Greek and Roman Archaeology

Academic year: 2023-24

Course: Foundation Course Humanities
 – Greek and Roman Archaeology

Credits: 6

Period: First semester

Number of hours: 48

Teacher: Nicola Giaccone (

Language of instruction: English

Learning outcomes


This class aims to provide students a good grounding in Greek and Roman Archaeology, dealing with the most significant aspects of the material culture of Ancient Greece and Rome, from the Geometric Period (10th century B.C.E.) to the beginning of Late Antiquity (4th century C.E.). These rudiments will be examined within the framework of their historical context, stimulating a critical view on the Classical Antiquity.

Assessment criteria of knowledge

Competency in the subject matter addressed in the course is tested through a final oral exam.


At the end of the course, students will be able to distinguish the principal expressions of Ancient Greek and Roman material cultures. They will have learnt also to recognize these expressions as products of the complex interactions among historical process, political and socio-cultural factors.

Assessment criteria of skills

The skills gained during the course will be assessed through open discussions during classes and a final oral exam.


Students will learn to adopt a critical thinking and an interdisciplinary historical perspective about the subjects of the course.


No specific prerequisite is required.


This class aims to provide the basics of the archeology and art history of the Greek and Roman civilizations from the Geometric Period to Constantine. The treatment of the subject will be organized as follows:

1. Introduction to Greek and Roman Archaeology

2. Greece: Geometric Period

3. Greece: Orientalizing Period

4. Greece: Archaic Period

5. Greece: Classical Period

6. Greece: Hellenistic Period

7. Italy before Rome

8. Rome from the foundation to the end of the Republican Period

9. Augustus and the Early Empire

10. The Julio-Claudian and the Flavian Dynasties

11. From Nerva to Commodus

12. The Severan Dynasty

13. From the “Age of Crisis” to Constantine.


The bibliography of the course consists of two textbooks (see below), which are mandatory. Suggested readings will be provided during the course for those who wish to deepen specific aspects.

Greek Archaeology and Art History:    

         Stansbury-O’Donnell, M.D., A History of Greek Art. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell, 2015.          [ISBN: ISBN 978-1-4443-5015-9].

Roman Archaeology and Art History:  

         Kleiner, F.S., A History of Roman Art. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010.

         [ISBN: 978-0-495-90987-3].

Assessment methods

The assessment methods are based on attendance and participation in class, as well as on the final oral exam. In particular, grades are defined in accordance with the following proportion:

Attendance and participation in class: 20%

Final oral exam: 80%

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