Ancient Studies

Administrative Information

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Joseph Howley, 601 Hamilton; 854-3902;

Program Administrator: Gerry Visco, 617 Hamilton; 854-2726;

Program Office: 617 Hamilton; 854-3902;




The purpose of this program is to enable the student to explore the cultural context of the ancient Mediterranean as a whole while concentrating on one specific Mediterranean or Mesopotamian culture. Central to the concept of the program is its interdisciplinary approach, in which the student brings the perspectives and methodologies of at least three different disciplines to bear on his or her area of specialization.

Faculty participating in the program are scholars specializing in all aspects of ancient culture and civilization from the Departments of Anthropology; Art History and Archaeology; Classics; History; Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies; Philosophy; and Religion, ensuring that a wide variety of approaches are available.

Course offerings vary year to year. Students are required to discuss their program prior to or during registration. The culmination of the ancient studies major comes in the senior year, when students with different areas of specialization come together to share their ideas in the senior seminar and then to write a substantial piece of original research. Students should think about topics for their senior paper during the junior year and find a faculty adviser at the beginning of the fall term of their senior year, after consulting the director of undergraduate studies.

In the senior year, students register for the Senior seminar in ancient studies (ANCS V3995) during the fall, and Directed research in ancient studies (ANCS V3998) is usually taken during the spring. Sections should be arranged directly with the departmental administrator after finding an adviser.