Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home News & Events News Items

News Items

Forging History: Archaeologists recreate an Iron Age smithy in northern Israel.

On the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, in far northern Israel, sits Akko, a city of layers going back thousands of years. Its “Old City,” with beautiful Ottoman architecture built on the best-preserved Crusader city in existence, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Akko today gracefully blends old with new, eastern with western, religious with secular. Twenty-six religions are represented here; it is among the holiest sites in the Bahá'í and Sufi faiths. “It’s a very spiritual and cosmic place,” says Penn State archaeologist Ann Killebrew. “People who come here want to come back.”

Some of those who come back time after time are archaeologists trying to understand the previous inhabitants, who included the biblical Canaanites and Phoenicians, by unearthing and examining what they left behind. Some explore the historic old town. Others, like Killebrew, work at Tel Akko, “the hill of Akko,” a 60-80-foot-tall mound a mile east of the Old City.

Read the full article here.


The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is proud to announce the winners of this year’s endowed student awards:

  • Michaela Busic – The Robert G. Price Award in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, in

support of summer study abroad

  • Darcy Calabria --  The Reverend Thomas Bermingham, S.J. Scholarship in the Classics, for

excellence in the study of classical languages

  • Kyle Cornman --  The Reverend Thomas Bermingham, S.J. Scholarship in the Classics, for

excellence in the study of classical languages

  • Samantha Doleno --  The Reverend Thomas Bermingham, S.J. Scholarship in the Classics, for

excellence in the study of classical languages

  • Natasha Nagle --  The Robert Denglar Classics Grant-in-Aid Award, for

excellence in classical studies

  • Emma Schneider – The Knoppers Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies Study Abroad

Award; The Judge Benjamin F. Keller Memorial Award for excellence in the study of Latin; The Reverend Thomas Bermingham, S.J. Scholarship in the Classics, for excellence in the study of classical languages

  • Charissa Skoutelas --  The Reverend Thomas Bermingham, S.J. Scholarship in the Classics, for

excellence in the study of classical languages

From left to right, front row: Darcy Calabria, Prof. Pamela Cole, Emma Schneider, Michaela Busic, Samantha Doleno, Natasha Nagle, Charissa Skoutelas; back row: Prof. Stephen Wheeler, Prof. Mark Munn, Prof. Mary Lou Munn (photo courtesy of Prof. Mathias Hanses).


The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Laura Marshall as Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies as of July 1, 2018. Laura has received her Ph.D. in Greek and Latin at Ohio State University in 2017.  A specialist in Greek literature, especially poetry and its intersection with philosophy, Laura has written a dissertation entitled “Uncharted Territory: Receptions of Philosophy in Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica”.  Laura brings with her a facility in digital tools useful for research and teaching in classics.


The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) is pleased to announce the creation of a new, dual-title Ph.D. program with the Department of Philosophy. Drawing on the strengths and resources of both departments, the program will offer a special track in ancient philosophy that will provide graduate students in Philosophy with the necessary language training, as well as an enhanced foundation in the scholarship of the literature, culture, and history of the classical and ancient Mediterranean world. Topics of focus include, but are not necessarily limited to pre-Socratic, Socratic, Platonic, Aristotelian, Hellenistic and Roman philosophy. Graduate students enrolled in this program will benefit from a strong faculty in both Philosophy and CAMS, an institutional openness to interdisciplinary studies, and research opportunities that will enrich and deepen their philosophical work. For further information on the program, click here to see its full description under “Students” on the department’s homepage.


Professor Garrett Fagan died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on March 12, 2017, succumbing to the cancer that was diagnosed just five months earlier.  Family, friends, and colleagues paid tribute to his memory at a memorial service on the Penn State campus on March 25.   Professor Fagan was a renowned Roman historian and a popular teacher of Roman history and of Latin at Penn State since 1996. His scholarship on the social aspects of Roman culture has been widely praised, particularly for his books, Bathing in Public in the Roman World (1999) and The Lure of the Arena: Social Psychology and the Crowd at the Roman Games (2011).  He produced numerous articles and edited volumes, most recently the Topography of Violence in the Greco-Roman World, which he edited with Prof. Werner Reiss (2016).  His words have also been shared more widely through the lectures he recorded for Great Courses, on The History of Ancient Rome, Roman Emperors, and Battles of the Ancient World. Often taking Penn State students abroad to Rome and the Bay of Naples, Professor Fagan was able to spend his last full year of teaching (2015-2016) in Rome, a city that he knew and loved, as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor-in-Charge at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies.  His passing leaves us with a great sense of loss.


The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is pleased to announce and welcomes the appointment of Dr. Mathias Hanses as Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies as of July 1, 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Classics at Columbia University in 2015. His main areas of research are Latin literature and the reception of the Classics in America. One of the topics Professor Hanses is spotlighting in his scholarship is the reception of Roman comedy in the speeches of Cicero.

ANCIENT LANGUAGES – a new Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at Penn State

The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is now offering a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ancient Languages.  The certificate is designed for students who have completed their undergraduate degree and who would like to strengthen their language training in order to pursue graduate or advanced study in the fields of Classics, Ancient History, Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology, Biblical Studies, Egyptology, Historical Linguistics, Ancient Philosophy.  For further details see the Ancient Languages certificate in the University Bulletin.  For application information see the Postbaccalaureate/Graduate Certificate Admission page under the Requirement for Graduate Admission instructions of the Graduate School.


Paul B. Harvey, Jr.

