The course is an introduction to the history of the Roman Empire from the origins of the city in the 8th century B.C. to the end of the Western Roman Empire in A.D. 476. The historical reality is analyzed as broadly as possible, in its political, economic, cultural and social aspects. Attention is paid to the literary and archaeological evidence; ancient texts are read and Roman sites are visited. Special topics include the origins of Rome between fact and fiction; the Hellenization of Roman society; literature and the age of Augustus; and the “end” of the Roman Empire. A weekend excursion to Naples, Pompeii and Paestum is planned.