Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire [TTC Video]

Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire [TTC Video]
Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire [TTC Video] by Steven L Tuck
Course No 3430 | AVI, XviD, 793 kbps, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 6.73 GB

Rome was the greatest empire of the ancient world, a colossus that spanned three continents, ruled over millions of people, lasted more than a thousand years, and left as its most enduring legacy the foundation of much of Western culture. Yet, in an empire in which perhaps only one person in ten was literate, how was Rome able to so successfully communicate its civic and cultural values, or project a knowledge of Roman power, to every corner of the realm?

In Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire, award-winning Professor Steven L. Tuck of Miami University offers a unique way to understand the relationships that connected Rome, its citizens, and its subjects, and to see the visual and experiential ways in which Rome made and kept those relationships clear.

A Unique Opportunity to Explore the Roots of Our Own Culture

In this fascinating course on the visual nature of ancient Rome, Professor Tuck helps you understand the foundations of your own culture that simply cannot be conveyed through standard courses in art, ancient history, architecture, or religion.

By learning how Rome communicated in so many visually symbolic ways, you gain insight into how similar tools are still used today. You are able to hone your ability to see them at work in the visual symbols that are part of government, the military, religion, and just about every aspect of contemporary public or private life.

And if you're planning a trip to Rome or any other location bearing the marks of its empire, these lectures will also help you prepare for your trip, experience it, and get the most benefit for your travel dollar.

Learn How to Read a Message Meant for an Empire

Professor Tuck guides you through all the ways in which Rome set forth its message, showing you how it flawlessly conveyed all that needed to be said through a vast range of visual spectacle, shared cultural experience, and deliberately crafted structure or imagery:

  • Extravagant public displays, including triumphal marches, gladiatorial combat, chariot races, animal hunts, executions, and even life-sized re-creations of its naval triumphs in vast flooded arenas
  • The architecture of its leading citizens' lavish homes, where design and decor carried a message, from the achievements of a host's lineage to a visitor's position within Rome's civic and social hierarchy
  • The design of its imperial forums and other public spaces and even its harbors, which made clear the voyager's return or his entry into the orbit of Roman power and civic obligation
  • The unavoidable and deliberate messages in Rome's beautiful statuary, sculptural reliefs, and other visual art
  • Rome's emphasis on spectacle and entertainment over political engagement and introspection in the design and use of its theaters
  • The extraordinary engineering achievements that not only built roads, bridges, and aqueducts across the vast range of its empire, but imposed on the very forms of nature itself an often brutal—and always self-aware—topography of Roman power
  • The role of religion in reinforcing Roman values and even in building Rome itself, with the city's very shape altered by the monuments and temples built to fulfill its citizens' vows to deities

Experience the Significance of Rome in a New Way

Even if you have some familiarity with ancient Rome, you'll likely be surprised at the vividness with which Professor Tuck immerses you in Roman life:

  • Elite homes: You learn how the houses of Rome's most powerful families played a significant role in reinforcing social structures and the achievement and stature of the host's family. Deceased family members were represented in a home's public areas by mementos of accomplishments, such as military trophies or the blood-stained armor of defeated foes, and also by imagines of those decedents—images rendered in the form of portrait busts or wax death masks.
  • Rome's imperial baths: In a culture in which so many of the institutions that define Rome were off limits to most people, you see how Rome's magnificent public bathing spas were an exception—a chance for every Roman to experience the tangible benefits of empire and wealth. Free of charge and extraordinarily opulent, these grand complexes were used by everyone, from slaves to the emperor himself. Within their lavish walls, favors would be curried and the obligations of the elite met.
  • Rome's triumphal arches: The 100 triumphal arches that line the great avenues of Rome—and have inspired similar structures throughout the world—represent perhaps the quintessential form of Roman monument. In the stories told by their carvings, as well as by their very presence, they serve, as Professor Tuck notes, to "literally petrify victory imagery in stone," making ephemeral events permanent in the eyes of both the subsequent processions that march beneath them and the Romans who line the streets to watch.

And, of course, there are our eyes as well, still able to read Rome's messages, even after 2,000 years, as accurately as the Romans and non-Romans alike to whom they were first intended.

A Stunning View of Ancient Rome

Representing the most extensive investment we've ever put into a course, this provocative and lavish learning experience is different from any visual course The Teaching Company has ever presented.

Featuring more than 1,000 visuals—including original art commissioned exclusively for this course—Experiencing Rome draws on computer animations of Roman villas, actual artifacts, and revealing maps, along with breathtaking photography of Rome's statuary, mosaics, sculptural reliefs, buildings, public spaces, and monuments.

Many of those photographs were taken by Professor Tuck himself on the numerous study trips he has led to Italy and England. His discussions of the details behind many of the photos add immensely to their impact.

Similarly, his exceptionally well-rounded background in history, classics, classical art, archaeology, and even epigraphy—the study of ancient inscriptions—adds an extra dimension of richness to every discussion.

Combined with a dry sense of humor that balances the sense of gravity that often accompanies explorations of Roman antiquity, his superb teaching skills make him particularly well suited to this subject.

Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire shows you how very much there still is to discover in a historical legacy you've been experiencing your entire life.