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Exploring the Greek and Roman city


Compulsory attendance


Prerequisites and restrictions

Bachelor’s degree obtained.


This course will present a range of theoretical and practical approaches to analysing Greek and Roman cities. The historical development of Classical urbanism will provide an introduction to separate evaluation of economic, social, political and phenomenological aspects. Practical approaches will include excavation, topographical study and digital interpretation through Space Syntax programmes.

Learning outcomes

  • Thorough awareness of the development of Classical towns from their emergence to late Antique decadence;

  • Training in the complementary methods used for field study of Greco-Roman cities;

  • Deep appreciation of relevant theoretical approaches to comprehending Classical urban life;

  • Practical training in digital analysis and interpretation of Classical cities using Space Syntax.

Mode of delivery

  • Lectures;

  • Practical.


Two papers of min. 3,000 words, marks reduced for late submission.

Reading list

  • S.E. Alcock & R. Osborne (eds), Classical Archaeology. Oxford (2006)

  • P. Allison, Pompeiian Households. An Analysis of Material Culture. Los Angeles (2004)

  • R. Alston & O.M. van Nijf (eds), Feeding the Ancient Greek City. Leuven (2008)

  • T. Bekker-Nielsen, The Geography of Power. Oxford (1989)

  • J. Bintliff, Going to Market in Antiquity. Zu Wasser und zu Land, Stuttgarter Kolloquium 7. E. Olshausen and H. Sonnabend. Stuttgart (2002)

  • T.J. Cornell & K. Lomas (eds), Urban Society in Roman Italy(1995)

  • L. de Ligt & S.J. Northwood (eds), People, Land, and Politics: Demographic Developments and the Transformation of Roman Italy, 300 BC-AD 14. Leiden (2008)

  • M.H. Hansen & T.H. Nielsen (eds), An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis. Oxford (2004)

  • B. Hillier, Space is the Machine. A Configurational Theory of Architecture. Cambridge (1996)

  • R. Laurence, Roman Pompeii. Space and Society. London (1996)

  • J.H.W.G. Liebeschuetz, The Decline and Fall of the Roman City. Oxford (2001)

  • N. Morley, Metropolis and Hinterland. The City of Rome and the Italian Economy, 200 BC – AD 200. Cambridge (1996)

  • H. Parkins (ed.), Roman Urbanism. Beyond the Consumer City. London (1997)

  • P. Zanker, Pompeji. Stadtbild und Wohngeschmack. Mainz (1996)

Time schedule

Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.