Spring; Grades 11–12
Prerequisite or corequisite: US History or Accelerated US History; background in Classics not required
Taught by: Derryfield School
Inspired by Cullen Murphy’s 2007 book of the same name, Are We Rome will examine the similarities between the Roman empire and the United States. This course is designed to be a capstone for study in classics and history. The interdisciplinary nature of this course will serve as a vehicle by which students of Latin and history can expand their knowledge and apply that knowledge in an intercultural comparison. Since 1776, from our system of government to the architecture of government buildings, the United States has used Rome as a foil for itself, and forefathers of the US created many institutions using Rome as a model. This course will be structured around one basic question: How can the United States learn from Rome?
We will examine political and social ideologies, privatization, globalization, borders, and exceptionalism. Taking our beginnings from the founding of these two nations, we will discuss the governing practices and bodies, the rhetoric of politics, and the public view of governmental institutions with emphasis on how these progress and change. The course will culminate with analysis of the most recent political and social events in the US and form a final conclusion on our topic. Our class discussions will be centered around primary sources from both Rome and the US. Weekly reading and writing assignments will be required.