HW1: How Evil was Commodus?

You may have heard of the gladiator-obsessed Roman Emperor Commodus (reign 180-192 CE) made infamous in the movie Gladiator. Read sections 9-11 of the Life of Commodus in Lampridius’s biography Historia Augusta.  Click on the following link [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Historia_Augusta/Commodus*.html, section 9 begins with ” He pretended once that he was going to Africa” and section 11 ends with “He was called Germanicus on the Ides of “Hercules” in the consulship of Maximus and Orfitus.”]

Assignment: Write a 200-word post relating the Roman portrait bust of Commodus as Hercules to what you think are important points in Lampridius’s biography. To submit your Homework on the OpenLab, follow the directions “How To Post.” Please check off the category #studentHW and add a few keywords to tag  your post.

Commodus as Hercules

PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR POSTS BY MONDAY October 7 Midnight (Same DUE DATE as Paper #1)

First Quiz

Be On Time, Babson Boulder in Dogtown, Gloucester, MA

Quiz #1 is scheduled for Monday September 23rd at 11:30 am. ARRIVE EARLY to make sure you’re on time for the quiz. Once the quiz starts, the timer is on. The quiz lasts approx. 35 minutes.

To start promptly, please come to class with your phone and watches in silent mode and put them away in your bag/backpack (not  your pocket). Please know any smartphone or smartwatch usage will result in a ZERO grade for the quiz with no make-up possibility.

The quiz will be drawn from works of art and vocabulary on Slidelists 1, 2, and 3 ( you are only responsible for what we cover during our 9/16 lecture for Slidelist 3). Please make sure you review the slidelists and the accompanying images files under Class Downloads, and most importantly, review your NOTES.

Quiz Format
Part 1 Vocabulary: (5 minutes)
Define 5 terms: write 1 to 2 lines explaining the term and its function
For example, define a pyramid by explaining what type of structure it is and what it is made for.

Part 2 Slide Identifications: (2 minutes per image)
10 images will be projected one at a time. You are asked to identify each work of art by
• name/title of work of art (2 points)
•artist/architect (if known) (1 point if asked)
•artistic period (1-2 points)
•approx. date (1/2 point, within a 100 year range)
•significance (4 points)
Write at least 2 points about the significance of this work of art.
You can address its function, context, subject matter, etc.

At the end of Part 2, I will show the slides again for 1 minute each and you can go back and add to your answers.

If you arrive too late for the quiz or miss the quiz, you will need a valid excuse to schedule a make-up. Please know that make-up quizzes are not the same as the in-class test but more challenging.

After the quiz, there will be a short break and lecture will resume after the break.

Weekly Readings

Fragonard's painting of a girl in a yellow dress seen reading a book. Used as an illustration for post that highlights the reading schedule
Jean Honoré Fragonard, Young Girl Reading, c. 1769, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

To keep up with class lectures, please make a habit of regularly checking the Reading Schedule, the tab is located above the header image of Durer’s watercolor study of a bird wing.

For access to the textbook, please go to the Readings section under Class Downloads. You will need the password issued in class to access this section of the website. In addition, you will find weekly slide lists and image files in the Class Downloads section.


Watercolor by Durer of a large piece of turf with detailed grass.
Albrecht Durer, The Large Piece of Turf, 1503, Albertina, Vienna

Hello ARTH 1103 students! Welcome to the class website for Professor Sandra Cheng’s Introduction to Art History course.  Over the next few weeks, this website will continue to develop. This website is an integral component to our class this semester. I look forward to our reading, writing, discussion, and LOOKING this semester. During our first class this week, we will review how to sign up on this OpenLab site.