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Mark Munn

Mark Munn

Professor, Greek History and Greek Archaeology, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and History

321 Weaver Building University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-0052


  1. PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1983
  2. BA, University of California at San Diego, 1974


I study the history of classical Greece through its literary and its material culture and in its broader Mediterranean context. Classical Athens and its political and intellectual history is my central interest, represented in my book, The School of History: Athens in the Age of Socrates (University of California Press, 2000). More generally, I study and teach aspects of Greek history from the Mycenaean to the Hellenistic periods. Among my special interests are the history of ancient Mediterranean religions, connections between Anatolia and Greece (topics represented in my book, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion, University of California Press, 2006), Greek historiography (especially Thucydides), warfare and fortifications, epigraphy, survey archaeology and topography. I am committed to helping students develop new perspectives on the ancient Greek and Mediterranean world by crossing traditional boundaries of disciplines and genres.

Recent Publications:

"Why History? On the Emergence of Historical Writing," 25 pp. in Ancient Historiography on War and Empire. T. Howe, S. Müller and R. Stoneman editors.  Oxford: Oxbow Press, 2016 (forthcoming).

“Eros and the Laws in Historical Context,”  pp. 31-47 in Plato’s Laws: Force and Truth in Politics, Gregory Recco and Eric Sanday, editors.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012.

“Panakton and Drymos: A Disputed Frontier,” pp. 189-200 in Attika: Archäologie einer “zentralen” Klulturandschaft. Akten der internationalen Tagung vom 18.-20. Mai 2007in Marburg. Hans Lohmann and Torsten Mattern, editors. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2010.

“Earth and Water: The Foundations of Sovereignty in Ancient Thought,” pp. 191-210 in The Nature and Function of Water, Baths, Bathing and Hygiene from Antiquity through the Renaissance, Cynthia Kosso and Anne Scott, eds., Leiden: Brill, 2009.

“Alexander, the Gordian Knot, and the Kingship of Midas,” pp. 107-143, in Macedonian Legacies: papers on Macedonian culture and history in honor of Eugene N. Borza, Tim Howe and Jeanne Reames, eds.  Claremont, CA: Regina Books, 2008.

Recent Courses:

CAMS005 - Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations
CAMS083S - First-Year Seminar in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
CAMS100 - Ancient Greece
CAMS593 - Research Seminar

Student Testimonial

“The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an incredibly helpful community of individuals who love to learn. The faculty members of this department are very thoughtful and provide invaluable assistance to otherwise confused undergraduates. (...)
The smaller department size allows students to establish relationships with faculty and to establish a community in a school that might otherwise seem dauntingly large. The Classics and the study of the ancient Mediterranean world are strong at Penn State. For a school that prides itself on cutting-edge research and applied sciences, Penn State is a superb promoter of the Humanities. This support allows the CAMS department to recruit world-class faculty, provide generous funding and aid to undergraduates, and establish resources for research. The structure of the department was a perfect fit for me and allowed me to explore a wide-range of subjects related to my interests. In my four years in the program, I strengthened my Latin and Greek and was also able to study Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian. I now look forward to continuing my training in philology as I pursue graduate study.”

Timothy W. Dooley
2011 CAMS graduate

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