Chevron Left
Back to The Changing Landscape of Ancient Rome. Archaeology and History of the Palatine Hill

Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Changing Landscape of Ancient Rome. Archaeology and History of the Palatine Hill by Sapienza University of Rome

109 ratings
55 reviews

About the Course

Studying ancient - as well as medieval or modern - cities basically means telling local urban stories based on the reconstruction of changing landscapes through the centuries. Given the fragmentary nature of archaeological evidence, it is necessary to create new images that would give back the physical aspect of the urban landscape and that would bring it to life again. We are not just content with analyzing the many elements still visible of the ancient city. The connections between objects and architectures, visible and non visible buildings, which have been broken through time have to be rejoined, to acknowledge the elements that compose the urban landscape. Landscape and its content are a very relevant and still vital part of any national cultural heritage. The course will introduce students to the way we have been reflecting on over the last twenty years and still are engaged with the study of the past of our cities, beginning from the most complex case in the ancient Mediterranean World: the core of Italy and of Roman Empire. On the other hand, knowledge means also preservation and defense of material remains and cultural memory. “The Changing Landscape of Ancient Rome. Archeology and History of the Palatine Hill” presents to a large public the topographical lay-out of the most relevant part of the city (according the Greek and Roman Historians Rome was founded on the Palatine). Research developed on the Palatine since the end of last century by the team of Sapienza Classical Archaeologists opened a new phase in the urban archaeological investigation and in the scientific debate about the relation between archaeological features and literary tradition as well as the “correct use“ of both kind of evidence, key issues of wide archaeological and historical significance....

Top reviews


Mar 22, 2018

I’m now living in Siena so visiting Roma and it’s wonderful ancient architecture especially the Roman forum and the palatine hill has new excitement and knowledge for me.


May 02, 2018

I appreciate the opportunity to learn the history of Rome and how it became the marvel city it is today . I will enjoy a lot more my next trip to Rome. Thank you .

Filter by:

1 - 25 of 55 Reviews for The Changing Landscape of Ancient Rome. Archaeology and History of the Palatine Hill

By Sabú G

Feb 10, 2019

Highly interesting! For me as a Latin teacher, this filled important gaps in my knowledge. I only don't give 5 stars, because I find the power point material not structured enough, I quickly loose orientation in it. Apart from that: excellent.

By Karel A v B

Dec 08, 2018

I would like to thank Prof. Paolo Carafa for giving me an insight in the archeology and history of the Palatine Hill in such great detail. I was always fascinated by ancient Rome and this course has inspired me to continue discovering Roman arts, architecture and culture. At the beginning of the course I had some difficulties with orientation and finding the locations of places on the Palatine. Also, the quiz questions sometimes were not covered in the lecture. Fortunately, I could use google search and the maps provided in the slides to further investigate. I really enjoyed this very interesting course and hope more courses like these one will follow.

By Dami O

Jul 02, 2018

Great course, learned a lot. The course would greatly benefit from a complete transcription, though. Had to use Google to help with some translations and a couple questions aren't even covered within the videos or the powerpoint presentations.


Jun 01, 2018

Though I have been to Palatine Hill twice, understand some basic Latin, have some knowledge of Roman history and interest in the subject I found this course pretty difficult and honestly in need of improvement for clarity. Some lectures have subtitles/transcript; some do not. The Professor is very knowledgeable of course and pleasant to listen to, but sometimes it is difficult to catch what he said due to accent or him speaking rather quietly in parts. The quiz questions sometimes were not covered in the lecture, he uses the English word in the lecture but Latin in the quiz, and most maddening the maps on the slides are not oriented the same way (i.e. North at the top), even within the same lecture. Many of the questions ask where something is on the hill (Northeast, South, etc.); and there is no way to remember what the cardinal directions were on the specific slide that shows it. Also the slides are extremely busy with loads of text and notes that you cannot read during the lecture. I would suggest opening the slide show in another tab or downloading it. At least you can complete the whole course free unlike many on Coursera. Good luck, I'm rather glad to be done with it to be honest.

By Jay K J

Feb 02, 2019

The poor nature of the presentation is demonstrated by the low average initial scores of several of the quizzes.

By Imanuel

Mar 03, 2019

Bad subtitles, bad audio quality, bad editing. There's a 2 minute introduction to using autocad in which the teacher instructs us to google for something rather than providing the direct link. It all feels very unprofessional but this is what I've come to expect from Sapienza.

By Jan K

Aug 02, 2017

Talk about a messed up course. Don't even know where to begin. Transcripts for only a few lectures: 6.1, 6.2, 8.1, 8.2. Be sure to download the image files; this helps some. But...

