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Study Abroad - Rome, Italy

Flagler College Study Abroad Program

 

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Study Abroad - Italy

Program Description

Both courses being offered as part of this study abroad program are directly engaged with the myriad strata of history available in Rome: from the Ancient to Renaissance to Modern eras. Dr. Tim Johnson, who will lead the tour, has lead study abroad tours to Rome on numerous occasions in the past, and both his academic work and teaching expertise relate to the topic at hand and the physical environs to be toured. Dr. Chris Balaschak, who specializes in Art History, will complement the tour in terms of a vigorous commitment to the historical monuments and artworks to be seen on tour. To study Roman and Christian culture, and to see important works of Western architecture and fine art, there could be no more appropriate location than Rome, and the surrounding towns of Assisi, Pompeii, and Florence.

Program Information

Program Leaders:

Tim Johnson
Tim Johnson
Chris Balaschak
Chris Balaschak
 

 

Department: Humanities & Art
Program Location: Rome, Italy
Course Title: HIST/REL 340 A, ART 409A Study Abroad
Dates: 05/10/2015 - 05/20/2015
Credit Hours: 3 - 6 hours
Eligibility Requirements/Prerequisites: Students who participate in any Flagler College study abroad program must have attempted 24 institutional hours and maintain a 2.5 GPA or above. Per the College catalog, students may take ART 409 with only departmental approval.
Estimated Student Enrollment: 18
Estimated Cost: $5,975

 

HIST/REL 340 A: Special Topics: Christianity and Roman Culture

Description

This course examines the historical development, theological insights, political expressions, and artistic manifestations of Christianity within the urban context of Rome and environs of Assisi. Gives special attention to the archeological, artistic and archeological monuments of Classical and Renaissance Rome, such as the Coliseum, the Forum, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and Pantheon, and the Basilica of Saint Francis in Medieval Assisi (3 credits).

Expected Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students can expect to:

  1. possess an in-depth historical understanding of the ancient Roman context of Christianity;
  2. appreciate the historical interplay of art, architecture, politics, and theology within ancient Christianity;
  3. recognize the cultural, religious and political development of Christianity in the medieval/renaissance period as evidenced in the art and architecture of cities such as Rome, Assisi, and Florence.

Tentative Program Schedule*

May 9th (Saturday) – Departure for Italy (Jacksonville)

May 10th (Sunday) – Arrival in Italy

Arrival at Rome’s Fumicino Airport. Transfer to Santa Maria ai Fornaci. Tour of Piazza di San Pietro, Castel San Angelo, Pantheon, and Saint Mary above Minerva. The afternoon and evening are spent introducing students to the broad historical-religious context of Christianity in Rome in a walk from Santa Maria ai Fornaci, through the Piazza of San Pietro, past Castel San Angelo, and over the Tiber River. Entrance into the Pantheon serves as both a literal and symbolic ingress into a world dominated by the gods and centered in the imperial city of a vast empire stretching from Britain to Mesopotamia.

Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3

May 11th (Monday)

Tour of Pompeii with a possible stop at Monte Casino. The day is spent in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. This day offers and in-depth, “hand-on” examination of various sites displays how the religious, political, and economic aspects of ancient Roman culture are intertwined. A possible stop at Monte Casino allows students to see the beginning of the Western expression of monasticism championed by Benedict of Nursia in late antiquity.

May 12th (Tuesday)

Tour the Forum, the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, San Clemente and Santa Maria Maggiore. During the day, tours focus on the role of the Forum and Coliseum in civic society and the emergence of Christianity. While the visits to the sites of classical Rome are obviously fundamental to this course and always popular, it is the tour to San Clemente that is pivotal. Here students visit a three-tiered church that started in a first-century home to far from the Coliseum, became a basilica in the fourth century, and ultimately was transformed into a medieval church with an exquisite mosaic of Christ as the Tree of Life in the apse.

