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Department of Classical Studies

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 CLASSICAL STUDIES have always been at the heart of a liberal education, because they afford unmatched perspectives from which to understand our own time. We offer courses in the history, religion, art, philosophy, legal systems, literature, mythology, social and cultural developments of antiquity. The curriculum covers 3,500 years of human experience in the Greco-Roman world, from the beginnings of Western civilization through the Christianization of Europe.

Three major programs are available. Students majoring in classical languages approach the ancient world primarily through its literature, read in the original language. Students majoring in classics integrate the ancient texts with other kinds of evidence. Students majoring in classical civilization receive the broadest introduction to the ancient world, and they read the primary sources in translation. Majors are encouraged to spend a semester at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome or a Maymester session in Greece or Rome led by one of our own professors.

Our Program is committed to the interdisciplinary study of Mediterranean antiquity, integrating the ancient texts with material and visual culture, both in our teaching and in our research.  Faculty members have recently published books on brothels and taverns in ancient Greece, on the effects of imperial government upon average citizens in Roman Egypt, and on Roman and Byzantine graves; they have led summer programs for students overseas; and one colleague directs the Kenchreai Excavations, a long-term archaeological project in southern Greece.

 

Maymester Courses in Greece
and Rome

Uncovering Greek Religion: Cults, Festivals, and Sanctuaries in the Ancient World.

Travel to Greece to survey Greek religion: its deities, sanctuaries, and festivals. Examine the wide variety of pagan cults from prehistory to late Antiquity; the roots of early Christianity; and the influence of ancient pagan cults on modern Greece. Related topics include Athenian democracy; the impact of cults and festivals on warfare, the economy, athletics, and literature; and the role of women and other marginalized groups.

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Archaeology, History, and Culture in Greece: Kenchreai Field School.

Archaeological field school at the site of Kenchreai with seminars and excursions in southern Greece. Basic techniques in excavation, survey, and the analysis of architecture, artifacts, and bones. Explorations of churches, temples, houses, and tombs. Focus on Greece during the Roman Empire and late antiquity. Landscape settlement, cult practice, cultural and social diversity, and funerary ritual.

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History and Art of Ancient Rome: Maymester in Rome and Campania.

Visits to significant archeological sites, monuments and museum collections in Rome and locations throughout southern Italy.

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Recent News

  • August 4, 2016
    Kathy Gaca presented an invited seminar response to a paper by Judith Gundry (Yale Divinity School) as a guest of the 2016 Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas conference held in Montreal, Quebec
  • August 3, 2016
    Ari Bryen gave a paper entitled "The Petition in the Roman Period" as a participant in the collaborative panel "The Rhetoric of Complaint: The Petition from the Romans to the Mamluks" at the 28th International Congress of Papyrology in Barcelona.
  • May 4, 2016
    Joe Rife delivered two lectures on Early Christianity, ritual, archaeology, and human skeletal remains in the northeastern Peloponnese (Greece) as a guest of the Institute for Archaeology and Ancient Culture at Stockholm University.
  • April 26, 2016
    Kathy Gaca presented two invited lectures at the University of Texas at Austin, as part of the conference, "Theorizing Consent: Educational and Legal Perspectives on Campus Rape."
  • April 6, 2016
    Barbara Tsakirgis delivered the 8th annual Stuart Wheeler Gallery lecture at the University of Richmond. The talk was entitled "The Lives of Infants and Children in the Ancient Greek House and Household."
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Lectures and Events

  • There are no upcoming events on the calendar.
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New Publications
by Our Faculty

Ari Bryen, Violence in Roman Egypt: A Study in Legal Interpretation

Bryan This study analyzes  over one hundred papyrus petitions in order to illustrate the impact of law and government upon a variety of ordinary Egyptians who lived under the Roman Empire.


Barbara Tsakirgis,  Houses of Ill Repute: The Archaeology of Brothels, Houses, and Taverns in the Greek World

Tsakirgis  This volume examines buildings that housed activities neither public nor private—brothels, taverns, and other homes of illicit activity. While others have studied houses or brothels, this volume is the first to look at both together.


Joseph Rife,  Isthmia IX: The Roman and Byzantine Graves and Human Remains.

Rife_Isthmia This study describes and interprets graves and human remains around the Isthmian Sanctuary, providing important evidence for both death and life in the Greek countryside during the twilight of antiquity. 

  !!! WINNER OF THE CAMWS OUTSTANDING PUBLICATION AWARD!!!