Students find Ancient Rome in Los Angeles

Professor Bjornlie and students at the Getty Villa
April 12, 2016

Claremont McKenna is known for bringing textbook learning to life, and sometimes one need look no further than the metropolis right at our doorstep.

Forty-five students from Professor Shane Bjornlie’s Roman history classes and from the 5C classical studies program spent a day perusing the antiquities collection at the Getty Villa on April 10. The excursion was funded by CMC's Mellon Foundation grant. 

Professor Bjornlie, who led the expedition, asked each student to select an artifact to use as the subject for their final papers. 

“The goal is for students to write an interpretation of what the object would have meant to a Roman audience and to explain that interpretation in terms of the values and cultural attitudes present in the readings that we have done over the semester,” said Bjornlie. “Overall, the Villa excursion encourages students to think about what they have learned from text in terms of lived experiences.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to the Getty Villa,” said Mariechristine Garcia ’19. “I learned a lot about how Roman values are reflected in artwork, especially mosaics and statues. It was amazing to be able to visualize a lot of the items that we learned in the classroom and be able to have a better mental image of what these items would have been used for in the Roman world and what they represented to Roman culture.”

The Getty Villa, part of the J. Paul Getty Museum, boasts a huge collection of ancient Roman art, artifacts, architecture and gardens. It is located in Pacific Palisades off Pacific Coast Highway



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