nl en

Research Workshop: Greek and Latin Epigraphy (5 EC)


Admission requirements

This course is part of the (Res)MA History Programme. It is not accessible for BA students.


In this course, students will receive an introduction in Greek and Latin epigraphy, Inscriptions, the subject of epigraphy, are of huge importance for our knowledge of the ancient world; we have thousands upon thousands of inscribed texts, ranging from small graffiti to law codes of several hundred lines.
It is not the intention of this course to turn students into epigraphers: epigraphy is a highly specialized branch of research. Our goal is to be able to use inscriptions for historical research (even without knowledge of Latin or Greek), and also to be aware of what epigraphers actually do; only then can we critically use the editions of inscriptions which they produce.
This is a hands-on course where you will be reading and interpreting inscribed texts yourself. The basics will be dealt with in a condensed way, also requiring some self study, after which we immediately set to work. In line with the aims of the MA Ancient History programme The Unification of the Mediterranean, this will be done on the basis of a selection of inscriptions and accompanying modern literature dating from the Hellenistic and Roman period, with a focus on the political culture in the broad sense of the word.
The course starts with an entry test, consisting of a 1500 words essay to be written about the literature mentioned below. This essay needs to be handed in 48 hours in advance of the course; the essay question will be published on Brightspace a week in advance of the deadline.

Course objectives

General learning objectives

The student has acquired:

  1. the ability to independently identify and select sources, using traditional and modern techniques;
  2. the ability to analyse and evaluate a corpus of sources with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
  3. the ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question, taking into account the theory and method of the field and to reduce this question to accessible and manageable sub-questions;
  4. the ability to independently set up and carry out an original research project that can make a contribution to existing scholarly debates;
  5. the ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, when required, or Dutch, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
  6. the ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;
  7. the ability to provide constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of the work of others and the ability to evaluate the value of such criticism and feedback on one’s own work and incorporate it;
  8. (ResMA only) - the ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

The student has acquired:

  1. thorough knowledge and comprehension of one of the specialisations or subtracks as well as of the historiography of the specialisation, focusing particularly on epigraphy;
  2. thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects of the specialisation or subspecialisation in question, with a particular focus on epigraphy.

Learning objectives, pertaining to this Research Workshop

The student:

  1. will get acquainted with the historical emergence the epigraphic habit in the Graeco-Roman world;
  2. will acquire knowledge of and insight to the theories, apparatus, research methods, corpora and databases of Roman epigraphy;
  3. will be able to apply the acquired knowledge and research skills in his or her research;
  4. (ResMA only) – students will be able to focus on the higher complexity of the corpus of Graeco-Roman inscriptions in comparison to regular MA students; and they have the ability to set up and carry out research from new approaches which raises new questions.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Workshop (compulsory attendance)

This means that students have to attend every session of the course. If a student is not able to attend, he is required to notify the teacher beforehand. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If specific restrictions apply to a particular course, the teacher will notify the students at the beginning of the semester. If a student does not comply with the aforementioned requirements, he will be excluded from the seminar.
This course will taught completely online. 48 hours before each session, students have to hand in an assignment.

Assessment method


  • Entry test
    Measured learning objectives: 1-14, esp. 9-11

  • Weekly assignments, results to be presented in writing and discussed in class
    Measured learning objectives: 1-14

  • Participation
    Measured learning objectives: 1-14

  • Final paper (2800-3000 words, based on research in primary sources, including footnotes and bibliography; excluding a catalogue of inscriptions).
    Measured learning objectives: 1-14


  • Entry test: 15%

  • Participation: 5%

  • 5 weekly assignments (elimination of the lowest grade): 40%

  • Final paper: 30%

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average, with the additional requirement that the final paper must always be sufficient (> 6.0).


Assignments and written papers should be handed in within the deadline as provided in the relevant course outline on Brightspace.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, there is a resit for the final paper. Final papers graded with a 4.0 or lower should be written on a new inscription, final papers graded with a 5.0 or 5.5 can be revised after consultation with the instructor.

Inspection and feedback

Feedback to all written work will be provided through Brightspace. If necessary further discussion can be arranged with the instructor.

Reading list

The course starts with an entry test, consisting of an essay of 1500 words. This essay needs to be handed in 48 hours in advance of the course; the essay question will be published on Brightspace a week in advance of the deadline.

For the Entry Test students should have read in advance the following works:

  • Bodel, J. (ed.) Epigraphic Evidence: Ancient History from Inscriptions (London [etc.] 2001). [This edited volume needs to be purchased]

  • Millar, F. ‘Epigraphy’, in: M. Crawford (ed.), Sources for Ancient History (Cambridge 1983) 80-136.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. L.E. Tacoma