Authentic Texts and Roman Contexts for Latin Teachers (K-12), Villa Vergiliana

Director: Kathryn McDonnell, PhD (Pine Crest School)

Dates: July 1 – 13, 2022

This summer workshop and study tour is aimed primarily at K-12 Latin teachers.  We will use inscriptions, artifacts, and monuments in museums and archaeological sites around the Bay of Naples and Rome to examine the ways in which texts are integral to Roman material culture.  A key goal of the seminar is to empower Latin teachers at all levels (especially high school teachers) to use authentic texts and their archaeological and cultural contexts in the classroom.  

While many K-12 Latin textbooks use fictional Roman families, the Roman house, or life in Pompeii as a teaching tool, inscriptions and graffiti offer authentic Roman voices that can be used on their own or as the basis of project-based learning.  Participants in this study tour will learn the basic tools of Latin epigraphy and see firsthand the archaeological and cultural contexts of inscribed texts.  We will also develop shared resources and assignments that combine epigraphy and archaeology. 

The archaeological sites, inscriptions, graffiti, and other resources in this study tour will help Latin teachers engage students in Roman culture at a deeper level and provide a more nuanced understanding of Roman material culture. During our time in Rome, we will explore the collections of the Museo Nazionale Romano, discuss the integration of texts into the daily life of the modern city, and use the Protestant Cemetery as a field study. While at the Villa, we will examine texts and contexts at archaeological sites around the Bay of Naples.  The House of the Faun, often used as an example of Roman elite housing, offers inscriptions, mosaics, and other decoration for a deeper discussion of Roman and non-Roman identities in Pompeii. The famous Rufus est graffito in the Villa of the Mysteries and other graffiti raise intriguing questions about literacy and social class. Funerary inscriptions, monumental tombs, and sculpture allow us to consider the nature of the Roman family and the commemoration of the dead, whether a child or an adult, male or female, enslaved, freed, or freeborn.  Enslaved and liberti give tantalizing glimpses of their own lives through funerary inscriptions, imagery, and architecture in Capua and Pompeii. As a counterpoint, the Via Appia Traiana in Terracina and the Arch of Trajan in Benevento offer examples of imagery and texts presumably commissioned or coordinated by the imperial administration in Rome.  

Scholarships are available.

Tour Application

List of Site and Museum Visits:

Rome (2 nights): Museo Nazionale Romano (Terme, Massimo), Cimitero acattolico

Pompeii (2 days): House of the Faun, Villa of the Mysteries, House of the Vettii, necropoleis, etc.

Herculaneum: Possible Graffiti Project speaker

Stabiae: Villas, new museum

Naples: Archaeological Museum

Capua: Museum, especially the funerary inscriptions, amphitheater

Benevento: Arch of Trajan, museum

Terracina: Via Appia Traiana, Jupiter Anxur, Sperlonga, etc.

Electronic Payment Options

A surcharge will be assessed for electronic payments.

Deposit: $750 + $23 surcharge

Total Payment: $2,828 + $90 surcharge

Final Payment: $2,078 + $67 surcharge

Single Supplement: $175.50 + $15 surcharge