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CLA 73 — Roman Revolutions

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 22—Dec 1
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Sep 24
Units: 2
Tuition: $485
Instructor(s): Christopher Krebs
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 24. In addition, some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Fall
Live Online(About Formats)
Tuesdays
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Sep 22—Dec 1
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 24
2 Units
Fees
$485
Instructor(s):
Christopher Krebs
Closed
Please Note: No class on November 24. In addition, some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
“Caesar is dead. Long live Caesar!” The Ides of March saw the end of Julius Caesar’s life, but not of the political forces that would ultimately transform the Roman Republic into an autocracy: it was Caesar’s adopted son, Augustus, who became Rome’s first emperor. This profound political change from republic to autocracy during the first century BCE has commonly been styled in modern times as the Roman Revolution, but other upheavals were occurring more or less concurrently. The transition from the late Roman Republic to the early empire was roiled by three intertwined crises: the political, the cultural, and the intellectual. It was not enough anymore to refer to the ancestors’ ways; justification now required arguments. We will study the end of the republic and with it the end of traditional thinking and the traditional Roman way, through reading a variety of texts from this transitional period. They will include love poetry by Catullus and Propertius, and technical, historical, and philosophical writings ranging from Vitruvius’s treatise On Architecture and Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods to Augustus’s Account of his Deeds (the Res Gestae). We will ponder their causes, look for interconnections, and listen for their echoes in our own times, including, perhaps, the ideas of accountability and efficiency.

Christopher Krebs, Associate Professor of Classics, Stanford

Christopher Krebs studied Classics and philosophy in Berlin and Kiel and at the University of Oxford, and taught at Harvard before coming to Stanford. He is the author of A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich, which received the 2012 Christian Gauss Award.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe (Oxford World Classics) (ISBN 978-0-19-955514-7)
(Required) Cicero, On Divination (ISBN 978-1-52-178292-7)
(Required) Caesar, Gallic War (ISBN 978-0199540266)
(Required) Vitruvius, On Architecture (ISBN 978-0521002929)
(Required) Horkheimer, Max, Eclipse of Reason (ISBN 978-1614274131)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)