Course title and instructor

Roman Archaeology
John Gruber-Miller, Professor of Classics and Edwin R. and Mary E. Mason Professor of Languages

Professor Gruber-Miller is the editor of “When Dead Tongues Speak: Teaching Beginning Greek and Latin” (Oxford University Press, 2006). He also serves as editor of Teaching Classical Languages, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Latin and Greek pedagogy, and maintains two educational sites: Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze and Let's Review Greek! He received the 2012 Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level from the American Philological Association.

Syllabus description

Study the art and archaeology of the ancient Romans in order to understand their history and civilization—economy, government, religion, family life, slavery, urbanization—from the monarchy and the republic to the empire and the advent of Christianity.

Taught in Italy, the class will spend the first part of the course in Florence exploring cemeteries of the ancient Etruscans and the Roman city at Fiesole. Then we move to Rome where we will walk through the Roman forum, the heart of ancient Rome, climb the steps of the Colosseum, marvel at the Pantheon and its still preserved dome, and race the Circus Maximus. Also on the itinerary are temples, theaters, markets, baths, imperial palaces; early Christian churches and catacombs; Ostia, Rome's port; and of course, Pompeii and Herculaneum, cities covered by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

Course highlights

  • Visit archaeological sites throughout Florence and Rome, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and ancient Etruscan cemeteries.

  • Visit major museums, complete site report projects, and enjoy all the sights, sounds, tastes, and fragrances of Italy.