Course Description

Course Name

Christianity and the Roman Empire

Session: VRMU3124

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course description.
This course offers an overview of the history of the Early Church from 100‐425 AD, focusing on the confrontation of Christianity with Roman life and thought. It will examine that relationship both from the early Christian and early Roman perspectives. Field trips to historical sites and museums in Rome will be used to reanimate ancient Roman history.

Course Learning Objectives.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Outline the major events of the early history of Christianity, as narrated and dramatized in contemporary source material both Christian and Roman (in translation)
2. Discuss the original cultural contexts in which these texts were written, and critically assess their role in ancient society
3. formulate arguments and produce written commentaries on historical topics.

Course Learning Activities.
 Out of class reading and writing assignments: students will read texts in translation (as per the attached schedule) in preparation for seminar discussion.   
 Students will produce a final research paper.  The final paper will consist of the development of a thesis, analysis of textual reference, and use of textual evidence and conclusions.
 In-class analysis: students will read and analyze primary texts; they will become familiar with the analytic methodology and critical terms; they will answer orally and in writing to questions stemming from the assigned readings.  Critical and interpretive essays will also be subject to critical analysis.

Sample Syllabus.
 In-class discussions: Students will participate in discussions, sustain their views and ideas by using a new and specialized lexicon.
 Oral presentations: students will choose a topic which they will prepare and present to the class, using elements of critical terminology already learned.

Assessment tools.
Discussions the assigned readings 15%
Oral presentations 20%
Midterm exam 15%
Final exam 25%
Final paper 25%

*Course content subject to change