Classical Languages Off-Campus Programs

In a letter to his friend, Cicero writes, “Rome, my dear Rufus, Rome! Cherish it and live in its light!” Our students have two opportunities to experience that magical light for themselves: the annual Winter Term in Rome, or the biennial Spring Study Tour in Rome, offered on even-numbered years.

To really engage with the ancient past, students need to get their hands dirty. Archaeology can answer important questions that literature cannot, especially about the habits and beliefs of non-elite Greeks and Romans as seen by the artifacts and buildings they left behind. Our students have three opportunities to experience classical archaeology during the summer in France, Greece, and Italy.

Thanks to the generosity of the Behr, Pollock, and Radista Funds, funding is generally available for students who are accepted into any of these off-campus programs.

Winter Term in Rome

Open to uppers and seniors who are studying Latin and/or Greek, eight students live with local families in Rome while attending a classical immersion program designed and directed by an instructor from our department. We rent classroom space from St. Stephen's School in Rome and we go out into Rome and environs at least one day a week for field study. We spend January and February in Rome and the final week of the program is in the Bay of Naples, based at the Villa Vergiliana. Students select five of six course offerings:

  • Latin
  • Ancient Greek
  • Beginning Italian
  • Roman Topography (archeological field course)
  • English (classical literature in translation)
  • Roman History

Spring Study Tour in Rome

Led by members of our department, this spring break trip introduces up to sixteen students to the wonders of Rome, especially as it developed from a small village on the Tiber to the center of the Roman Empire. We spend nine days examining ancient monuments set within their historical and literary context. In addition to hearing daily lectures by the faculty, each student is required to give an oral report on a specific monument. For a three-day interlude, the focus shifts to the Bay of Naples, where we visit such sites as Pompeii, Cumae, Baiae, Oplontis and Paestum.

2014 Blog

Bibracte, France

Up to ten preps and lowers, supervised by one or more members of our faculty, spend two weeks participating in an archaeological field school at Bibracte, the capital of the Aeduan tribe of Gauls in the first century B.C. and the starting point of Vercingetorix's rebellion against Julius Caesar. Students at Bibracte learn about several aspects of the archaeological process, including excavation, cleaning, cataloging and display at the Bibracte museum and research center. Following the completion of the field school, students spend several days exploring some of the magnificent Roman remains of southern France in places like Lyon (ancient Lugdunum), Arles, Nimes and the Pont-du-Gard aqueduct.

2016 Blog

Orvieto, Italy

Up to four uppers aged 17 or older, supervised by a member of our faculty, can join the Saint Anselm College Archaeological Excavation Project for four weeks, led by Prof. David George, Chair of Classics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Students work at two sites: the first is an Etrusco-Roman settlement approximately eight miles from Orvieto; the second is a 2500-year-old Etruscan pyramidal structure deep below the city of Orvieto. Students also take part in an archaeological field school that offers regular evening lectures and a number of short excursions to other nearby sites and museums.

2016 Blog

Project Website

Mt. Lykaion, Greece

Up to four graduating seniors aged 18 or older can apply for a travel grant to fund their participation in the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project for six weeks, led by Prof. David Gilman Romano ’65 of the University of Arizona. Situated in a stunningly beautiful region of Arcadia, Mt. Lykaion marks the site of a major Zeus sanctuary built on top of the supposed birthplace of Zeus. Joining a team of 50 people, students are involved in all aspects of the dig, whether in a trench, on the survey team, in the lab or on a computer. The project is run as a field school, so students receive instruction and participate in meetings, seminars, lectures, and field trips to archaeological sites and museums.

Project information: lykaionexcavation.org and parrhasianheritagepark.org.