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Ancient Greece: Between Archaeology and History (CLAS 4310)

Seminar in Classics: Ancient Greece: Between Archaeology and History (CLAS 4310)


How does history and archaeology articulate the Classical past? What is the relationship between ancient texts, which speak of things in antiquity, and objects—what has become of the Classical past in the present? How is it that the historical text intervenes to benefit one meaningful past above so many others? This seminar will take up questions fundamental to how archaeologists and ancient historians look at, engage, and talk about, their objects of study. Beginning with antiquarian explorations of Greece , this seminar will explore the relationship between archaeology and history through a series of sites and projects central to the Classical imagination—Mycenae, Corinth, the Acropolis of Athens, and the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace. If history, and, by extension, Classics, has tended to privilege archaeological things as sources of evidence concerning what happened in the past, then Classical archaeology has championed the premise of connecting what remains on and in the earth with what is written in books. And yet, in the process of fulfilling an object’s narrative potential for history, Classical archaeologists have obliterated other pasts. Is there a way out of this dilemma? Perhaps an answer is to be found through a radically different perspective on Classics itself. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 - 1:50. For more information, contact Dr. Witmore ( 


Cornelia Roy


Classical and Modern Lang and Lit