Ancient Studies Week (11/3-11/7)

On November 3rd, the ANCS Department will begin a week of lectures, performances, and art related to the ancient world.

Monday, November 3rd: At 12:00 pm in PAHB 132, Georgia Flouda will give a lecture “Materiality and Script: Constructing a Narrative on the Minoan Inscribed Axe from the Arkalochori Cave.”

Tuesday, November 4th: The “Homerathon,” a complete reading of Homer’s Illiad, begins at 9:00 am The “Forum,” outside of PAHB.

Wednesday, November 5th: Professor Tyler Jo Smith will give the Keynote Lecture “Revel without a Cause?: Dance, Performance, and Greek Vase-Painting” at 4:00 pm in the Albin Kuhn Library Gallery. A reception will follow.

Thursday, November 6th: Artifacts collection, Main Street of the Commons. The Spiro Collection contains 1,000 Greek, Roman, and Byzantine artifacts donated by Marie Spiro.

Friday, November 7th: 7-9pm, reading of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus in PAHB 132.

Humanities Forum: Revel Without a Cause? Dance, Performance, and Greek Vase Painting (11/5)

On Wednesday, November 5 at 4:00 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, Tyler Jo Smith, Associate Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Virginia, will present the Humanities Forum “Revel Without a Cause? Dance, Performance, and Greek Vase Painting.”

Greek vases have much to teach us about ancient dance and performance. But how do the figures decorating ancient drinking cups and mixing bowls relate to the dances documented by the ancient authors? This talk explores the unique connection between these two important art forms, and reveals the ways they have been understood by scholars over the past 100 years. From drinking games to party tricks, we will explore the context of ancient dance and the special place of vases in performance history.

The event is sponsored by the Ancient Studies Department and by the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Visual Arts Department; and the Office of Summer, Winter and Special Programs. For more information, click here.

Ancient Studies Department Announces 49th Annual Study Tour in Turkey

The UMBC Ancient Studies Department will conduct its 49th annual study tour in Turkey March 13-22, 2015. The price of $2,650.00 (based on a group of 30) includes all air, land, and sea travel, twin-share accommodation for eight nights at four-star hotels, buffet breakfasts, three dinners, one lunch, and entrance to all archaeological sites and museums on the itinerary. Single rooms are available at an additional cost. ANCS majors and minors, UMBC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community are welcome on the tour. The trip can be taken as a 3-credit course in the Winter 2015 term (ANCS 301; winter semester tuition applies). Scholarships are available to Ancient Studies majors taking the course for credit. Places are limited, and a $350.00 deposit is required by September 26, 2014 to reserve a spot.

The tour begins in Istanbul with visits to monuments of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires: the church of Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome, Tokapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque. The following day, the group braves the waters of the Dardanelles for a ferry ride to Çanakkale before spending a day at the site of ancient Troy. From Çanakkale, the group flies inland to Ankara to visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, the sacred Hittite site of Yazilikaya, and Hattusa, the sprawling capital of the Hittites. From Ankara, there is a flight to Ismir (Smyrna), catching the splendor of Ephesos, the city where Artemis was worshiped in earnest and an early outpost of Christianity, before settling in at the seaside resort of Kuşadasi. On the final day, the group tours the ancient cities of Priene and Miletos and visit Didyma, site of the magnificent temple and oracle of Apollo.

Contact Domonique Pitts or at 410-455-6265 (5-6265 from campus) to register your interest now. For more information, click here.

Marie Spiro, Marilyn Goldberg Honored by UMBC’s Ancient Studies Department


Marilyn Goldberg presents Marie Spiro with a gift from the Ancient Studies Department.

After five decades of collecting ancient artifacts, Dr. Marie Spiro wanted to donate her collection to an institution that would continue her approach of interactive learning, and she selected UMBC three years ago. Spiro, an associate professor emerita of art and archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park, recently visited UMBC to attend Ancient Studies Associate Professor and Chair Marilyn Goldberg’s retirement party.