Learning Outcomes 1, 2

May 13th (Wednesday)

Tours of San Pietro (Vatican), the National Parliamentary Archives, and Optional General Papal Audience. At this point in the program the emphasis shifts to the rising stature of Christianity in the Roman Empire. The visit to the Vatican together with the optional papal audience drives home the status of Christianity as an institution in the wake of Constantine’s legitimization of the followers of Jesus as a traditional religion for the entire Roman world. Time permitting students will also visit the medieval convent of the Dominican Order, where Galileo was put on trial for the publication and dissemination of his scientific research.

Learning Outcomes 2, 3

May 14th (Thursday)

Tours of the Vatican Museum, Vatican Gardens and Scavi Vaticani. The Vatican remains the focus of this day. Unknown to many but now accessible, the archeological investigations under the current basilica of Saint Peter have revealed the ancient cemetery where the apostle Peter is said to be buried. The location of his burial on the Vatican hill next to the Circus of Nero set in motion countless pilgrimages to the site and the eventual construction of the initial basilica of St. Peter by Constantine. Students will explore these “scavi” or excavations, which link Roman culture and Christian history, and then enjoy the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and a possible tour of the Vatican Gardens.

May 15th (Friday)

Tours of the Villa Borghese, Bernini’s Santa Teresa, St. Peter in Chains, and Capitoline Hill. This day follows up on the visit to the Vatican Museum by further exploring the artistic heritage of Roman culture and the Renaissance. The Villa Borghese is at the center of this day and the works of Bernini, Caravaggio, and others foster a deep appreciation for the creativity and excellence of this period, when religious inspiration took classic form through ecclesial patronage. Bernini’s sculptured Santa Teresa in ecstasy melds the worlds of religion and art in the Renaissance and Michelangelo’s Moses confirms the link between artistic genius and institutional Christianity.

Learning Outcome 3

May 16th (Saturday)

Depart in the morning for Assisi. Hike to the La Rocca Castle, tour Roman amphitheater, Temple of Minerva, Cathedral of San Rufino, and the Piazza Communale. The first day in Assisi is a time of transition as the tour begins to connect the ancient Roman culture of this Umbrian hilltop town to the tumultuous rise of the communes in medieval Italy. The panoramic view of the Spoleto valley from the ruins of thirteenth century La Rocca Castle allows students to see a marvelously preserved medieval city overlooking the traditional route of conquering armies moving south toward Rome from the time of Hannibal. Standing in the Piazza Communale, which was built over a still-accessible Roman Forum, students can appreciate the interplay between Roman and medieval culture by viewing the ancient temple of Minerva and the medieval governmental tower dominating the public square.

Learning Outcomes 1, 2

May 17th (Sunday)

Open day for optional travel to Florence, hiking on Mount Subasio, trip to Bagnoregio. This day is open to tours that are based on individual and group interests and preferences. The Renaissance splendors of Florence are nearby as are the medieval cities of Bagnoregio and Orvieto. All these cities are rich in architectural and artistic displays of a vibrant Christian worldview expressed through the arts. At times students decide to stay and explore Assisi and the Umbrian countryside. One popular activity is to trace the life of St. Francis through the city of Assisi, down Mount Subasio to the Church of San Damiano, and across the Umbrian valley to the site of his death where the Church of the Portiuncula now stands.

Learning Outcomes 2, 3

May 18th Monday

Tour of the Basilica of San Francesco and Medieval Library of the Sacred Convent. The third day in Umbria is dedicated to the memory of Francis of Assisi. A visit to the Basilica of St. Francis reveals a stunning combination of Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in a unique three-story church constructed over the tomb of Francis. Noteworthy among numerous stained glass windows and frescoes is the work of Cimabue, Giotto, and their respective students. Many specialists recognize the Giotto cycle, based on the Life of St. Francis, as a key moment in art history as historic realism and perspective begin to replace the dominant Italo-Byzantine influences reflected in earlier Christian icons. The tour of the library of the Sacred Convent, which possessed one of the most expansive collections in medieval Europe, allows students to view illuminated manuscripts and understand the painstaking process of bookmaking in a pre- Gutenberg world.

