Classics 353
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Classics 353/History 373: Ancient History - Rome

The Third Occult War, 218-313

Prof. Maisie Sinclair - ude.reed|mrialcnis#ude.reed|mrialcnis
Spring 2019 - MWF 1:10-2:30 - Wormwood B13
Office Hours MWF 3:00-4:00, TH 1:30-3:00, Wormwood 402

Course Overview:
In this course, we will study the occult history of the 3rd and early 4th centuries in the Roman Empire and its neighbors, focusing on the series of conflicts and crises now referred to as the Third Occult War (N.B.: some scholars refer to this as the Second Occult War, and several of the assigned readings use that nomenclature; we will be addressing this topic in more depth in Week 13). Beginning with the ascension of the Syrian sun-priest Elagabalus to the Roman throne and ending with Constantine's proclamation of official tolerance of Christianity, the Third Occult War caused major political and religious changes in the Roman Empire. We will investigate the driving factors behind this extended conflict, and explore how the changes it wrought shaped the modern world.

Required Reading:
The following texts are available from the Deer bookstore:

  1. Anthony the Stoudite. Secret Histories. Translated and edited by Stephen Crawford. Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, 2011. (ANTHONY)
  2. Crawford, Stephen, editor. The Third Occult War: Selected Contemporary Accounts. ICSUT University Press, 2009. (CRAWFORD)
  3. Lo Forte, Gian Marco. Early Christian Theurgy: Theory and Practice. Medicea Accademia Dell'Arte Occulta, 2014. (THEURGY)
  4. Lo Forte, Gian Marco, and Antonia Lucchese. Man Bites God: The Third-Century Theomachy. Medicea Accademia Dell'Arte Occulta, 2016. (THEOMACHY)
  5. Maeon of Palmyra. The Life of the True Empress Zenobia. Translated and edited by Ethan Bozeman. ICSUT University Press, 1983. (MAEON)
  6. Southern, Pat. The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine. Routledge, 2001. (SOUTHERN)
  7. Thomas of Rhodes. The Inheritance of Constantine. Translated by Tom Rose. Carter & Carter, 2003. (THOMAS)

A limited number of copies are also available on reserve at the library. If you feel that you cannot afford to purchase some or all of these books, talk to me and I'll see what I can do. All other assigned reading is available on the Moodle - please either print out these readings or bring your laptop/tablet to class, as we will be referencing them during discussion.

Expectations:
I expect everyone to come to class on time and ready to participate in discussion. If you need to be late or absent for a class, contact me at least two classes in advance if possible and I'll give you a short writing assignment to recover the missed participation credit. If you don't contact me far enough in advance you cannot recover the credit. Because so much of your grade is based on participation, more than 4 unexcused absences WILL result in a failing grade for the class.

Grade Breakdown:

Participation 65%
Weekly Quizzes 5%
Midterm Paper 10%
Final Paper 20%

N.B.: If you are a Classics or History Junior who has chosen to qual in this class, you will NOT be required to submit a midterm paper, but your qual term paper will be 30% of your grade. Please consult with me and your academic adviser before week 3 about the expectations of the qual essay.

WEEK 1: ROME BEFORE THE WAR
The first week of class will be spent on the historical background, examining the mundane and

Mon Jan 28 - Mundane Historical Background
READINGS:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Jan 30 - Occult Historical Background
READINGS:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Fri Feb 1 - The Early Severans
READINGS:

  • Ursula Brandt, "To Starve the Soul: Damnatio Memoriae and Roman Funerary Offerings," Katabasis 19.3: 105-147.
  • Marius Maximus, Caesares ch. 4 ("Septimius Leo") & 6 ("Caracalla and Geta"), trans. Stephen Crawford.
  • SOUTHERN, 23-49

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What can the acceptance of a lion as Emperor tell us about the Roman Empire's attitude toward ethnicity and race?
  • How effective were the damnationes memoriae of Macrinus and Geta? What does the practice of damnatio memoriae tell us about the Roman approach to historiography?

WEEK 2: ELAGABALUS AND THE LATER SEVERANS

Mon Feb 4 - Elagabalus and Sol Invictus
READINGS:

  • Thomas Sheldon, "
  • ANTHONY 43-67
  • SOUTHERN 50-63

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Feb 6 - Initial Skirmishes
READINGS:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Fri Feb 8 - The Last Severan
READINGS:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 3:

Mon Feb 11
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Feb 13
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Feb 15
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 4:

Mon Feb 18
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Feb 20
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Feb 22
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 5:

Mon Feb 25
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Feb 27
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Mar 1
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 6:

Mon Mar 4
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Mar 6
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Mar 8
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 7:

Mon Mar 11
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Mar 13
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Mar 15
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 8:

Mon Mar 18
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Mar 20
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Mar 22
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

SPRING BREAK - MAR 23-MAR 31

SAT MAR 31 - MIDTERM PAPER DUE BY 11:59:59 PM

WEEK 9:

Mon Apr 1
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

**Wed Apr 3 **
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Apr 5
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 10:

Mon Apr 8
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Apr 10
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Apr 12
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 11:

Mon Apr 15
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Apr 17
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Apr 19
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 12: CONSTANTINE THE GREAT

**Mon Apr 22 - **
READINGS:

  • THOMAS iii - xx, 2-47

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed Apr 24
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri Apr 26
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

WEEK 13: REPERCUSSIONS AND PERSPECTIVES

Mon Apr 29
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Wed May 1
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
*

Fri May 3
READINGS:
*
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

TUE MAY 14 - FINAL PAPER DUE BY 11:59:59 PM

Outline of the 3rd occult war:
218 - Elagabalus becomes emperor
219 - Elagabalus initiated into cult of Cybele
220 - Elagabalus makes his deity, also named Elagabalus, into the supreme god of the Roman pantheon; rededicates temple of Juppiter Victor to Sol Invictus Heliogabalus; moves sacred objects of Vesta, Cybele, etc into the new Heliogabalum and tries to get Jews, Christians, and Mekhanites to do the same.
222 - Elagabalus is assassinated by the Praetorian Guard. Alexander Severus is declared emperor at age 13. An angry mob lynches Callixtus, Bishop of Rome.

Someone Massacres The Mekhanites

Invisigoths

The Demiurge Eats The Greco-Roman Pantheon
313 - Constantine issues the Edict of Milan, officially tolerating Christianity.

tags: uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fuck is this a tale or a goi format

I'd like to thank the Reed College Classics Department for falling for the longest con of all and actually giving me a degree.

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