27168 - Epigraphy and Greek Institutions

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to read and interpret Greek inscriptions, define and describe the different types and establish an approximate chronology. They will be familiar with the use of inscriptions as historical sources, especially in studying Greek institutions, public or private. They will have a basic knowledge of these last by directly reading the main authors or the documents relating to them. They will be able to explain institutional and social phenomena by comparison and linkages extending to different periods and geographical settings. Students will learn to use the most important databases of Greek inscriptions and begin to know how to find bibliography and information about inscriptions and Greek institutions. They will learn to use the appropriate terminology, and will acquire a critical approach to problem-solving via analysis of inscription data and applying the relevant models to interpret social and institutional processes.

Course contents

For Greek Epigraphy (6 CFU):

1. How to read, record, date and interprete an epigraphy: methods, techniques, heuristic.

2. Types of monuments and inscriptions from origins to Late Antique (with examples).

3. Greek inscriptions as historical sources for Greek and Roman civilizations: reading and commenting texts.

For Greek Institutions (6 CFU)

1. Sources and tools for the study of Greek institutions
2. Greek public and private institutions  through:

a. passages of ancient authors;

b. analysis of selected inscriptions (reading, translation, dating, historical interpretation

Please, remind that, for the final assessment, the all the Greeek texts read, translated and commented during the course have to be read in Greek, so ancient Greek must be studied and learnt, at least at a basic level.


For the first part of the course (Greek eepigraphy)

M. Guarducci, L'Epigrafia greca dalle origini al tardo impero, Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, Roma 1987.

The text of  the inscriptions read, translated and commented during classes will be available on www.iol.unibo.it  at the end of the course.

Students who do not attend all the lessons, or part of them, must prepare a number of inscriptions agreed together with the teacher.

For the second part of the course (Greek Institutions) students are required to study:

1. G. Camassa, Forme della vita politica dei Greci in età arcaica e classica, Monduzzi Editoriale, Milano 2007 and R. Flaceliere, La vita quotidiana in Grecia nel secolo di Pericle, Mondadori, Milano 2018.

Teaching methods

Students are invited to discuss and to take part in the lessons. A basic knowledge of ancient Greek is recommended, although it is not compulsory to know it in advance. Students who have never studied Greek can apply to the Dept. of Classics for the admission to the elementary course of this language.

Assessment methods

According to the Course Council deliberation, students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.The exam is oral. All students will be asked at least 4 questions on general issues and the texts read and commented in class.

Exam is passed if pupils answer correctly and in a proper way, reading, translating and commenting the texts. Outstanding knowledge of both the handbook and the texts is evaluated at the maximum; good knowledge and ability in the analysis of the texta, but more mnemonic can earn a good evaluation; a knowledge with some mistakes and misundertandings in the texts are sufficient to pass, serious lacunae in the knowledge of the handbook and no skills in the reading and interpretations of the texts do not allow to pass.

There are at least 7 possibilities per year to give the exam; the dates are published twice, normally in November for the first 5, and March-April for the last 2. All students must be listed on Almaesami and no students are allowed to give exams out of the public lists.

All students must be present at the call of the examination, normally at 9.30 of the examination day.

Please check in advance if your administrative position is regular, otherwise you will not be admitted to the exam.

Teaching tools

All texts commented during the course will be available on www.iol.unibo.it, and all texts will be shown in the critical edition and, when possible, on a digital image. There will be presentations to show inscriptions and representations of ancient life and institutions.

There will be a visit to the Greek collection of the Archaeological Museum of Bologna as well.

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Criscuolo