Ancient World

Academic Year 2023 – 2024

General Information

207 Scheide Caldwell House

Program Offerings:

  • Interdepartmental Program

Affiliated departments:

Director of Graduate Studies:

Graduate Program Administrator:


The Program in the Ancient World enables doctoral candidates with wide-ranging interests in the ancient world (ancient Mediterranean and Near East) to extend their studies beyond departmental lines and pursue work in the languages, history, art, archaeology, and the religions of antiquity.  Four departments provide the majority of offerings relevant to students in the program: art and archaeology, classics, history, and religion; additional guidance and instruction are available from the Departments of Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies.

Students should apply to the department that coincides best with their backgrounds and their prospective areas of specialization, and they should indicate an interest in the interdepartmental program at the time of their application to that department. The requirements for the individual departments appear in the pertinent sections of the catalog.

Students cannot be admitted to Princeton University through the Program in the Ancient World as it is not a degree program.

Program Offerings

Program Offering: Interdepartmental Program

Program description

Program students are expected to fulfill the requirements of the home department, but their course of study is modified to allow for interdisciplinary work through classes, examinations, and guidance by faculty in several departments.


Program students usually take the program seminar in the first year of study. Offered each year, the seminar is normally a team-taught class sponsored by two of the cooperating departments. Specific topics vary, but each program seminar has significant interdisciplinary and comparative dimensions emphasizing the methodologies and techniques of the fields involved. Students must also take two additional seminars outside their home departments and are strongly encouraged to continue seminar work after completing their general examinations.


Applicants should possess a strong background in at least one ancient and one modern language. Prior to the general examination, all students will have demonstrated proficiency in two appropriate ancient languages and two appropriate modern languages, to be determined in consultation with the student's adviser.

Additional requirements

Material Culture Requirement

Every member of the program should acquire experience in the interpretation of non-written, material evidence from antiquity. This is normally done through participation in field archaeology but may be accomplished through a variety of alternatives. Students are also urged to participate in the program's extensive series of lectures, colloquia, and informal discussions.


  • Director

    • Marc Domingo Gygax
  • Executive Committee

    • Nathan T. Arrington, Art and Archaeology
    • Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis, Classics
    • Michael Koortbojian, Art and Archaeology
    • AnneMarie Luijendijk, Religion
    • Helmut Reimitz, History
    • Esther H. Schor, English, <i>ex officio</i>
  • Associated Faculty

    • Caroline Cheung, Classics
    • Harriet I. Flower, Classics
    • Michael A. Flower, Classics
    • Johannes Haubold, Classics
    • Samuel Holzman, Art and Archaeology
    • Dan-El Padilla Peralta, Classics
    • Elaine H. Pagels, Religion
    • Jack B. Tannous, History
    • Moulie Vidas, Religion
  • Sits with Committee

    • Carolyn Laferriere
    • Alan M. Stahl
    • Marcus D. Ziemann

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Permanent Courses

Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.

ART 599 - The Greek House (also CLA 597/HLS 599/PAW 599)

A study of the archaeology of the Greek house (Early Archaic huts through Hellenistic palaces). Emphasis on the close reading of archaeological sites and assemblages and the integration of literary with material evidence. Topics include the discovery of houses, the identification of farms, the integration of the house with urban plans and natural landscapes, the organization and use of space, gender, domestic economies, and religious practice. Attention devoted to social, political, and regional dynamics; to the concept of the "private" in ancient Greece; and to questioning the heuristic value of the term "house".

CLA 520 - Greek History (also HLS 521/PAW 520)

A comprehensive introduction to central topics and methods of Greek history, offering a chronological overview of periods and significant developments; a survey of research tools and specialized sub-disciplines (e.g., epigraphy and numismatics); as well as important theoretical approaches to the study of the past (e.g., positivism, or the Annales School).

CLA 547 - Problems in Ancient History (also ART 527/HIS 557/HLS 547/PAW 503)

Study of a topic involving both ancient Greece and ancient Rome, such as imperialism or slavery, from a comparative perspective.

CLA 548 - Problems in Ancient History (also ART 532/HLS 548/PAW 548)

Study of a topic involving both ancient Greece and ancient Rome, such as imperialism or slavery, from a comparative perspective.