History 451-36 – Greek and Roman Economy
Instructor: Gary Reger – contact only by email: email@example.com
Office Hours: Tuesdays 9.30-10.45 and by appointment (email)
Meeting Place: International House (Vernon Street)
Right: Agricultural Plain Near Volubilis, Morocco
In part, this class is structured around an experiment: discussion and critique of draft chapters of a book on the Greek and Roman economy that I am writing for Blackwell Publishers, due in their hands in January 2011. The book is intended as an introduction to the economic history of the Greek and Roman world, aimed at advanced undergraduates and starting graduate students with some background in the period. Each week we will first read and discuss some sources on which a chapter from the book is based and then read and discuss a draft of that chapter. In all we will look at eight chapters, slightly less than half the book. I expect everyone to read everything carefully and to offer plenty of comments; one of my goals is to make my book a more effective resource for students, so your criticism is expected and welcome. (You won’t hurt my feelings.)
Given the intention of this course, the design will be a bit unconventional. Each week we will typically spend one class period listening to a student presentation and discussing it, and the other discussing a draft chapter of my book related to the topic of the student presentation. Each student will be assigned a topic on which s/he will become an “expert”, and a long paper on that topic due at the end of the semester will constitute the only written work.
There are no required books.
Please note – this syllabus is preliminary; final form depends on total number of students. I will post the final version by February 2, 2010.
History Department Events
As students in a History course, you ought to seize every opportunity to learn more about history in general. This semester the History Department is sponsoring or co-sponsoring a series of extremely exciting and intellectually engaging events. You should make every effort to attend these events!
March 4 (Th) – Mead Lecture by Alice O’Connor,
’80, Professor of History at the University of California Santa Barbara and
Trinity College Trustee will speak on
“Obama’s New Deal? :
Historical Reflections on a New Age of Reform”.
March 11 (Th) – Roundtable discussion of From Scottsboro to Munich: Race and Political Culture in 1930s Britain (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009) by Susan D. Pennybacker, Professor of European History with Kathleen Kete, Davarian Baldwin, Seth Markle, and Vijay Prashad. Washington Room, Mather Hall, second floor.
April 1 (Th) – Dario Euraque, Professor of History and International Studies, will speak on “The Coup in Honduras and Its Historical Context” during Common Hour (12.15-1.30) in Wean Terrace Rooms, Mather Hall.
April 8 (Th) – Dario Euraque, Professor of History and International Studies, will continue his analysis of the Honduran coup with a lecture entitled “Archaeology, National Identity and the Coup in Honduras: Modern Tourism and the Role of the Ancient Maya,” again during Common Hour (12.15-1.30) in the Washington Room, Mather Hall. This lecture will be followed by a mini-conference on the coup featuring speakers from the University of California at Berkeley and American University.
April 22 (Th) and 23 (F) – “Educating Women in the Twenty-First Century” – a multidisciplinary conference in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of coeducation at Trinity.
Class Schedule and Assignments
There are in effect only two assignments in this course:
1. Discussion and participation. Each student must come to every class prepared to participate multiple times. This requires doing the reading carefully, thoughtfully, and ahead of time. This class simply will not work unless everyone participates actively and frequently in each class session.
2. Presentations and papers. Each student will be assigned a topic related to a chapter of my book. His/her task will be to research this topic; decide on and assign readings a week ahead of his/her research presentation; run a class session on the topic; write, across the semester, a 20-25-page paper on the topic; give a presentation on the paper at the end of the semester; turn in the final written version on Friday May 7.
January 26 (T): First Class – Introduction to the course
January 28 (Th): Doing Research in Greek and Roman History
February 1 (M): Last Day of Add-Drop – You are committed to the course after this date!
February 2 (T): Assignment of Topics and Discussion of What These Mean
February 4 (Th): Reger Chapter 1, “The Nature of Economic History”
February 9 (T): Student presentations – what I know about my topic, what I need to find out
February 11 (Th): Reger Chapter 2, “The History of the Greco-Roman Economy”
February 16 (T): Student presentation – the economy of Ptolemaic Egypt
February 18 (Th): Reger Chapter 13, “A Policy of State Economic Development in Egypt?”
Over Trinity Days I will be going to the University of California at Berkeley. To prep for that, I will be presenting to you the two papers I will be presenting at Berkeley, for comment and criticism. Some background reading will prepare you to be good respondents.
February 23 (T): Reger – Paper for Berkeley, I
February 25 (Th): Reger – Paper for Berkeley, II
March 2: Trinity Days, No Class
March 4 (Th): Student presentation – rural economy
March 9 (T): Reger Chapter 11, “The Economy of the Family Farm”
March 11 (Th): Student presentation – the economy of the Athenian empire
March 16 (T): Reger Chapter 5, “An Aegean Economy”
March 18 (Th): Student presentations – interim reports on progress on papers
March 23 (T) – March 25 (Th): Spring Break, No Classes
March 30 (T): Student presentation – the Roman army and the economy
April 1 (Th): Reger Chapter 15, “What Did the Roman Army Mean for the Economy of Gaul?”
April 6 (T): Student presentation – Roman banking
April 8 (Th): Reger Chapter 16, “Records of a Roman Banker”
April 13 (T): Student presentation – trade in luxuries in the Roman world
April 15 (Th): Instead of class, we will attend a lecture by Edward Champlin of Princeton University, entitled “"The Power of Myth: Tiberius Caesar and the Heavenly Twins" at 4.30-5.30 pm in Rittenburg Lounge, Mather Hall. Attendance is mandatory. If you have a conflict (sports practice, etc.) please make arrangements well ahead of time to enable attendance.
April 20 (T): Reger Chapter 17, “The Indian Ocean World – Building and Infrastructure of Trade”
April 22: No class – Although it is not relevant to our class, I urge everyone to attend the conference “Educating Women in the Twenty-First Century,” being held today and tomorrow (Friday, April 23) here at Trinity College, as part of the commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of coeducation.
April 27 (T): Slavery
April 29 (Th): Reger Chapter 20, "Slavery"
May 4 (T): Rather than meet at the usual time, we will have an evening meeting over dinner. Details to follow.
May 7 (F): Final Paper Due by 12 Noon