FALL 2010
Professor Rodgers
10:40-11:30 MWF
481 Main Street, room 301
Waterman 456
Office hours: M 11:45-12:30, W 9-10, F 2-3 and by appointment
Telephone 656-4607

          The last century of the Roman Republic is the best attested period in ancient history. Except for Plutarch's biographies and Appian's history, students read primary sources written by contemporaries of the events which they describe. Caesar's Commentaries on his conquest of "Gaul" (comprising modern France, the Low Countries, and part of Germany) and on the war he waged against his fellow citizens rank as outstanding literary endeavors as well as historical sources and propagandistic documents. Catullus' poetry, often scurrilous but always lively, reflects contemporary society and mores, and marks a change in the development of Roman literature. Cicero has left an immense corpus; his works include essays on philosophy and rhetoric, speeches defending his clients in court, political speeches delivered at various crises, uncut and unedited letters: these last not only give a rare insight into the mind of a very real person, but the collection includes letters to Cicero by a number of people, and give us our only extant writings by Caesar, Brutus, Marc Antony, Cato the younger, and other key players in the events of the Republic's last generation. Sallust, a younger contemporary and supporter of Julius Caesar, is the author of historical monographs on discrete episodes of late Republican history, those which best show, in his opinion, the polarity between different classes of Roman society. The readings in the course are designed to help students enter into the world of late Republican Rome, and to find parallels in contemporary social, political, and literary spheres. The story of the last century of the Roman republic is the story of how the Romans failed to repair or even to recognize cracks forming in the foundations of their state, and how as a result they lost their state as they knew it.


Appian Civil Wars (cited by book and chapter) (Penguin, tr. Carter)
Caesar The Gallic War (BG; cited by book and chapter) (Oxford, tr. Hammond)
Catullus Poems (cited by number) (Oxford, tr. Lee)
Cicero Defence Speeches (DS) and Political Speeches (PS) (cited by title of speech, sometimes with section numbers) (Oxford, tr. Berry)
Plutarch, Roman Lives (cited by name of life) (Oxford, tr. Waterfield)
Sallust Catiline's War (BC), The Jugurthine War (BJ), Histories (all cited by section) (Penguin, tr. Woodman)

John Murrell. Cicero and the Roman Republic (CRR)


Livy Periochae (books 58-134 cover the period of this class, or a little farther; the Periochae are epitomes of the books of Livy's history)
Suetonius' Lives of the Twelve Caesars (for biographies of Julius Caesar and Octavian)
Lacus Curtius has a variety of photographs, texts and other features; see especially the Roman Gazetteer

Having trouble with Roman names? Here is a guide

Roman political jargon

Chronology with maps giving an outline of major events in Republican history and various maps showing the growth of the Romans' territory

Map of the Roman Empire

Other Useful Maps

Hellenistic kingdoms
Rome in Italy 500-100 BCE
Map of Western Provinces
Provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire
Expansion of Rome 264 BCE - 180 CE

List of magistrates 134-43 BCE with brief notes about persons and events

The reading assignments are supposed to be completed before you come to class each day.


30 Introduction. Background of Republican history


1 Troubles in the oligarchy; the military and its problems
CRR Introduction; Plutarch Cato the Elder or Aemilius Paullus
3 The Gracchi
Introduction to Appian pp. ix-xviii, Appian 1.1-27; Plutarch Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus
Reading notes for Appian
6 Labor Day Holiday

8 Marius' new army and Sulla the darling of Fortune

Appian 1.28; Sallust BJ 1.1-72.2     Reading notes for Sallust
While these readings are assigned for today, class will meet in the library, not in the classroom; discussion of today's assignments will be combined with Friday's readings
10 Generals and demagogues
Sallust BJ 73.1-114.4; Appian 1.28-54
13 Marius the general
Plutarch Marius 1-33; CRR 1

A portrait of Marius

Roman and Italian minted propaganda (the links for the relevant coins minted during the Social War are at the very bottom of the page)

15 Marius the politician
Appian 1.55-75; Plutarch Marius 34-46
17 Mithradates VI of Pontus
Mithradatic Wars 10-28, 51-60
Background on Mithradates VI and notes on Appian's history of the war

A portrait of Sulla

20 Sulla
Appian 1.76-121; Plutarch Sulla

Project topics

22 Roman justice
Cicero Pro Roscio Amerino 1-82 (DS)
A portrait of Cicero
24 Counter charges
Cicero Pro Roscio Amerino 83-154 (DS); CRR 2
27 Pompey and Crassus
Sallust Histories (all); Plutarch Pompey 1-23
A portrait of Pompey
29 Cicero against Verres: taking on Hortensius and the Metelli
Cicero In Verrem I (PS); CRR 3-4

