Spring 2020 - ARCH 313 D100

Roman Art and Archaeology (4)

Class Number: 5756

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    WMC 2532, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 15, 2020
    11:30 AM – 11:59 AM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Sabrina Higgins
    Office: AQ 6201
    Office Hours: Mondays 10:00AM-12:00PM
  • 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 the notable Greeks and Etruscans 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 Emperor 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 the projection of Roman imperial power; the development of Christian art; and 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%
  • Paper Proposal and Bibliography 10%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final Paper 25%
  • Final Exam 30%



Kleiner, F.S. A History of Roman Art. Thomson Wadsworth, Second Edition 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-3058-8512-7

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Students with Disabilities (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) 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:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html