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Classical Archaeology First-Year Exam

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Classical Archaeology First-Year Exam: History and Culture of the Ancient Mediterranean

The exam is designed to examine competency in ancient history/culture, including primary sources and theoretical problems. It assumes survey-level knowledge (i.e. undergraduate introductory course level, or textbooks listed below), and thus tests the student’s ability to use primary sources, reconstruct and analyze arguments from secondary-source monographs, and offer nuanced examinations of broader historical problems. (Note: The second-year list focuses on the archaeology of the central and east Mediterranean from Prehistory through the Roman period.)



Homer, Iliad

Herodotus, Histories

Thucydides, Peloponnesian War

Xenophon, Anabasis

Demosthenes, Against Neaira

Secondary Sources

S.E. Alcock, R. Osborne (eds.) Classical Archaeology (Malden, MA, 2007)

I. Morris, Burial and ancient society: the rise of the Greek city-state (Cambridge, 1987).

F. de Polignac, Cults, Territory, and the Origins of the Greek City-State (Chicago, 1995).

D. Cohen, Law, Violence, and Community in Classical Athens (Cambridge 1995).

J. Davidson, Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions in Classical Athens (New York, 1999).

W. Burkert, Greek Religion (1987).

A. Powell, Athens and Sparta. Constructing Greek Political and Social History from 478 BC. (1988).

V.D. Hanson, The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece (New York, 1989; second edition 2000).

J. Ober, Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens: Rhetoric, Ideology, and the Power of the People (Princeton, 1989).

L. J. Samons II (ed), Athenian Democracy and Imperialism (New York 1998).

P. Cartledge, P. Garnsey, E. Gruen, eds. Hellenistic Constructs. Essays in Culture, History, and Historiography (Berkeley 1997).

J. Winkler, F. Zeitlin and D. Halperin (eds.), Before Sexuality: The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek World (Princeton, 1990).



Cicero, Pro Caelio, In Catilinam

Livy, bks. 1-5

Polybius, bk. 6

Augustus, Res Gestae

Tacitus, Annals

Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum

Petronius, Cena Trimalchionis

Eusebius, Vita Constantini

Secondary Sources

A. Wallace-Hadrill, Rome's Cultural Revolution (Cambridge 2008)

M. Beard, J. North and S. Price, Religions of Rome (Cambridge 1997), vol. 1.

K. Green, Archaeology of the Roman Economy (Berkeley 1986).

R. MacMullen, Roman Social Relations, 50 B.C. to A.D. 284 (New Haven 1974).

C.B. Champion (ed.), Roman Imperialism: Readings and Sources (Oxford 2003), Part 1: The Growth of Roman Power and Imperial Motivations (papers by W.V. Harris, E.S. Gruen and J. Rich) & Part 4: “Romanization” (papers by R. MacMullen, G. Woolf and P.S. Wells).

F. Millar, The Emperor in the Roman World, 31 BC-AD 337 (Ithaca 1977).

P. Zanker, Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (Michigan 1988).

C. Nicolet, The World of the Citizen in Republican Rome (Berkeley 1989).

S. Swain, Hellenism and Empire. Language, Classicism and Power (1996).

R. Laurence, Roman Pompeii. Space and Society, 2nd ed. (London-New York 2007).

P. Brown, Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity (1992).

General Works

E. Fantham [et al.], Women in the Classical World (New York 1994).

M. I Finley, The Ancient Economy. Updated with a new foreword by Ian Morris (Berkeley 1999).


C.W. Shelmerdine (ed.). Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge, 2008)

Ian Morris and Barry Powell. The Greeks: History, Culture, and Society (New York, 2005)

S.B. Pomeroy, S.M. Burnstein, W. Donlan, J. Tolbert Roberts, Ancient Greece: A Political, Social and Cultural History (New York, 1999)

M. Cary and H.H. Scullard, History of Rome Down to the Reign of Constantine, 3rd ed. (New York, 1975)

D. Gargola, R. Talbert, M. Boatwright, The Romans: From Village to Empire (Oxford 2004).

A. Cameron, The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity (1993).

F. W. Walbank, The Hellenistic World (Cambridge, Mass., 1993)

R. Osborne, Greece in the Making, 1200-479 B.C. (London, 1996)