No regular office hours today


1 How to praise I
Cicero De imperio Cn. Pompei (PS); Plutarch Pompey 24-45; CRR 5
There is an online version of the oration that I have marked up with boldface font to indicate important words or concepts that Cicero emphasizes, along with notations of the sections of the speech and development of the argument, and some footnotes. The introduction and notes in the printed text are also very good, and the translation is much more modern, but there are no boldface markers.
4 A crucial election
Asconius' commentary on one of Cicero's campaign speeches, with fragments of the speech: In toga candida; Appian 2.1-7; CRR 6
Research project due
6 The beginning of the conspiracy
Sallust BC 1.1-39.4; Cicero In Catilinam I (PS)
8 Gathering evidence and arguing punishment
Cicero In Catilinam II, III, IV (PS)
11 Caesar vs Cato
Sallust BC 39.5-61.9
The Athenian historian Thucydides was the source of Sallust's inspiration for the debate
13 Securing a successor
Cicero Pro Murena (DS)
15 Cicero Pro Archia (DS) in defense of a poet, and of literature.
     Please read the oration (it is only 12 pages long) three times, and take different notes each time, as follows:
1. What is the sense of the oration as a whole?

2. What are the transitions of thought? (or, What is the structure of the argument and how does one topic lead to another?)

3. What is remarkable about individual turns of phrase, expressions, figures of speech or rhetorical expressions?

Some rhetorical terms
20 Midterm
       How to do gobbets

22 VCLA day

25 The three-headed monster

Appian 2.8-18; Plutarch Caesar 1-14, Pompey 46-55; Catullus Poems Nos. 29, 49, 52-58, 65, 67, 69, 71, 84, 91, 93-95, 113-116; CRR 7
A portrait of Caesar
27 Life in and out of Rome
Catullus Poems Nos. 1, 5, 7-8, 11-16, 21-28, 35-45; CRR 8-9
29 Caesar's Gallic command
Caesar BG books 1-2


1 Entertainment in court
Cicero Pro Caelio (DS); Catullus Poem No. 79
3 Caesar in Gaul and Britain
Caesar BG books 3-4
5 Winter quarters
Caesar BG books 5.1-6.28
8 Vercingetorix
Caesar BG book 7
10 Catullus' longer poems
Catullus 63, 64
12 Caesar and Pompey
Cicero Pro Milone (DS); Appian 2.19-25. Note that according to the contemporary evidence (Fam. 3.10.10 and Att. 9.7b.2) Cicero had asked Pompey to supply the soldiers for Milo's trial, and for a guard for himself (and presumably his client)
References to Caesar and Pompey in Cicero's Letters to His Friends and to His Brother Quintus
15 Cicero in Cilicia
CRR 10
Paper draft due
17 Civil war breaks out
Aulus Hirtius BG 8.49-54 (this is in Caesar BG; Hirtius, who would be one of the consuls of 43 BCE, continued the account of the conquest of Gaul when Caesar did not finish it); Appian 2.26-69; CRR 11
19 The course of the war
Appian 2.70-105; Plutarch Caesar 28-57, Pompey 56-80
29 How to praise II
Cicero Pro Marcello (PS); Appian 2.106-154; Plutarch Caesar 58-69


1 After the Ides
Cicero Philippic I (xerox); Philippic II (PS)
3 Antony and Octavian
Appian 3.1-98
6 The Triumvirate
Appian 4.1-51; Plutarch Antony 1-35
8 Retrospective
CRR 12; Suetonius Augustus 1-15
Paper due
13 Final Examination in 456 Waterman from 7:30-10:15 a.m.

Final grade will be based upon: Class participation (20%), Analyses of pro Archia (10%), Research project (10%), Paper (20%) Midterm (20%), Final examination (20%)

Please tell me what your topics will be before you start working on them.

Suggestions for background reading: M. Beard and M. Crawford, Rome in the Late Republic (Ithaca 1985). DG254 .B37 1985
M. Beard and M. Crawford, Rome in the Late Republic: Problems and Intrpretations (London 1999). DG254 .B37 1999
J. Boardman, J. Griffin, O. Murray, The Oxford History of the Roman World (Oxford 1991).
M. Crawford, The Roman Republic (Harvard 1982). DG235 .C7 1978, DG235 .C7 1993
Erik Hildinger, Swords against the Senate: the Rise of the Roman Army and the Fall of the Republic (Cambridge, MA 2002). DG254.2 .H558 2002
Arthur Keaveney. The Army in the Roman Revolution (London 2007). DG254.2 .K43 2007
T. Africa, The Immense Majesty (New York 1974). DG210 .A4 1991
H.H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero 5th ed. (New York 1982). Detailed. DG254 .S35 1976b, DG254 .S35 1982, DG254 .S35 1988
E.S. Gruen, The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (Berkeley 1974). Very detailed. DG254.2 .G78

Last updated: 16 November 2010
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