Latin Epigraphy on location


Course Objective

The course is aimed at the acquisition and application of practical
research skills in epigraphic research. You will learn to read original
epigraphic texts, get familiar with the Latin of inscriptions including
the most typical abbreviations used in such texts, and learn to apply
the rules of transcription correctly. You will gain advanced knowledge
of handbooks, corpora and electronic databases of Latin epigraphy and
learn how to use them for your own thesis or other research project

Course Content

The course offers an intensive introduction into Latin epigraphy from
the Republican period up until Late Antiquity. Its approach and focus is
strongly interdisciplinary with attention being paid to philological,
socio-linguistic, literary, archaeological, and legal aspects of
epigraphic texts. In addition, explicit attention will be paid to the
theoretical and methodological aspects of epigraphic research. Topics
which will be dealt with are as diverse as funerary monuments and
commemoration of the dead, family relationships and Roman law of
succession, text and spatial context, epigraphy and the administration
of the Roman empire, patronage and professional colleges, content and
organization of private and public cults. The focus will be on
inscriptions from Rome and Ostia, but for reasons of comparison also
epigraphic texts from the rest of Italy and the provinces will be drawn

Teaching Methods

The main part of the course is set up as a ten days’ intensive seminar
which will take place at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR)
(dates: February 21-March 1, 2020). The course comprises
individual study and research (under supervision) in the library of the
KNIR (and some neighbouring foreign institutes), alternated with
lectures, museum and site visits in Rome and Ostia, and a city walk
along monuments with in situ preserved ancient inscriptions. The seminar
in Rome is preceded by a three days’ introduction at the VU campus in
February 2020.

Method of Assessment

Paper containing a text edition and commentary on
one or more inscriptions from Rome or Ostia.

Entry Requirements

Command of Latin at highschool exam level (VWO eindexamen).


Will be made available through Canvas.

Target Audience

MA students as well as Research MA and Phd students in Classics, Ancient
History, Archaeology and Law as well as others who take a special
interest in Latin epigraphy and meet the entry requirements.

Additional Information

This is an inter-universitary master’s course which will be offered in
cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, the Research
school OIKOS and the Masterlanguage programme of Classics. Interested
students will be asked to register through a special registration form
which will be made available in the autumn of 2019 through the website
of the Royal Netherlands Institute (; you will also need
to register through the masterlanguage website (
The course can take up to fifteen students. In case more candidates
register, a selection will be made; a motivation letter which is to be
submitted with the registration may be used as a means for selection.
The study load is the equivalent of 5 ects; students from VU or UvA may
take an additional assignment to the
equivalent of 1 ects.
For all participants free accommodation in Rome will be arranged.
Travel costs to and in Rome are at own expense. The course is taught in
collaboration with Prof. B.H. Stolte (RUG).

General Information

Course Code L_BEMAOHD002
Credits 5 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. A.M.J. Derks
Examiner dr. A.M.J. Derks
Teaching Staff dr. A.M.J. Derks

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Computer lab, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: