Students who major in ancient Mediterranean studies at Reed take a multidisciplinary approach to the knowledge and analysis of the ancient Greek and Roman Mediterranean as well as the wider world that came into contact with Greeks and Romans. Majors belong to the Greek, Latin, and ancient Mediterranean studies (GLAM) department, which embraces the study of Greek and Latin language and literature in addition to the history and material culture of both ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Students in the department often supplement their courses by studying philosophy, political science, anthropology, art history, literature, theatre, religion, and linguistics.
Ancient Mediterranean studies majors choose to concentrate either in Greek and Latin language and literature or in history and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean. Both concentrations are designed to familiarize students with the diverse cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. The two tracks equip students with analytical tools and resources to produce meaningful arguments from a vast array of primary sources and evidence.
Introductory Greek and Latin language classes focus on rapid and thorough acquisition of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Intermediate and advanced courses introduce students to reading literature in the original language and develop their interpretive skills.
In archaeology classes, students are introduced to the material culture of the ancient Mediterranean. Core courses focus on archaeological method and theory, preparing students to approach material culture analytically and to form social and historical arguments from material evidence.
“In literature, history, and archaeology classes I acquired a trusty tool kit for solving a variety of problems, and I learned how to utilize different kinds of evidence. Conversations with peers and professors helped me to discover what kinds of questions I wanted to ask and the best way to ask them.”ELLIOTT ROSENTHAL ’21
Professor Tom Landvatter
Associate Professor of Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies & Humanities Tom Landvatter studies archaeology and history of the Eastern Mediterranean, in particular Egypt and Cyprus during the Hellenistic period (323-30 BCE). Tom’s research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation and a Fulbright, focuses on the archaeology of death and burial and the archaeology of imperialism, with a particular interest in cross-cultural interaction and its effect on material culture.
He is a field archaeologist and the codirector of Pyla-Kousopetria Archaeological Project’s (PKAP) excavations at Vigla, Cyprus. The project includes an archaeological field school, which Reed students have participated in since 2018.
Religion and ancient Mediterranean studies (REAM) is an interdisciplinary major in which students take courses in both departments. This major is ideal for students who want to study Greek or Latin as well as various methodologies in religion. Many REAM majors have produced their own translations of and commentaries on ancient religious texts for their senior thesis projects.
Ancient Mediterranean studies majors are highly encouraged to study abroad and have a variety of programs to choose from, including the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome and College Year in Athens. Students also have the opportunity to participate in archaeological fieldwork, and have recently participated in excavations at the sites of Gabii (Italy) and Kenchreai (Greece).
Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)
Tom Landvatter, Associate Professor of Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies & Humanities, is the president of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Portland Society. Reed hosts AIA lectures on campus, bringing speakers from all over the country. Featured lectures have covered a variety of topics:
“The People of Angkor”
“Parading Through History in Roman Ephesos”
“Bringing Water to the Desert: A Social History of Water Management at Petra, Jordan”
“Big Histories: The Phoenicians and the Formation of the Mediterranean World”
“The Tombs of Scribes in Early Imperial China and Ancient Egypt”
Anthony J. Barbieri-Low
What Do Alumni Do?
Elliott Rosenthal ’21
PhD Student, Greek and Roman Art
The University of Chicago
Lex Ladge ’19
Manager of Development Operations
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Kaylee Ma ’19
Chief Creative Officer
Deck Nine Games
Zak Garriss ’15
Associate General Counsel
Kate Aishton ’04
Director of Research Development
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Josephine Martell ’99