Welcome to Cornell Classics
Classics is the interdisciplinary study of the ancient (1700 BCE-600 CE) Greek and Roman civilizations that gave subsequent European culture its distinctive character. The study of Greek and Roman antiquity includes: Greek and Latin language, literature, and linguistics; ancient philosophy; history; archaeology and art history; papyrology; epigraphy; and numismatics.
Download Iris our Department Newsletter
Applying for a PhD?
A Test of Time and A Test of Time Revisited: The Volcano of Thera and the Chronology and History of the Aegean and East Mediterranean in the mid Second Millennium BC
Sturt W. Manning
The eruption of the Thera (Santorini) volcano in the Aegean Sea in the mid-second millennium BC was a clearly defined, specific moment in Aegean and east Mediterranean prehistory that impacted on all the major cultures of the region. The effects of the eruption have been linked with the destruction of the Minoan palace civilisation of Crete, the legend of Atlantis, and even events described in the Biblical account of the Exodus. Scientists have studied the remains of the volcano and traced eruption products and far-flung climatic impacts throughout the east Mediterranean and in ice cores and tree-ring data. At Akrotiri, a major prehistoric town buried by the eruption, archaeologists unearthed the partially intact remains multi-storey buildings, painted frescoes and myriad objects of everyday life. The date of the eruption has long been a subject of importance and controversy since accurate dating would offer a unique linchpin for the study and synchronisation of the history and cultures of the region in the mid-second millennium. It would provide a key test both for the established historical chronology of ancient Egypt and derived archaeological chronologies. Yet the exact date remained stubbornly unresolved and varied in the literature by over 100 years. A Test of Time, first published in 1999, sought to resolve the issue through a critical review of the archaeological and scientific data, including the presentation of radiocarbon dates, which together suggested a new ‘early’ chronology for the Aegean c. 1700–1400 BC. This edition comprises the original, unrevised text, together with a substantial new appended essay which critically reviews the continuing debate between 1999 and 2012 and presents a raft of new scientific data, including the Bayesian modelling of radiocarbon dates relating to a range of relevant archaeological sequences from Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean.
Olin Library is maintaining a list of resources for Classics.
Cornell Halai And East Lokris Project (Greece)
CHELP is a regional archaeological project focusing on the polis of Halai (Greece) and its immediate neighbors.
News and Announcements
- Two Juniors Receive Caplan Travel Fellowships
- We are proud to announce that the 2014 Last Lecture at Australian National University was delivered by Dr Ioannis Ziogas on October 30, 2014.
- Welcome to New Faculty Member Athena Kirk
- Congratulations to Antonia Ruppel, senior lecturer in the Department of Classics: she was awarded a Stephen and Margery Russell Distinguished Teaching Award in the College of Arts and Sciences for 2014.
- Congratulations to Caitlín Barrett, assistant professor in the Department of Classics: she was awarded the Robert A. and Donna B. Paul Academic Advising Award in the College of Arts & Sciences for 2014.
- Cornell Classics assistant professor Courtney A. Roby won a Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography to be a fellow in the 2014-16 program of the Rare Book School (RBS), University of Virginia.
- Congratulations to our graduate students Katie Jarriel, Carrie Fulton and Jenny Carrington! Their AIA poster on Roman Funeral Masks has been picked up by multiple news outlets!
- Latin Poetry and Hip-Hop Teaching Award