Shakespeare's Rome
June 6-11, 2021
Lander, WY

The history of Ancient Rome contains two sharp inflection points, historical events that changed everything.

Rome began as a monarchy, but in 509 BC a noblewoman was raped by the king’s son and her husband, father, and other noblemen banished the king and banned monarchy forever. The Roman Republic began. William Shakespeare wrote his play “Coriolanus” about the people and events in the wake of this monumental change.

The Roman Republic lasted nearly 500 years until the days of Julius Caesar, Octavius, and Mark Anthony. After a protracted civil war, the features of republican rule were transformed into mere placeholders giving way to the rule of the emperor and the people were manipulated by flatterers rather than by statesmen. Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” and “Antony and Cleopatra” tell the tale of this second great turn in Rome’s history.

As great a loss as is the passing of the Roman Republic—the only long-lasting republic other than America—her conquests and empire made Europe. Rome, the culture that passes on the legacy of both Athens and Jerusalem and Christianity, gave us the West.

Led by Wyoming Catholic College faculty, the 2021 Wyoming School of Catholic Thought will study Shakespeare’s Rome. Using Shakespeare’s Roman plays as primary texts we will explore not only the politics and culture of Ancient Rome, but of Shakespeare’s own era and of our own.

What can we learn about: Rome and Shakespeare’s England? Rome and America? Rome and Christianity? Honor, eros, and that most Roman of virtues, piety? How can these plays inform our lives as individuals, as citizens, and as Catholic Christians?

In addition, of course, we will together enjoy the immortal bard’s rich language, witty dialogue, and remarkable skills as a dramatist.

In preparation for the school, participants will receive reading packets to prepare for the week. At the school, each day’s activities will include lectures, seminars, and panel discussions based on the readings. Afternoons are set aside to enjoy the beauty of the nearby Wind River Mountains. Choose from hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, or exploring the sights in Lander. Daily meals allow time for ongoing conversations. After dinner, participants will enjoy relevant films or leisurely reflections on the day’s conversations. A chaplain will be available during the week offering daily Mass, spiritual direction, and confession. Meals, classes, and discussions will be held on the Wyoming Catholic College campus on Main Street in Lander with accommodations in local hotels or college dormitories.

For registration information, please fill out the form below
or contact Dr. James Tonkowich | (307) 335-4428 |
$750 per person | Scholarships available | Meals and reading materials provided (accommodations extra)