2023 Summer Seminar at the Olympia Heraion

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Summer Seminars

The Summer Seminars of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens are 18-day programs that focus on specific cultural themes, historical periods, or geographical regions. The Seminars are led by exceptional scholars of Classics and related fields. Under their direction, participants study texts, visit archaeological sites and museums, and engage with expert guest speakers in order to deepen their understanding of Greece’s landscape, history, literature, and material culture.

Past seminars have included: Caves in Greece; Ancient Gender and Sexuality, Greek Sculpture, Myth on Site, Greek Warfare and Culture, Greek Religion, Finding the Spartans, Greece from the Sea, The Northern Aegean, and Greek Funerary Customs through the Ages.

Application Deadline: January 8, 2024 

2024 Summer Seminars

Warrior Sailors, Traders, and Pirates: Aegean Islands Through the Ages (June 17 to July 5, 2024)


In the words of 19th century travel writers, the Aegean Islands were remote paradises of uncontaminated beauty. The difficulty of access, combined with the presence of pirates, the vestiges of Ottoman and Venetian dominations, and a sense of nostalgia for the mythological past, cemented in people’s minds the image of these islands as magical places, outside the boundaries of time and reality. Yet, in antiquity the Aegean islands were far from being isolated, and were deeply embedded in Mediterranean trade networks and geo-political struggles.

Island archaeology in the Mediterranean has been a topic of great interest for the past several decades, with the publication of seminal regional studies and the opening of new archaeological projects. In the classroom, however, discussions of islands are too often limited to prehistory, while courses on the Classical and Hellenistic periods tend to focus almost exclusively on the mainland. This seminar will discuss issues of insularity and connectivity in the Mediterranean, from the Bronze Age to the 20th century. Using a mix of chronological (e.g., Iron Age networks and colonization) and thematic approaches (e.g., raw materials and trade routes) we will explore the islands in their multifaceted cultural roles as places of inhabitation and worship, sources of desired raw materials, marketplaces, strategic locations during the wars –from the Delian League to World War II– as well as paradise destinations of modern tourism. The course will spend time around Athens and Euboea, the Cycladic islands, and Crete. Taught by Professors Emilia Oddo (Tulane University) and Bice Peruzzi (Rutgers University).

Alexander to Actium: The Archaeology of Hellenistic Greece (July 11 to July 29, 2024)

One of most exciting periods in ancient history followed immediately after Alexander the Great’s campaigns: a time of great cultural achievements, larger-than-life characters, and fertile intellectual exchange. In Greece these developments played out under the clouds of state violence and imperialism as foreign powers fought for control of Greece or fought each other in Greece for control of growing Mediterranean empires. Participants in this Seminar will explore the history and archaeology of Hellenistic Greece through on-site study of the material remains of programs of construction and commemoration.  These site visits will reveal how foreign powers exploited key routes and garrisons to transform Greece into a landscape of control, and the ways in which varied Greek polities negotiated these transformations.

Hellenistic literature was shaped by an intense engagement with place, topos. This seminar honors that preoccupation through extensive travel in central, western, and northern Greece focused on diverse, but often overlapping topographies, including the natural landscapes, the built environments of fortresses and cities (e.g. Athens, Kassope, Demetrias), the sacred shrines and sanctuaries (e.g. Delphi, Dodona, Dion), and the routes and battlefields that lay between them. Participants will examine how a culture of commemoration charged and connected all these spaces. This program will delve deep into the history and archaeology of Hellenistic Greece. Taught by Professors Jake Morton (Carleton College) and Thomas Rose (Randolph-Macon College).

Structure of the Program

The ASCSA Summer Seminars offer unparalleled opportunity to experience the ancient sites, monuments, and culture of Greece first-hand, focusing on specific topics, under the guidance of expert professors deeply familiar with the country and topic, and up-to-date with the latest research.

When in Athens, the Summer Seminars are based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Roughly half of the program is spent in travel throughout Greece, and participants are housed in hotels. The program's commitment to presenting a detailed view of the seminar topic, and Greece's rich history, leads to long days and extensive walking in the hot Mediterranean summer. Participants should be prepared for a rigorous program of study.

Seminar participants receive exclusive access to archaeological sites and storerooms inaccessible to others and enjoy presentations on ongoing excavations by preeminent scholars. Internationally known scholars of Greek history, art, and archaeology will participate as guest lecturers in both seminars. Students are expected to give on-site reports, which they will prepare in their home libraries before the program begins. The program is designed to present a comprehensive view of Greece’s rich history and archaeology. Participants should expect long days at sites and museums, extensive walking on uneven and rocky terrain, and Mediterranean temperatures well above 30ºC/86ºF for extended periods without ready access to shade. Prospective applicants uncertain about their ability to participate in all program activities are encouraged to contact the ASCSA office for more information.

Want to know more? Visit the FAQ page!

A Typical Day

A typical day starts at 7:00AM and ends at 7:00PM. A group will typically visit 3 to 7 archaeological sites and/or museums during the day. Each visit
 may include a director’s presentation, tours by invited specialists, and one or more student reports. There is much standing and walking, many sites have steep inclines, and the Mediterranean summer sun is intense, so participants should be prepared for the rigors of the program.

In Athens travel is by walking or public transport (including the efficient metro system). On day trips and extended trips most travel is by private chartered bus with a licensed professional driver; island trips involve ferry rides. Lunch may be picnic style or at local eateries depending on the day’s schedule. Beach stops for swimming are scheduled whenever possible. Continental breakfasts are provided at the hotel every morning. Participants eat dinner on their own at local eateries within walking distance of the hotel. Dinner hour in Greece is typically later than in North America, with many people eating between 8-11pm.