Learning Outcome 3

May 19th Tuesday

Depart in the morning for Santa Maria ai Fornaci in Rome. Evening walking tour of Piazza Navonna, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza di Spagna. This evening is dedicated to retracing the first steps of the tour in light of the acquired intellectual and practical knowledge of Rome. Traditional sites such as the Piazza Navonna, Trevi Fountain, and the Piazza di Spagna are now a reminder of the enduring legacy of Roman culture and the influence of Christianity through the ages in the eternal city.

Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3

May 20th Wednesday

Departure from Rome’s Fumicino Airport. Arrival at Jacksonville International Airport.


* Professor reserves the right to change the curriculum as needed to promote the pedagogical ends of this course.

ART 409A Study Abroad

Program Description

This class is a hybrid course that integrates online learning assignments with experiential learning in the cities of Rome and Florence. The course is offered in conjunction with, and as a complement to HIS/REL 440: Christianity and Roman Culture. ART 409 A will be focused on the history of Western architecture as present in Italian buildings past & present. Special attention will be made to the ways we experience and use architecture, how artists (especially during the Renaissance and Baroque periods) worked with built environments when working for their patrons, and the myriad ways architecture affects our experience of art and society.

Prior to a 10-day excursion to Rome & Florence, students will be asked to attend pre-travel meetings, read assigned texts, and complete assignments. On the ground in Rome & Florence, students are asked to actively engage in conversations with their fellow students, faculty leaders, and the numerous professionals we will come into contact with during our stay. Certain assignments will ask students to take notes, make photographs, and to actively engage the built environment, and to report of their experience in a written journal.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students can expect to:

  1. Students will identify and explain key monuments, periods, and concepts in the history of western architecture.
  2. Students will identify and explain the ideas and contexts in which major works of architecture were made.
  3. Students will demonstrate research skills by locating, evaluating, and synthesizing information relevant to works of Western architecture from primary and secondary sources.
  4. Students will organize and express their thoughts clearly and coherently in writing. They will develop the ability to produce cogent arguments, clear analyses of topics and source materials, and to use articulate, grammatically correct language.

Tentative Program Schedule

May 9, Saturday

Departure from Jacksonville International Airport.

May 10, Sunday

Arrival at Rome’s Fumicino Airport. Transfer to Santa Maria ai Fornaci. Tour of Piazza di San Pietro, Castel San Angelo, Pantheon, and Saint Mary above Minerva. The afternoon and evening are spent introducing students to the broad historical-religious context of Christianity in Rome in a walk from Santa Maria ai Fornaci, through the Piazza of San Pietro, past Castel San Angel, and over the Tiber River. Entrance into the Pantheon serves as both a literal and symbolic ingress into a world dominated by the gods and centered in the imperial city of a vast empire stretching from Britain to Mesopotamia.

May 11, Monday

Tour of Pompei with possible stop at Monte Cassino. The day is spent in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the ancient Roman city of Pompei. This day offers and in-depth, “hand-on” examination of various sites displays how the religious, political, and economic aspects of ancient Roman culture are intertwined. A stop at Monte Casino allows students to see the beginning of Western expression of monasticism championed by Benedict of Nursia in late antiquity.

May 12, Tuesday

Tour the Forum, Palatine Hill, San Clemente and Santa Maria Maggiore.

May 13, Wednesday

Tour of San Pietro (Vatican), optional Papal Audience, and tour of the National Parliamentary Archives.

May 14, Thursday

Tour of the Vatican Museum, Gardens and Scavi Vaticani.

May 15, Friday

Possible tour of the Villa Borghese and Capitoline Hill.

May 16, Saturday

Depart in the morning for the Hotel Minerva in Assisi. Hike to the La Rocca Castle, tour Roman amphitheater, Temple of Minerva, Cathedral of San Rufino, and the Piazza Communale.

May 17, Sunday

Open day for optional travel to Florence, hiking on Mount Subasio, trip to Bagnoregio.

May 18, Monday

Tour San Damiano, the Portiuncula, and the Basilica of San Francesco.

May 19, Tuesday

Depart in the morning for Santa Maria ai Fornaci in Rome. Evening walking tour of Piazza Navonna, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza di Spagna.

May 20, Wednesday

Departure from Rome’s Fumicino Airport. Arrival at Jacksonville International Airport.