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Second Paper

Select a work or a comparison of two works that we have discussed since the beginning of the semester and write a three to five page paper analyzing the significance of the work(s) in its / their historical, cultural, religious, and political contexts. In writing your paper, I want your emphasis to be on an analysis and not just a description of your work(s). Watch out for presenting your paper as a collection of information and facts you have learned about your topic. What is crucial is that you demonstrate the significance of the work for an understanding of the historical, cultural, religious, and political contexts.

I want to leave the choice of work(s) up to you, but I want you to e-mail ( me your choice and get my approval. I want to make sure that your choice will lead to a successful paper. In some cases your choices might be too broad and need to be narrowed down. For example, I do not think it is possible to write an effective 3-5 page paper on the Parthenon. I would like you to narrow your topic down to something like an analysis of the statue of Athena Parthenos or a discussion of the idea of citizenship and the frieze illustrating the Panathenaic Procession. In other cases your choices might be too narrow, and that you will be challenged to develop a successful paper with the resources you have available to you.

What follows is a list of potential topics. This list is not intended to limit your options, but is intended to give you some idea of topics you could develop. In listing these topics, I am not giving you the thesis for your paper. You will need to develop this. Many of these works could be done as comparisons to other works.

Palette of King Narmer, c. 3000 B.C.E., Egyptian, Early Dynastic period.
Statue of King Khafre (Chephren), c. 2500 B.C.E., Egyptian, Old Kingdom.
The Ionic Frieze showing the Panathenaic Procession from the Parthenon, c. 447-432 B.C.E., Greek, Classical.
The Statue of Athena Parthenos from the Parthenon.
The Augustus of Primaporta, 20 B.C.E. -14 A.D.
The Ara Pacis Augustae, 13-9 B.C.E.
The Forum of Trajan, dedicated 112 A.D.
The Pantheon of the Emperor Hadrian, 118-125 A.D.
Colussus of Barletta, early 5th century A.D.
The Basilica of Santa Sabina, early 5th century A.D.
The Apse Mosaic of Santa Pudenziana, early 5th century A.D.
Justinian Mosaic from San Vitale, Ravenna, c. 547.
Charles the Bald Enthroned from the Codex Aureus of Saint Emmeram, Carolingian, c. 870 A.D.
Royal Portals of Chartres Cathedral, middle of the 12th century.
The Calendar of the Très riches heures, c. 1415.
Jean Vaudetar Presenting Bible to Charles V. 1371.
Christine de Pizan presenting her collected works to Isabeau de Bavière, c. 1412-1415/


If you do a comparison of works, make sure that your paper is not separate discussions of the two works, but that you focus on the similarities and differences of the work to bring out the significance of the comparison you are making.

You can research your paper, but it is not required. In many cases you should have enough material from what is presented on the web site to write a successful paper. If you are interested in knowing references to other sources, feel free to contact me.

Deadlines for your paper:

Monday, November 10: You should have e-mailed me your topic and have gotten my approval.

Monday, November 17: bring a draft of your paper to class to workshop.

Friday, November 21: Paper is due, 3-5 typewritten pages.