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Rome of the Caesars, Rome of the Popes

Power, propaganda, intrigue, and some of western civilization’s most famous and enduring monuments: this is the Rome of the Caesars and the Rome of the Popes. This course investigates the relationship between art and the aesthetic, political, social, and religious forces that shaped it during the reigns of the ancient Caesars and the Popes of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Having much more in common than one might think, these different but related systems of imperial-style rule dominated Rome (literally and symbolically) and, from Rome, influenced large parts of the world.

Rome Ten Reasons 2020




Application Deadline: February 12, 2021
Commitment Fee Deadline: February 19, 2021

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Course Description

Seize the opportunity to live like a Roman for three weeks in an apartment with TCNJ classmates. Explore the neighborhoods, shop the markets, enjoy an afternoon espresso like the natives!

The course focuses on Rome and two different, though related, systems of imperial-style rule associated
with the city. Students will investigate the relationship between art and the aesthetic, political, social,
and religious forces that shaped it during the reigns of the ancient Caesars and those of the Renaissance
and Baroque Popes. Students will research and view major monuments of architecture, painting, and sculpture on-site in the city and in its collections. Themes include the formal analysis of works of art, the impact of religious beliefs and practices on art and architecture, patronage, the training and intellectual life of artists, constructions of gender and sexuality, and the interpretation of works of art by examining purpose, meaning, and context. Students will develop historical and art historical consciousness through an understanding of Roman civilization, the beliefs, and ideals of Roman culture, the wide-ranging influence of the Papacy, and the role of high profile artists in the shaping of public art in Rome.

Program Information

Course: AAH 302 / HON 353: Rome of the Caesars, Rome of the Popes

Liberal Learning: Global; Literary, Visual, & Performing Arts

Dates: May 22-June 5, 2021 (Travel Dates)

Program Directors: Dr. Lee Ann Riccardi, Professor of Art and Art History, and Dr. Lois Fichner-Rathus, Professor of Art and Art History

Eligibility: No prerequisites and no language requirements. Open to all students in good academic standing (including current first-year students).

Program Fee: TBT  2020 fee was: $6318.20Explore scholarship opportunities.


  • Tour galleries and museums – like the Galleria Borghese, Galleria dell’Accademia, and Gallerie degli Uffizi
  • Visit churches – like Saint Peter’s Basilica, Chiesa del Gesù, Basilica di Santa Croce, and Duomo in Florence
  • Explore iconic ruins – like the Roman Forum, Colosseum, and Pantheon
  • Imagine historic plazas – like the Imperial Fora, Forum Boarium, and Markets of Trajan
  • Take in picturesque sights – like the Vatican Gardens, Trevi Foundation, and Boboli Gardens
  • Enjoy fantastic Italian food – including group dinners and wine tastings


Please contact the TCNJ Center for Global Engagement at, 609-771-2596.

For course specific questions, please contact Dr. Lee Ann Riccardi at or Dr. Lois Fichner-Rathus at

Please review our refund, cancellation, and withdrawal policy statement should a student not be able to participate in the program.