The seventeenth century was a brilliant period for Rome culturally. The extraordinary design of the city took shape with long avenues connecting piazzas with beautiful fountains and elaborate churches. Music, painting and theater thrived but under close church supervision, limiting intellectual life. Rome became the center of the Grand Tour for the wealthy aristocrats of Europe and for students of art and music, who took the culture back home at the end of their studies.

Charlie Steen’s classes place historical events in context with art, architecture, religion, and other cultural aspects of a period. He teaches western civilization at UNM. He is the author of several books, including his recently published A Cultural History of Early Modern Europe. A graduate of UNM, he also holds a PhD in early modern European history from UCLA.