The graphic images jump around from Palatine to other locations with no reference titles or dates. Could definitely benefit from a logical presentation for each image noting

a. Time frame

b. Aerial view of actual location on the Palatine (why NOT Google Earth View?). And an occasional photo from a logical point of view (e.g. from Temple of Vestal Virgins, looking west) to help with orientation.

c. Map View of Palatine with the same N-S orientation or pop-up showing the location on a smaller "map"

d. Area within Palatine to be discussed.

e. Sections within that area, showing temples, houses, etc. clearly labelled, etc.

f. And a consistent geographic orientation to give students a real frame of reference.

Lesson 1 1° Tutorial 2° Tutorial - Auto Desk Auto Cad 3° Tutorial- How to Use Map Points to Draw an Archaelogical Map, and I thought, cool, we will always come back to the same line map of the Palatine, then show a new layer with this week's structures, since the landscape won't change much (esp. since we don't talk about Trajan digging up a hill). But no, Autocad is never mentioned again.

It would be nice if each image/slide had a label, a number, date or era, and a clear title, since sometimes we are looking at line drawing then a room that may or may not be from that same drawing.

How about a bibliography and a glossary?

Some words are only found on tests, and while I wasn't willing to watch one lecture a second time, I'm pretty sure that the answer to one quiz is not even mentioned until the lecture that comes after the quiz! Some of the quizzes use words that aren't in the lectures and not even Google can find. Is it English, Latin, Italian, or mispronounced?

And there are several other smaller quibbles (e.g. categorically wrong answers on quizzes) that really make this course a disappointment.

I really wanted to enjoy this work. If I knew the name of the primary source of the slides shown, I'd get that book, and learn a great deal more than I did from this course.

By Maria J M S

Dec 07, 2018

Un curso bastante interesante. Un nuevo punto de vista sobre el Palatino y su relación con la historia de Roma

By Samer M K

Oct 20, 2018

Great course. Thanks

By Margo M

Dec 07, 2017

Could be more organized, but thrilled with top notch content. More please!


Jul 28, 2017

Very interesting course and much necessary to continue an interest I have in learning about Ancient Rome. Thanks so much!

By Simon C

Aug 10, 2017

Thank you very much for such an informative course. Very enjoyable.

By Rob v d B

Jan 28, 2018

Very good indepth overiew of the history of Rome. Been there often but will look at it differently next time i visit it.

By Susana J M

Mar 15, 2018


By Eduard P W

Nov 14, 2017

I would have appreciated transcripts of all modules, in US English or at least instructions in changing the selection to British English. THe instructor was excellent, unfortunately due to language/cultural differences some things took a while to figure out. Please do not mistake this for a fault in the instructor, it is the fault of Coursera. This instructor was fantastic and I will take more classes presented by him.

By Cathryn S

Mar 22, 2018

I’m now living in Siena so visiting Roma and it’s wonderful ancient architecture especially the Roman forum and the palatine hill has new excitement and knowledge for me.

By Giuseppe G

May 10, 2018


By Jorge A A E

May 26, 2018

Excellent course material. Very Interesting and easy to follow. Why we have to download AutoCAD if it was not used?

By Cecilia C

Jul 28, 2017

This Course is very interesting! Professor Carafa is very thorough and dedicated, it was a pleasure to listen to him! I especially liked the balance between the "on site " and the "auditorium" lectures! Thank you so much!

By Júlio C M d F

Nov 06, 2017

This course was fantastic ! Congratulations to Professor Paolo Carafa and Coursera. Thank you very much for this worderful course ! I learn very much with it. Julio César (from Brazil)

By juan a c

May 02, 2018

I appreciate the opportunity to learn the history of Rome and how it became the marvel city it is today . I will enjoy a lot more my next trip to Rome. Thank you .

By E. S S

Sep 22, 2017

Fascinating course detailing the ancient building structures on the Roman Palatine Hill. As an architect, I greatly appreciated the knowledge and invitation to experience the metamorphoses of monuments and structures.

By william s

Apr 17, 2018

Outstanding course. This course gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for the evolution of the Roman Forum, centering around the Palatine Hill. The course has inspired me to continue my research into this phase of Roman culture.

By susan

Aug 25, 2017

Loved it and went with Roman Art and architecture very well. Teacher was excellent!!

By J C V

Jul 23, 2017

Great course. I'm so grateful to Prof. Carafa and his team for presenting all this wonderful material on Septimontium and Rome from the Bronze Age down to the early Christian era, including so much interesting information, so many interesting facts and artifacts uncovered since my study and visit there in 1969. The course put a lot of what I knew already in a broader, more up-to-date mix of perspectives and added a lot of valuable knowledge and ideas based on archaeological investigations to date and current scholarship. The PDFs also are invaluable for building a timeline. Thank you, Professor and your team!