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Social Studies

Roman History Part 1: From the Birth of the Republic to the Rise of Dictators

In this 18-week class the students will delve into Roman History (509-79 BCE), discuss in detail major ideas and events, as well as combine them with the material culture, artistic expression and social/religious beliefs of the Romans
Spyridon (Spiros) Loumakis
707 total reviews for this teacher
16 reviews for this class
Completed by 46 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$18 per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 18 weeks
60 minutes per class

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Class Experience

In this class students will be able to appreciate the beauty and importance of the study of history. Having studied myself history at a graduate and postgraduate level, and trained in archaeological excavations, ancient languages (Greek, Latin), and the use of various aspects of ancient material culture (art, architecture, coins etc), I want to bring this full picture to my classes. 

The students will discuss in class under my guidance about major Roman monuments, Roman art, the Roman gods, Roman society, and classical Latin texts in English translation, so as to understand Roman history in its entirety. The epistemological approach according to which History means facts based on reliable primary sources, remains still relevant for me, if not necessary today.
Ancient History means also appreciating ancient cultures, respecting them, learning from their mistakes, and admiring them for their accompishments. History can be also used as a point of reference or a measure of comparison between an ancient pre-modern society and our contemporary post-modern world. 

For students who are taking Roman History classes at their school, this class can be used as a supplementary class to refresh their memory, strengthen their knowledge, advance their understading and sharpen their critical thinking.   
I have a B.A. and M.A. in ancient Greek and Roman history and archaeology, as well as an M.A. in history and phiosophy of religions. I have excavated in ancient Greek sites, I speak latin and ancient Greek and I am currently finishing my PhD. 
(I) Homework, designed to take no more than an hour in total per week, will be assigned in three forms: 

(a) Before each of the thirteen meetings students will be asked to study a Source Sheet which will contain primary sources from ancient Roman authors in English translation, related to each class, and able to stir up class discussion. This source sheet will be distributed in advance as part of class preparation (each Source Sheet will be uploaded a few days in advance).
(b) After class I will also circulate in a pdf form a detailed power-point presentation of that week's class to be used by students before next class, in order to refresh their memory. The reason for doing this is because I want students to pay attention in class, and in our discussion, instead of taking notes. 

(c) An optional mid-term quiz (weeks 1 to 9) and an optional final quiz (weeks 10 to 18) will be sent to test students' ability to sythesize what they will have learned in class and from their class preparation. They can do the quizzes always with the help of the class notes and the recorded classes. The quizzes will entail some multi-choice questions, as well as some short-answer questions. 

Upon request, I can always assign a short essay to be prepared by the students.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
I do not believe that a letter grade is meaningful for an on-going class on ancient history at OutSchool. However, as I often do with my one-time classes, which are always small classes (up to 6 or 7 students maximum), I communicate with the parents and the children directly, providing my personal comments, private feedback and an informal assessment.
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
In the ancient Roman art gods are sometimes depicted naked. This being said, any artistic reproduction in ancient art should be expected to show nude gods. I try to use as less as possible, but it is not always within my hands since this is the nature of the ancient Greek art itself. Since, it is an art that comes from an era where there were no photographs, or videos, the art is found only on painted vases, wall paintings and sculpture. Nudity was never meant to provoke, but to tell to the ancient viewer that gods are not mortal humans and, thus, they do not need clothes. As you may very well understand, I cannot change the history of art, nor my preference as teacher of mythology to show students the original art from ancient times.
Throughout the class and in the form of homework, the student will discuss in class under my guidance and read at home before class illuminating sources by major authors that servive in the Latin and Greek language (Plutarch, Diodorus Siculus, Polybius, Livy). They are all provided by me in English translations by the excellent series of Oxford World's Classics and/or Penguin Classics. 

A great online source which I personally use and recommend, is Perseus Digital Library (section Collections/Texts), under the auspices of Tufts University, available here: 

In addition, archaeology, art, architecture, epigraphy and numismatics will be used, whenever relevant, to enlighten aspects of ancient Roman history that are not so apparent in the classical historical accounts listed above. My background in all these fields will guide the student through these peculiar sub-fields of history, in order to be abe to "read" them and complete their knowledge. 

The goal is to apprehend the bigger picture of ancient history in the eastern Mediterranean, and open the mind of modern learners by including aspects of the Roman, Italian, Celtic, Carthaginian and Greek culture and civilization. Some of them did not left behind but a few literary traces. With my scientific knowledge and University training of the ancient civilizations I will guide the student through the traces ancient people left in architecture and art.   

Finally, the class is not only based on my 20-years of experience in the scientific study of this era, but also on a long list of modern sources, of which a small sample is the following one:

The Rise of Rome: From the Iron Age to the Punic Wars by Kathryn Lomas (Harvard University Press, 2018)
A Critical History of Early Rome: From Prehistory to the First Punic War by Gary Forsythe (University of California Press, 2006) 
Livy: Reconstructing Early Rome by Gary B. Miles (Cornell University Press, 1997)
The Early Roman Expansion into Italy: Elite Negotiation and Family Agendas by Nicola Terrenato (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
State, Society and Popular Leaders in Mid-Republican Rome 241-167 B.C. by Rachel Feig Vishnia (Routledge, 2011) 
Hannibal's Dynasty: Power and Politics in the Western Mediterranean, 247-183 BC by Dexter Hoyos (Routledge, 2005) 
A Companion to the Punic Wars, edited by Dexter Hoyos (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015)
Rome and the Mediterranean 290 to 146 BC: The Imperial Republic by Nathan Rosenstein (Edinburgh University Press, 2012)  
Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700 by Kenneth W Harl (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996)
Roman Art (5th Edition) by Nancy H. Ramage and Andrew Ramage (Pearson publ. 2008)
The Architecture of Roman Temples: The Republic to the Middle Empire by John W. Stamper (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
Architecture and Politics in Republican Rome by Penelope J. E. Davies (Cambridge University Press, 2020)


Spyridon (Spiros) Loumakis
Lives in Canada
PhD Candidate, Professional Researcher, Active Scholar, Happy Father
707 total reviews
478 completed classes

About Me

As a father of two young kids, I put a lot of effort so as to entertain them in a productive, and educational way, making sure I feed their natural curiosity and encourage them to keep asking questions. Undoubtedly, television and video games are... 
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