternative to the blog assignments.  See me *early* in the semester if keeping up with the blogs is going to be a problem for you.


8/20    Introduction (Africa I)

8/25    The Roman Monarchy (Africa II, Selections from Livy)        
8/27    The Struggle of Orders (Africa III, Selections from Livy)

9/1      The Punic Wars (Africa IV, Selections from Livy)
9/3      The Gracchi (Africa V, Selections from Plutarch)

9/8     The War with Jugurtha  (Selections from Sallust) 
9/10    Marius (Africa VI, Selections from Plutarch)

9/15   Sulla (Selections from Plutarch)
9/17   Plautus: The Swaggering Soldier

9/22   More Plautus: The Prisoners
9/24             *** EXAM I ***

9/29      Pompey and Crassus (Selections from Plutarch)
10/1      Cicero (Selections from Cicero and Sallust)

10/6     Caesar (Selections from Caesar and Plutarch)
10/8     The 2nd Triumvirate (Selections from Plutarch)

10/13   Augustus (Selections from Suetonius)
10/15   The Julio-Claudians I (Africa VII, Selections from Suetonius)

10/20   The Julio-Claudians II (Selections from Tacitus)
10/22    Roman Poetry: Catullus and Horace

10/27    Roman Poetry: Virgil and Ovid
10/29           *** EXAM II ***

11/3           *** Assessment Day—No Class ***
11/5     The Flavians/Five Good Emperors

11/10    Severans/ Soldier Emperors (Africa VIII, Herodian of Antioch)
11/12    Diocletian and Galerius

11/17    Constantine (Selections from Eusebius)
11/19    Rome in the 4th, 5th and 6th Centuries (Ammianus Marcellinus)

11/24    Conclusion: The Legacy of Rome (Selections from Procopius)


Final exams for all classes will be online.  You may take the History Final 122 exam anytime during the final exam period (Wednesday Dec. 2 through Tuesday, December 8).


Your grade for this course will be based primarily on your three major exams and your blog entries, each of which will count approximately 20% when I determine your final grade. In addition, I will take into account attendance and participation.


I expect all students to attend class faithfully, to keep up with the readings, and to participate in class discussion. I do take attendance into account when figuring out your final grade.


Please make sure all electronic devices are turned off and put away before class begins.  Cell phones, laptop computers, MP3 players, and similar devices are all distracting to other students.  I do *not* allow the use of electronic dictionaries during exams.


All exams: 8 ID's, 1 essay
ID's will be selected from the terms put on the board at the beginning of each lecture.  You will be asked not only to identify the terms, but also to explain their historical significance.  I am impressed when students can include plenty of detailed information, but I am even more impressed when students can show how the ID terms relate to important themes discussed in this class.

Essay questions will deal with major themes discussed in the lectures.  Most often, the exam question will be a generalization I have made in class with the additional word, "comment."

A student who studies hard and does the required reading should have plenty to say in response to each of these questions.  You will be given 75 minutes for each midterm and two hours for the final exam.  Most students will need the full time to do a good job.

What is a good job?  I tell students over and over again that a good essay consists of a series of good generalizations based on the exam question and backed up with specific support from the lectures and the readings.  I am particularly impressed when students include in their essays references to primary source material.



All students are required to complete Attendance Confirmation and pay their tuition and fee charges no later than the third day of the semester. To do this, log in to WebAdvisor, click on "Fall 2016 Attendance Confirmation", and follow the steps indicated. Financial aid refunds will not be processed until the Attendance Confirmation has been completed. Failure to pay your bill and complete the Attendance Confirmation will result in the cancellation of your enrollment. Contact the Finance Office in the Krikac Administration Building, email nsustudentaccount@northern.edu, or call 626-2566 with any questions concerning this.


Class attendance is flexible due to COVID-19. If you are absent due to illness, quarantine, or isolation, please follow the What if I Get Sick? protocol and inform the Dean of Students, who will notify faculty. No documentation from a healthcare provider is required for missed classes. Students are responsible for all class content and requirements, regardless of absences.


Northern State University recognizes its responsibility for creating an institutional climate in which students with disabilities can thrive.  If you have any type of disability for which you require accommodations, please contact the NSU Office of Disability Services (626-2371, Student Center 217) as soon as possible to discuss your particular needs.


Under Board of Regents and University policy student academic performance may be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled. Students who believe that an academic evaluation reflects prejudiced or capricious consideration of student opinions or conduct unrelated to academic standards should contact the academic dean administratively in charge of the class to initiate a review of the evaluation.


Cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty and misconduct run contrary to the purposes of higher education.   Cheating includes the use of any notes during the midterm or final exam.  Please place no marks of any kind on or in your blue book before I give the signal to begin taking the exam.  All exams must be taken on blank bluebooks.  On at least one exam, bluebooks will be checked before the exam.  Bluebooks that have not been checked, have missing pages, or pages with large erasures will not be accepted.

It is not cheating to study with another student, to share notes, or to prepare essays or ID's together. However, if you do study with another student, be sure you do not sit next to each other during the exam.
Northern State University's official policy and procedures on cheating and academic dishonesty as outlined in the Northern State University Student Handbook applies to this course. Students caught cheating will receive a zero for the assignment, and, since zeros are worse than F‘s, they are likely to fail the course as a whole.

Any student caught cheating in this class at any time will receive a failing grade for the course. Cheating includes the use of any notes during midterm or final exams. Please place no marks of any kind on or in your blue book before I give the signal to begin taking the exams. 

It is not cheating to study with another student or to prepare essays or ID's together. Papers and blog entries, on the other hand, must be entirely your own work. Plagiarism definitely is cheating.  If you have any doubts as to what constitutes plagiarism, see me.