Please enable javascript to view this page in its intended format.

Queen's University

*Please note that course syllabi are updated each year in late August 
Prior to August, syllabi on the Classics Department website will reflect the courses as they were offered in the last term or year.  Significant changes in emphasis in course material may occur from year to year, including grading methodology, grade weighting and assignments.   Up-to-date syllabi will be available to students by the first day of class.

CLST 405*/0.5  3L/S
Topography of Rome

Fall 2012

Instructor: Dr.Cristiana Zaccagnino
Office: Watson Hall, Room 114
Phone: (613) 533-6000, ext. 77843
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM or by appointment

Class Schedule: 

  • Mondays 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Thursdays 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Location: Ellis 321 (ELL-321)

Course Outline

The course deals with the long process of urban development of Rome, from the Late Bronze Age (10th century BC) to the end of the Ancient World (476 AD), the factors influencing this development, its changing patterns, the aims and  meaning of  the “building policy” and the efforts of urban planning by political authorities, leading figures and emperors. Each student will study a building or complex, will present it to the class for discussion and will write a detailed research paper on it (10-15 pages, 12 font size, 1inch margins).


Building Presentation 20 %

Research Paper 25 % due on November 29

Midterm Exam 25 % One and a half hours on October 18

Final Exam 25 % 3 hours Exam period in December

Attendance and Participation 5 %        

As it is not a course that closely follows a textbook, attendance is very important for understanding and performance.

The test and examination are to be taken at the scheduled times and dates.  In certain exceptional circumstances (e.g. a medical emergency, a death in the family, but not in the case of demands in another course or from an extracurricular activity), the instructor might grant the student the opportunity to write an exam/test outside the regularly scheduled time. Late work will not be accepted without a documented personal or medical problem.

Required Texts

  • Filippo Coarelli, Rome and Environs, An Archaeological Guide, Paperback, The University of California Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780520079618

Reference Books (available at Stauffer Library):

-Richardson L., Jr., A new topographical dictionary of ancient Rome, Baltimore ; London: John Hopkins University Press, 1992.  

- Eva Margareta Steinby (ed.), Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae, Roma, Edizioni Quasar, 1993-2000.

- Ernest Nash, Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome, 2d ed. rev., New York, Praeger, 1968

- Samuel Ball Platner, Thomas Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, London, Oxford University Press, 1929.

- Amanda Claridge, Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford University Press, 1998

- Jon Coulston and Hazel Dodge. Ancient Rome: The Archaeology of the Eternal City, Oxford University School of Archaeology, 2000.


Additional material and information about this course will be posted on the CLST 405  Moodle  course page. 


Claridge: pp. 3-30 historical overview; 31-32 documentary sources; 37-43 building materials; 44-50 building techniques.

Coulston-Dodge: ch. 2 (Early and archaic Rome), 3 (The city of Rome in the Middle Republic), 4 (The moral museum. Augustus and the city of Rome; Appendix: sources for the study of ancient Rome).

Final Exam
Coulston-Dodge: ch. 7 (the feeding of Rome); 8 (Greater than the Pyramids: the water supply of ancient Rome); 9 (Entertaining Rome); 10 (Living and dying in the city of Rome); 12 (Lost glories? Rome at the end of the empire).

Weekly Programme (The Programme is tentative and it may change)

Week 1 (Sept. 10-14)

What’s topography and why we study the topography of Rome as a distinct topic?

The Origins: Bronze Age Rome and Latium. 

Week 2 (Sept. 17-21)

Iron Age Rome; the historical tradition on the foundation of Rome and its earlier period; comparison with archaeological evidence.

The Archaic period; the “Great Rome” of the Tarquinian Dynasty: public areas and buildings.

Week 3 (Sept. 24-28)

Kings, tyrants and the early Republic: building programs and ideology.

Week 4 (Oct. 1-5)

From Republic to Empire; Augustan Rome

Week 5 (Oct. 8-12)

Thanksgiving-No Class  ; Augustan Rome 

Week 6 (Oct. 15-19)

The Julio-Claudian Dynasty: tradition and innovation from Tiberius to Nero.


Week 7 (Oct. 22-26)

The Flavians; Trajan

Week 8 (Oct. 29-Nov. 2)

Hadrian and the Antonines

Week 9 (Nov. 5-9)

The Severans and later Third century

Week 10 (Nov. 12-16)

Maxentius, Constantine, and the Fourth century; Christian Rome.

Week 11 (Nov. 19-23)

Private houses and cult places; cemeteries of Rome

Week 12 (Nov. 26-30)

The Suburbium; supplying Rome: roads, ports, ferries, aqueducts; Rome as an urban model in Italy.  

Grading Methodology

All components of this course will receive numerical percentage marks.  The final grade you receive for the course will be derived by converting your numerical course average to a letter grade according to Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale:


Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale


Numerical Course Average (Range)


























49 and below

Electronic Devices in the Classroom

The Department of Classics believes that maintaining an atmosphere of respect and consideration in the classroom is an important part of the pursuit of free intellectual enquiry. The use of electronic devices in the classroom can be disruptive to both the instructor and to other students, and thus we are introducing guidelines on their use. These guidelines will follow the procedure explained in Section 14 of the Student Code of Conduct and are in force starting January 2011:

  1. Non-course related use of electronic devices (e.g. playing games, watching movies, social networking and texting), including smartphones, tablets and laptops, is regarded by the Department of Classics as disruptive pursuant to Section 14 of the Student Code of Conduct. The use of these devices may be restricted at the discretion of the instructor;
  2. In some courses in CLST, LATN or GREK laptops may not be permitted. You will be told in class by your instructor if this is the case. If the use of laptops is permitted, please understand that their use is restricted to note-taking;
  3. The use of recording devices for lectures is not allowed unless you have requested and been given the express permission of the instructor of the course.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is constituted by the five core fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility (see These values are central to the building, nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the community will thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a foundation for the "freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas" essential to the intellectual life of the University (see the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations concerning academic integrity and for ensuring that their assignments conform to the principles of academic integrity. Information on academic integrity is available in the Arts and Science Calendar (see Academic Regulation 1), on the Arts and Science website (see, and from the instructor of this course.

Departures from academic integrity include plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials, facilitation, forgery and falsification, and are antithetical to the development of an academic community at Queen's. Given the seriousness of these matters, actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a warning or the loss of grades on an assignment to the failure of a course to a requirement to withdraw from the university.


The material in this outline is copyrighted and is for the sole use of students registered in CLST 405.  This material shall not be distributed or disseminated to anyone other than students registered in CLST 405.  Failure to abide by these conditions constitutes a breach of academic integrity under the University Senate's Academic Integrity Policy Statement.

This page was last updated 20 August, 2010

Department of Classics, 505 Watson Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6.
P: 613.533.2745 | F: 613.533.6739