University of Pittsburgh



The Department of Classics focuses on the interpretation of the culture and society of Greco-Roman antiquity in the widest sense of those terms. Learn more about us.

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Archaeological Institute of America, Pittsburgh Chapter

Dr. John Newell is President of the Pittsburgh Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). The University is host to several yearly lectures of international scholars. Read about forthcoming lectures here.


Eta Sigma Phi

Learn more about the Classics honorary society for students of Latin and/or Greek.

Program in Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science

This graduate program is joinly offered by the departments of Classics, Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science.  Learn more about the Program in Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science (CPAS).



CONGRATULATIONS to Classics major and graduate Anjuli Das (A&S 16) on her Fulbright Scholarship to study and teach in Turkey in 2016-17! 


CONGRATULATIONS to recent graduates, Damilola Akapo and Lauren Tragesser on their induction into Phi Beta Kappa.  Damilola is a Molecular Biology major and Classics minor and Lauren is an Anthropology and Chemistry major, Classics minor.



The department has moved into a newly renovated space that was designed for our department.  We are located across the hallway from our former location, now in 1501 Cathedral of Learning.  Come and visit!


Emeritus Professor Edwin D. Floyd has received a grant of $350 from CAAS (Classical Association of the Atlantic States) to defray expenses in connection with two First Experiences in Research students, Justin Antonuccci and Leo Dornan, who are assisting him in his ongoing research on Homer's presentation of Achilles in the Iliad.   

    Justin Antonucci is comparing the handling of various key words such as "wrath" and "plan" in about twenty different Italian translations of the Iliad, ranging from the 18th through the 21st centuries.

    Leo Dornan's topic is an investigation of the way that Statius' Latin poem, the Achilleid, develops themes, such as the story of Achilles' heel, that are not explicitly dealt with by Homer.

This year's FER Celebration of Research, at which both Justin and Leo will present a poster summarizing their research, will be Friday, April 22, 2016, 2:00 - 5:00 PM, in Connolly Ballroom, Alumni Hall.



New for summer 2016- Pitt in Sicily Program!

Students earn six credits in the Dept. of Classics in this program designed for those interested in the history and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean.  The rich cultural heritage and sweepig panoramas of Sicily provide the background to an an unforgettable exploration of over 1,000 years of Greek and Roman history and culture.


Study Abroad has some interesting information for Classics majors and the opportunities that exist to enhance their interest in learning and culture. Learn more about the study abroad opportunities for students in Classics.



A.W. Mellon Professor Emeritus H.P. Stahl has just completed a major study of Vergil's Aeneid.  The book, entitled "Poetry Underpinning Power: Vergil's Aeneid for Emperor Augustus. A Recovery Study".


Medieval Latin Reading Group (2015)

Over the past year, the Medieval Latin Reading Group has become a site of energy and community for medievalists and Latinists at Pitt and the larger community. Last year's group had faculty from a few surrounding regional colleges, an independent scholar, a high school Latin teacher, and an emerita professor from Penn State, in addition to Pitt faculty, grad students, and the occasional undergrad. So the group is not only interdisciplinary, but also interprofessional and multigenerational.

The group also represents a wide range of Latin competency, from my co-leader Bruce Venarde, the editor and translator of the Dumbarton Oaks edition of Benedict's Rule, to Ph.D. students in their first year of undergrad Latin and rusty professors. We are a very supportive group, with a no-shame ethos. We spend the first hour of every fortnightly meeting on assigned, prepared passages (however much you feel comfortable preparing), and the second hour sight-reading, for those who feel comfortable with it. 

This semester the MLRG is generously sponsored by the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Humanities Center. 

Those interested in more information can contact Ryan McDermott, Assistant Professor of Medieval Literature and Culture in the Dept. of English at mcdermott.pitt.@gmail.com.


Classics Majors- There is now a Career Consultant for Classics to help you with career info and internship possibilities.  Contact Anastasia Lopez with Career Development in Room 200 of the William Pitt Union.  Her email is anl88@pitt.edu.












Contact Elizabeth Conforti, our department administrator, for more information.

University of Pittsburgh, Department of Classics
1501 Cathedral of Learning
4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
[P] 412-624-4494
[F] 412-624-4419





Lectures, Conferences and Symposia:


The Archaeological Institute of America and the Classics Department Presents:


Daniele Maras

    Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia


Thursday, April 7, 2016

4:30 p.m.

107 Lawrence Hall


“Kings and Tablemates: The Political Role of Comrade Associations in Archaic Rome and Etruria"


Recent achievements in research have permitted throwing light on the dynamics of the acquisition of power in central Italy in the Archaic period (7th to 5th century BCE). Using a new comparative analysis of later literary sources, in light of epigraphical and archaeological data coming from discoveries of the last decades, it is possible to sketch an outline of the methods and procedures for ascending to the highest ruling positions within aristocratic society in Etruria and Rome, in the age of kings as well as in the early Republic.

Within the archaic oligarchic society, based upon the prestige of family clans (gentes), a form of personal power developed, deriving from the charismatic role of certain leaders, at the head of military fellowships (sodalitates).  The bonds built in such comrade associations still continued in time of peace, through the ritual of symposium, thus soon becoming the principal support for the raise to power of their leaders.

This is the period of the so-called king-tyrants in the second half of the 6th century BCE; but also later, during the early Republican period, the archaic system of gaining political consensus was still fully working. Only, in the course of the 5th century BCE, the evolution of the political functions of the polis could limit and finally arrest the destabilizing potential of this social system.

From this point of view, new meaning can be gleaned from famous historical episodes and narratives, such as Tarquinius Priscus’ death and the consequent rise of Macstarna/Servius Tullius; or Superbus’ children’s attempt to restore the monarchy in the early years of the Republic; or the contemporary rise of Thefarie Velianas, «king over Caere», according to the famous golden tablets of Pyrgi (end of the 6th century BCE); or even the later cases of Valerius Publicola’s suodales at Satricum (at the beginning of the 5th century BCE), the private war of the Fabii against Veii (in 477 BCE), and, finally, Appius Herdonius’ failed attempt to overthrow the Roman establishment (in 460 BCE).



conference/lecture news


Dr. Edwin Floyd read a paper "Homer, Odyssey 10.200: Man-eating or Man-slaying?" at the annual meeting of the International Linguistic Association at Hofstra University, March 11-13, 2016.


Zachary C. Herbster, Classics major, attended the Miami University Undergraduate Conference in April, 2015.  His paper "From One Gadfly to Another: The Theological and Moral Influence of Socrates on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."



CLASS ACTS II: eXPLORING Roman Comedy and its reception

An interdisciplinary conference for Graduate and Undergraduate students organized by the Departments of Classics, University of North Carolinam, Chapel Hill, and the University of Madrid

March 20-21, 2015

University of Pittsburgh






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