The Spiro Artifact Collection features Greek, Roman and Byzantine artifacts and contains mosaics, pottery, figurines and other pieces that date back as far as 15,000 years. The collection has provided a hands-on learning opportunity for ancient studies students and enables them to physically interact and study ancient artifacts without leaving campus.

During the celebration, Goldberg thanked Spiro for her donation and presented her with a gift from the ancient studies department. The Spiro Artifact Collection is expected to be housed in the new Art and Archaeology Lab in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building. During the retirement party, research projects presented at URCAD were on display that students conducted on artifacts as part of the archaeological museum studies course. Marilyn Goldberg was honored by colleagues for her service as a professor and chair of the department and for her enthusiasm and dedication to her students since the Ancient Studies Department began at UMBC.

You can read an article about Dr. Spiro’s donation in the Fall 2011 edition of UMBC Magazine by clicking here.

David Rosenbloom Joins Ancient Studies Department

The Ancient Studies Department is delighted to announce the arrival of Dr. David Rosenbloom as an Associate Professor of Ancient Studies.

Rosenbloom is a specialist in Athenian tragedy and comedy. His research in Greek tragedy resulted in a new edition of the Persians and a co-edited volume, _Greek Drama IV: Texts, Contexts, Performance_, as well as many articles for _Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Greek Tragedy_. His next books will be the _Blackwell Companion to Euripides_ and __A City of Scoundrels: Culture and Hegemony in Classical Athens, among others.

Most recently, Rosenbloom has been a senior lecturer in the Classics Department at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where his excellence in teaching was known. His outreach there to Classicists and non-Classicists alike demonstrate his own love of the disciplines that are taught in the Ancient Studies Department. He has also taught at Johns Hopkins and Princeton in the United States.

He and his family are particularly happy to be returning to the Baltimore area. He is excited to be coming to ANCS and UMBC at a time when the Humanities are receiving such great emphasis and to a department where Latin and Greek continue to be highly valued.

Ancient Studies Department Announces Study/Travel Program in France

The Ancient Studies Department is pleased to announce its 47th study/travel program over Spring Break 2013. Participants will travel to France on Friday, March 15, and return Saturday, March 23. The trip is open to all UMBC community members.

Our travels take us first to southern France, where we will see spectacular monuments of Roman architecture: the amphitheater in Orange, the aqueduct Pont du Gard, and the best-preserved of absolutely all Roman temples, the Maison Carrée. In Avignon, we will visit the town’s celebrated medieval bridge and the Papal Palace, home to the popes in exile in the fourteenth century. We will also participate in a private wine-tasting in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of the most famous wine-producing regions in France.

Our visits in and around Paris will include the museums of the Louvre and d’Orsay, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, the Holocaust Mémorial Shoah, an excursion to Versailles, an excursion to tour some of the châteaux of the Loire Valley, and a relaxing Seine River boat ride at night on a Bateau-Mouche to see Paris from the calm waterway which divides the city.

Please contact Abigail Granger at or at ext. 5-6265 for more details and to register.

Michael Lane, Ancient Studies, Receives Grant

For a second year in a row, ancient studies instructor Michael Lane has received a grant from the Institute for Aegean Prehistory. He will continue his research on Mycenaean land use through an intensive geo-physical survey in Boeotia, Greece.

His project, known as “Archaeological Reconnaissance of Uninvestigated Remains of Agriculture,” consists of extensive geophysical survey of the Mycenaean polder (dry land claimed from marshes) immediately around the stronghold, accompanied by collection of small finds from the ground surface in selected areas. In total, excavations are expected to last 5-10 years and inform presentations and articles in major archaeology conferences and journals.

Alumnus Wes Bittner ’08, ancient studies, will assist with geographic information system analysis.


Photo: Bittner assists Lane with a surveying project.