When Summer Seminars are based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.  Participants enjoy 24-hour access to the world-class Blegen Library, including a computer lab, wireless internet access, archives, and individual study space. Participants will be housing in Loring Hall while in Athens, and have access to our welcoming and supportive staff, home-style Greek cooking, gardens, and verandas that look out onto Mount Hymettus. The School also offers numerous opportunities for informal conversation, learning, and networking with professors and students working at the ASCSA, and with members of the international scholarly community in Athens.

Outside of Athens, participants will stay in hotels. Hotels are typically C class, clean and secure establishments with private bathrooms and A/C available. Most hotels have wi-fi. Continental breakfasts are provided at the hotel every morning.


Enrollment is open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students, as well as to high school and college/university teachers of classics and related subjects. Each seminar is limited to twenty participants. The language of instruction is English.

The program is intellectually absorbing and can be physically challenging.  Museum visits may involve long periods of standing, while many site visits require hiking uphill in the Mediterranean summer heat.  Participants should be ready to work cooperatively as part of a close-knit Summer Seminar group.

Summer Seminar participants become part of the ASCSA alumni/alumnae community, with more than a thousand members around the world. Summer Seminar participation can open the doors to professional connections, mentoring, fieldwork opportunities, and scholarly support for years to come.

An attempt is made to ensure that the session includes undergraduate students, graduate students, high school teachers, and college professors, though there is no quota for any category. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment.


The fee for each 2024 Seminar is $2,750 USD. Fee includes tuition, room for the entire 18-day period, partial board in Athens, travel within Greece, and museum and site fees. International airfare, most meals outside Athens and weekends in Athens, and incidental expenses are the participant's responsibility. Financial aid is available in the form of ASCSA scholarships, awarded on the basis of academic merit; and many classical organizations also offer funding opportunities. More information at https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/programs/summer-session/ss-scholarships. (Rates and fees are subject to change without notice.)

Financial Support

The ASCSA offers a range of Summer Seminar fellowships.  Several national and regional Classics organizations also offer scholarships specifically for Summer Seminar participants. Every applicant will automatically be reviewed for an ASCSA scholarship, without extra forms to submit. If awarded an ASCSA scholarship, we will notify you in your admission letter. 

Click Here for Scholarship Information

Academic credit

The American School is not a degree-granting institution. No grades are given for its programs, nor are transcripts provided. An optional final exam at the end of each seminar can given (upon discussion with the Seminar Director), and the director of a seminar will, upon request, write a letter to the member’s home institution recommending that credit be granted, provided that the member has satisfactorily participated in the program and passed the final exam. Inquire about course credit option.


Deadline for the online application and two recommendations will be January 8, 2024.

Link to the online application: https://ascsa.submittable.com/submit/270462/ascsa-summer-program-application
You may use this form to apply to the Summer Session and Seminar(s) simultaneously, if you are applying to more than one summer program. 

Admission to the Summer Seminar is granted on the basis of academic performance and letters of recommendation. 

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Applicants must submit the online application form by the deadline. The application form includes: 
    • A list of colleges and universities attended, with dates of residence, degrees awarded or expected, and any honors attained; a list of any teaching or other professional experience (with institutions and dates or present employment). This information can be entered on to the application form itself, or uploaded as a document to the application.
    • A brief statement of your present attainments in the following subjects: Latin and Greek (specify amount of reading done in the original and in translation), ancient history, history of ancient literature, archaeology and history of art. This information should be uploaded as a PDF to the application. Note: such attainments are not a prerequisite or mandatory for participation.
    • A brief statement of your future plans. State your future plans and how participation in the ASCSA Summer Program fit into these plans (maximum length 500-600 words). This information should be uploaded as a PDF to the application.
    • If you are applying to multiple summer programs, please indicate and discuss your preferences (maximum 250 words). This information should be uploaded as a PDF to the application.
    • Please indicate your reading ability in modern and/or foreign languages. This information can be entered on to the application form itself.
    • A copy of undergraduate and graduate transcripts for student applicants (unofficial transcripts are acceptable); a copy of a current CV for high school teachers and college professors. 
  • Applicants for School scholarships can check a box on the application form to be considered for any School (internal) scholarships for which they are eligible. No extra paperwork is necessary. Review the scholarships online to learn about eligibility requirements, as well as external funding opportunities.
  • Applicants must arrange for two letters of recommendation to be submitted online. After the online application is submitted, the recommenders will automatically be sent instructions about how to upload their recommendation. Or, applicants may choose to send the request at any time by clicking the "Send Request Now" button on the online application form. Recommendations are due by the application deadline.

All applicants will be notified in February. 


Any U.S. or Canadian citizen who plans to spend more than 90 days in Greece and/or any other member of the Schengen block of countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) within a six-month period must obtain a special visa BEFORE entry into the Schengen zone. This visa must be issued by a Greek consulate/embassy in a country where the applicant is a resident, and the application process can take two or more months. Any participant who plans to combine, for example, a spring or fall study abroad program with the ASCSA Summer Seminars may exceed the 90-day limit.  For further information, click here.

Ready to apply?

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment.
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Hear about the Seminars

For additional questions or information:

Contact the Programs Office in the United States at application@ascsa.org.

Apply to lead a summer program

If you are a scholar who is interested in leading a Summer Seminar or the Summer Session, click here to link to more information about open positions. 

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