Unknown Artist, Apulia (Present day Italy)
Amphora, 4 B.C.
Polychromed terra cotta
The Peabody College Collection
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 Department 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 race and ethnicity in the classical world, the Roman law of obligations, and on Roman and Byzantine graves; they lead summer programs for students overseas; and one colleague directs the Kenchreai Excavations, a long-term archaeological project in southern Greece.
- Tom McGinn was invited to give a paper entitled "Cui Bono?: The True Beneficiaries of Roman Private Law," at the University of Michigan.
- Tom McGinn was invited to give a paper entitled "The Expressive Function of Law: An Opportunity for Romanists?," at the University of Salzburg Law School
- Tom McGinn was invited to give a paper entitled "“The Career of Julius Caesar as a Political Science Case Study,” at the Annual Institute of the American Classical League, sponsored by the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, in Memphis TN.
- Tom McGinn presented a paper entitled "The Ars Boni et Aequi and Gender Equity: The Case of the Lex Iulia on Adultery,” at a conference organized by the Southern Africa Society of Legal Historians, in Pilanesberg, South Africa.
Lectures and Events
Robert Ousterhout, University of Pennsylvania: "The Life and Afterlife of Constantine's Column." Goldberg Lecture.
Location: 203 Cohen Memorial Hall
Location: The Nashville Parthenon
Andrew T. Wilburn, Oberlin College: "Sorcery in the Soil: Finding Magic at Graeco-Roman Karanis in Egypt." A Cesnola Lecture.
Location: The Nashville Parthenon
NEW PUBLICATIONS BY OUR FACULTY
Max Goldman, Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World. An Anthology of Primary Sources in Translation
This volume provides a comprehensive overview of ancient Greek and Roman concepts of "otherness," as well as Greek and Roman views of non-Greeks and non-Romans. More info here
Joseph Rife, Isthmia IX: The Roman and Byzantine Graves and Human Remains.
!!! WINNER OF THE CAMWS OUTSTANDING PUBLICATION AWARD 2012 !!!
It is an interdisciplinary study of life and death in the Greek countryside during the twilight of antiquity. More info here
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.
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.
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.
THE PARTHENON IN CENTENNIAL PARK, less than a mile from the Vanderbilt campus, is a precise 1:1 replica of the original. It reproduces all of the refinements of the fifth-century structure and sculptural decoration with the exception of the Ionic frieze. In 1990, a full-scale replica of the Athena Parthenos, researched and executed by local sculptor and Vanderbilt alumnus Alan LeQuire, was completed and unveiled. Visit the Nashville Parthenon Home Page.