Ancient Societies Wor​kshop and Core Seminar

This interdisciplinary workshop serves as a meeting ground for those who work on the ancient world at Yale, and is an important forum that allows sustained conversation about a common theme. The workshop meets once a month during the academic year, and is supplemented by the core graduate seminar in the Archaia program. Presenters include Yale faculty and graduate students, as well as occasional visiting professors. The chronological scope of the seminar extends over the first millennium BCE and up through the premodern period; issues of reception are also considered.

The theme for 2017–18 is “Slavery, Dependency, and Genocide”.

Series Poster Here.

Slavery, extreme forms of personal dependency, and genocide are interrelated and persistent problems in world history. From Old Babylonia though Greece and Rome, Han China, Precolumbian Central and South America, and pre-modern Southeast Asia, political and economic hegemons have engineered the captivity, extermination, enslavement, and enserfment of entire populations. The 2017-18 Ancient Societies Workshop explores the implications of this reality at the intra-societal, intercultural, and personal level in an effort to tease out the factors that promote the intensification of these relationships of domination and exploitation. It also proposes to investigate social, cultural, and economic trends that have led to the relaxation or mitigation of these inhumane yet intractable social realities with an eye toward possible implications in the present.

All meetings start at noon in PH 401. A light lunch is served.

  • September 15: Alice Rio - Kings College London: “Slavery After Rome”
  • October 13: Peter Hunt - University of Colorado Boulder: “Inside and Outside: Women Slaves in Ancient Greece”
  • November 17: Craig Perry - University of Cincinnati: “Slave Ownership, Competition, and Masculinity in Medieval Egypt”
  • December 8: Mary Miller - Yale University: “Were they enslaved? The Women and Men of Jaina Island, Mexico”
  • January 26: Ulrike Roth - University of Edinburgh: Title TBA
  • February 23: Michael Jursa - University of Vienna: Title TBA
  • March 9: Robin Yates - McGill University: Title TBA
  • March 30: Anthony Reid - Australian National University: Title TBA

Working papers for previous years




Cultures of the Classical ‘Cultures of the Classical’ is a network that draws together scholars at Yale who work on receptions of Greco–Roman Classical Antiquity, and the Classical Tradition (including comparative Classical Traditions and rival antiquities). We are particularly interested in complex plays with the past in which texts and works of art, and indeed whole cultural movements, have appropriated aspects of Classical Antiquity while simultaneously asserting their distance from ancient Greece and Rome. Read More

Greco-Roman Lunch is sponsored by the Classics Department and is held bi-weekly, on the first and third (and sometimes fifth) Mondays of the month in the Fellows’ Room at Saybrook College. The invitation list consists of faculty and graduate students from the Departments of Classics, History, Art History, EALL, Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, and others, and they convene at 12:00 for lunch followed by a presentation by one of their number at 12:30. A presentation of up to 30 minutes is followed by questions. The focus of papers ranges freely from literary to archaeological to cultural. Lunch is provided free to those who are not on a meal plan. For more information please contact the organizers: Dexter Brown, Religious Studies and Classics ; Joe Morgan, Classics and History ; CJ Rice, History and Classics

Medieval Lunch Colloquium The weekly Medieval Lunch Colloquium brings together medievalists from a variety of departments in the University for informal presentations and discussion. At each meeting, a speaker presents work-in-progress to an interdisciplinary audience of graduate students, faculty and staff working in medieval studies. Speakers include both Yale faculty and graduate students, with occasional out-of-town guests.

The Hebrew Bible Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the Yale Divinity School and the Program in Judaic Studies. Every year it brings to campus some of the most significant scholars in the field of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism, both junior and senior, to share their recent research. These lectures make available to the Yale community the breadth of scholarship currently being produced on ancient Israelite and Jewish history, literature, beliefs, and practices.

Yale Lectures in Medieval Studies The Medieval Studies Program organizes Yale Lectures in Medieval Studies, an interdisciplinary lecture series which brings to Yale America’s most creative scholars of the Middle Ages, presenting innovative and exciting work in fields such as paleography, codicology, liturgical studies, music, history of art, archaeology, history, literature, and philosophy. The series, which is run by students in medieval disciplines, emphasizes intellectual diversity and rigorous scholarship and is a vital part of Yale’s interdisciplinary approach to the medieval period.
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The Annual Rostovtzeff Lecture and Colloquium

The lecture honors the legacy of Michael I. Rostovtzeff, a titan of Ancient History and one of the greats of twentieth-century historical scholarship. Rostovtzeff taught at Yale from 1925 until his retirement in 1944. He was a world authority on Hellenistic and Roman history and wrote widely on ancient history, particularly in the field of economic history. The annual lecture brings scholars to Yale who work in areas pioneered by Rostovtzeff, but whose field-changing research takes Ancient History in new directions.
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Archaia Summer Study Tour

Last summer (2017) Archaia introduced its first annual Summer Study Tour. This series is designed to familiarize students with a place and a problem related to antiquity and the premodern world through travel and the direct experience of monuments, museums and cultural artifacts in their place of origin. The 2017 Summer Study Tour traveled to southern Italy to explore the theme of “The Ancient City” from June 3-12. We visited well known places like Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Puteoli, but also less traveled sites like Venusia, Grumentum, and Metapontum. The tour was led by Professors Noel Lenski of Classics and History and Mick Hunter of East Asian Languages and Cultures. It was coordinated in conjunction with the University of the Basilicata, which hosted a two-day conference on the year’s theme that allowed Yale students to meet an international cadre of scholars and to collaborate with students from Italy and other European countries.


Please email us your suggestions or let us know what we have missed.