This course provides a historical study of the origins of Christianity by analyzing the literature of the earliest Christian movements in historical context, concentrating on the New Testament. Although theological themes will occupy much of our attention, the course does not attempt a theological appropriation of the New Testament as scripture. Rather, the importance of the New Testament and other early Christian documents as ancient lite...more
In this lecture, Professor Freeman explains the logic behind American and British military strategy during the early phases of the Revolution. First, she discusses the logistic disadvantages of the British during the war: the difficulties shipping men and supplies from more than three thousand miles away; the vast expanse of countryside with no one central target to attack; difficulties in recruiting British soldiers to fight in America; a...more
Professor Kleiner discusses the increasing size of Roman architecture in the second and third centuries A.D. as an example of a "bigger is better" philosophy. She begins with an overview of tomb architecture, a genre that, in Rome as in Ostia, embraced the aesthetic of exposed brick as a facing for the exteriors of buildings. Interiors of second-century tombs, Professor Kleiner reveals, encompass two primary groups -- those that are decora...more
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan explores the earliest history of Greek civilization. He demonstrates how small agricultural enclaves eventually turned into great cities of power and wealth in the Bronze Age, taking as his examples first Minoan Crete and then Mycenaean Greece. He also argues that these civilizations were closely related to the great monarchies of the ancient Near East. He points out that the Mycenaean age eventually...more
The earliest surviving Christian art is in the catacombs in Rome. This lecture will look at how this developed, survived two centuries of iconoclasm and established itself with a distinctive rationale.