ARTH202: Art of Ancient Greece and Rome

Course Syllabus for "ARTH202: Art of Ancient Greece and Rome"

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In this course, we will study the art of Classical Antiquity. The different units of the course reflect the main chronological stages in art development in Ancient Greece and Rome, from the coming together of the Greek city-state and the emergence of “geometric art” (around 900 B.C.) to the fourth century A.D. shift that took place within Roman culture and art due to the growing influence of Christianity. We will begin by underlining the unity of our subject matter: Rome not only conquered Greece, but it assimilated Greece’s cultural and artistic accomplishments. In fact, much of what we know of Greek art today we learned through Roman copies. We will also explore the development of Greek architecture, sculpture, and painting up to the Hellenistic period, when Greek art began to influence new parts of the globe through the conquests of Alexander the Great. We will also study the ways in which naturalism and idealism came together as Greek art developed over time. Next, we will turn our attention to Roman art, studying its development from the time of the Roman Republic, a period that overlaps with Greece’s Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the waning of the Western Roman Empire. You will learn that while Roman art was, to a large extent, inspired by Greek art, it also developed its own distinctive characteristics. The artistic traditions of Ancient Greece and Rome ultimately served as the foundation for the art of the Western world; these traditions continue to reverberate to the present day.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Explain why ancient Greek and Roman art can be studied together as “the art of Classical Antiquity.”
  • Trace the timeline of major events in Ancient Greece and Rome.
  • Link important developments in the history of Ancient Greece and Rome to specific geographical contexts.
  • Explain how important historical developments and social-historical contexts had an impact on art’s evolution in Ancient Greece and Rome.
  • Identify the important stylistic and technical developments of Ancient Greek and Roman art.
  • Discuss important artworks, presenting relevant information on each work’s historical context and constitution.
  • Discuss important artists in terms of the style of their work.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course, you must:

  • Have access to a computer.
  • Have continuous broadband Internet access.
  • Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).
  • Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.
  • Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).
  • Have competency in the English language.
  • Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.
  • Have completed ARTH101: Art Appreciation and Techniques, ARTH110: Introduction to Western Art History—Pre-Historic to High Gothic, and ARTH111: Introduction to Western Art History—Proto-Renaissance to Contemporary Art.

Course Information

Welcome to ARTH 202. Below, please find general information on this course and its requirements.

Course Designer: Elisabeth Miller

Primary Resources: This course requires you to learn from a multiplicity of free online resources. The following resources are among those we will be using repeatedly throughout the entirety of the course:

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course you will need to work through each unit of the course and pass the Final Exam with a score of 70% or higher. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again. Most units are comprised of readings, lectures, and videos. Some resources, specifically those from the Open University, also include activities that will help you assimilate the material.

Time Commitment: This course should take you approximately 104 hours to complete. The time advisories listed under each unit title will help you organize your calendar. Units are unequal in the time investment they require on your part so you may want to take a look at the time advisories for each unit before you begin the course. For example, Unit 1 should take you 20 hours to complete. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and complete half of subunit 1.1 (about 2.5 hours) on Monday night; the rest of subunit 1.1 (about 2.5 hours) on Tuesday night; half of subunit 1.2 (about 2.5 hours) on Wednesday; the rest of subunit 1.2 (about 2.5 hours) on Thursday; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: Reading the material and listening to the lectures alone will not be sufficient to retain the information you are required to have assimilated before you take the Final Exam. You will need to take careful notes and spend time reviewing. The instructional boxes accompanying the links to the course resources will help you focus your study.

Table of Contents: You can find the course's units at the links below.