This six week course examines how, from its beginnings under the Etruscans, Rome gradually acquired dominion over the Mediterranean world and was introduced to a world of art, which she was to shape into her own.

The first climax of Roman art and architecture came under Augustus. Nero and his successors built a new Rome through the mastery of concrete. Under Trajan and Hadrian the Roman Empire reached its greatest extent and produced works of unparalleled grandeur. The dangerous years of the 3rd century AD gave way to the triumph of Christianity in AD 313. This course concluded with an examination of Rome’s fine artistic legacy in terms of silver, glass, jewellery and mosaics.

Each session included two 50-minute evening lectures with Q&A and a break with light refreshments.


Emeritus Professor Frank Sear is a world-renowned architectural historian and former Chair of Classics at the University of Melbourne, Emeritus Professor Frank Sear is a graduate of Cambridge University, where he completed both his undergraduate and postgraduate studies. He has published widely on his archaeological work and published a number of books including Roman Wall and Vault Mosaics, Roman Architecture and Roman Theatres: an architectural study.

He was co-Director of the Australian Pompeii Project from 1978 to 1988, and since 1990 has directed the Australian Roman Theatres project, which involved surveying the theatres at Gubbio, Taormina, Benevento and Pompeii in Italy, Jerash in Jordan, and Orange in France. Professor Sear has also led numerous archaeological tours in Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Egypt, North Africa, Spain and France.

Download the flyer

Missed this series?

Subscribe to the Faculty of Arts Community Education mailing list to be among the first to hear about our future programs: