Spring 2023 - ARCH 313 D100

Roman Art and Archaeology (4)

Class Number: 6308

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Wed, Fri, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    One of the following courses: ARCH 100, ARCH 201, HS 100, HS 231, HS 232, HS/HIST 277 or by permission of the instructor.



Introduces the art and archaeology of ancient Rome from 8th c. BCE to 4th c. CE through an overview of the material remains in their original historical, political and cultural contexts. Addresses several issues: stylistic changes and innovations, art as a vehicle of propaganda and art as projection of Roman imperial power. Students with credit for HS 313 cannot take this course for further credit. Students with credit for ARCH 332 under the title "Special Topics in Archaeology I: Roman Art and Archaeology" may not take this course for further credit.


This course offers an introduction to the art and archaeology of Rome, covering the time period that extends from approximately 700 B.C. to the 4th century AD. We will begin by examining the history of pre-Roman Italy, while placing a special focus on the art and archaeology of the Etruscan civilization. Next, we will move to the Early Roman period and the notable Greek and Etruscan influences that permeate the art and architecture of this period. This is followed by the artistic manifestations of the Roman Republic, and the birth of “Imperial” Rome under the Emporer Augustus.

The second half of the course will focus on the Imperial Period – urban planning, architecture, sculpture, painting and minor arts – from the Flavians to Constantine (fourth century) and the rise of Christianity. The material is analyzed in its original historical, political and cultural context. The art and architecture of Rome will form the basis of the material covered in this course, but we will also explore the art and archaeology of several Roman provinces and the mechanisms that held this vast empire together. The course will address several issues: stylistic changes and innovations throughout the centuries; the use of art as a vehicle of propaganda for the emperors; Roman art and its influence on the sculptural, architectural and urban design models that influenced western cultures for centuries to follow. The course is organized chronologically, forming three distinct units: 1) Pre-Roman Italy and the Etruscan Civilization; 2) From the rise of Rome to the Republican period; 3) The Imperial Period (Augustus to Constantine).


  • Participation 10%
  • Article Review 15%
  • Paper Proposal and Annotated Bibliography 20%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final Paper 30%



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

Deferred grades will be given only on the basis of authenticated medical disability.

Registrar Notes:


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