April 16, 1945-July 13, 2014

We are saddened to announce that Paul B. Harvey, Jr., Associate Professor in the departments of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, History, and the Jewish Studies Program, died in Rome on July 13, 2014.

A native of southern California, Paul received his B.A. (magna cum laude) in Classical Languages from Oberlin College in 1967, having spent a semester in Rome at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in 1966. He received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Group in Ancient History at the University of Pennsylvania in 1972, with additional graduate study at the University of Pisa.

He joined the Penn State History faculty in 1972, the Classics faculty in 1979, and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies after its formation. Paul was Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University in 1982, Professor-in-Charge of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies at Rome in 1985-1986, and a frequent visiting research associate at the universities of Pavia and Pisa. Much beloved as a teacher, Paul received the Class of 1933 Award as Outstanding Teacher in the Humanities in 1977, and in 1997 he received the University Alumni Teaching Award. Paul was Head of the Department of CAMS from 2006 to 2013.

Paul’s scholarly interests ranged widely across Roman history--rhetoric, language, economy, and religion--and early Christianity, fields in which he contributed many papers and especially numerous reviews. Always generous with his colleagues, Paul collaborated in a variety of co-authored papers and co-edited volumes in subjects that ranged from early Latin to medieval law, and on aspects of the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. At the time of his death he was completing a contribution to the catalogue of inscriptions and brickstamps from Cosa. He was also working on a volume for the Translated Texts for Historians series: Jerome-Gennadius-Isidore-Ildefons, de viris illustribus.

Colleagues among the faculty and staff, and his graduate and undergraduate students join his wife of 31 years, Karen, his sister, Gretchen, and his two brothers, Mark and Jonathan, in mourning his passing. A Requiem Mass will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bellefonte, PA, at a date to be announced later. The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies will establish a suitable memorial for Paul.


Building a New World Order: Hellenistic Monarchies in the Ancient Mediterranean World

The department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Penn State invites contributions for the Tombros conference on Hellenistic monarchies that will take place on April 24-25, 2015. This academic event will explore the socio-political and cultural landscape of the Hellenistic states with a particular focus on the interactions between old and new, between the new elites and the established political and socio-economic structures. How did Hellenistic rulers respond to pre-existing structures and institutions? How did indigenous populations cope and interact with their new leadership? How did these political and social shifts affect the economy of the ancient Mediterranean world? How did art serve, resist, or comment on the new status quo?

Confirmed speakers include Prof. S.M. Burstein (Professor Emeritus, Department of History, California State University), Prof. A. Erskine (Professor of Ancient History, University of Edinburgh), Prof. J.G. Manning (William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Professor of Classics and History, Yale University; Senior Research Scholar, Yale Law School), and Prof. R. Strootman (Associate Professor of Ancient History, University of Utrecht).

We invite 30-min. papers pertaining to all areas of the Hellenistic Mediterranean (Greece, Ptolemaic Egypt, the Seleucid Near East, etc.) in all pertinent disciplines (History, Archaeology, Art History, Classics, etc.). Please send an abstract of ca. 400 words (including bibliography) to by October 3, 2014. Walter de Gruyter has shown strong interest in publishing the proceedings of this conference. If you have any questions, contact Mark Munn ( or Zoe Stamatopoulou (

This academic event is generously sponsored by Peter and Ann Tombros, as well as the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State.


To make study-abroad options more accessible to our students, the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is making available, effective summer 2014, travel reimbursement funds for all CAMS majors and minors participating in CAMS-sponsored study-abroad programs.  After admission to a CAMS study-abroad program (in summer 2014 this includes the Tel Akko field school and the Rome study tour; in 2015 this will include the spring semester in Athens and such CAMS summer programs as are offered), all currently enrolled CAMS majors are eligible for $500,  and all currently enrolled CAMS minors for $250, to be applied to receipted program-related travel expenses.  This may be applied to the cost of airfare, upon presentation of a purchased airline itinerary.  Students may re-apply for such funds for a CAMS program in a subsequent year.  Funding may also be available for participation in approved non-CAMS programs related to the ancient Mediterranean world; requests for such funding will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  To receive such travel reimbursements, submit your request to Prof. Mark Munn, Head of CAMS (, identifying the program that you are participating in.  After verification of your status as a CAMS major or minor, you will be advised how to secure reimbursement.


Gary Knoppers, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Jewish Studies, will be leaving Penn State this summer.  Gary’s distinguished scholarship in the field of Biblical studies has won him the John A. O'Brien Professorship of Theology at Notre Dame University.  He and his wife, Laura Knoppers, who has been appointed as Professor of English at Notre Dame, will take up their positions in the fall of 2014.  We congratulate Gary and Laura on their new appointments, and wish them well in their new positions.  Though we will inevitably miss Gary and his valued experience and advice, we are pleased that he will maintain his connection to Penn State as Emeritus Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Jewish Studies.



[Photo caption]  Gary Knoppers (l.) and Mark Munn, Head of CAMS (r.), on the occasion of the College of the Liberal Arts Emeritus Faculty Awards luncheon in April.


Daniel Falk (PhD University of Cambridge 1996) has been appointed Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies starting in the fall of 2014. Daniel comes to us from the University of Oregon, where he has served as the Head of the Department of Religious Studies and the Acting Director of the Harold Schnitzer Family Program of Judaic Studies.  He is a world-renowned expert in the Hebrew Bible and a leading scholar in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the large corpus of early Jewish texts found at Qumran, which constitute our main source of information about the making of Judaism in the last centuries BCE and in the first century CE.  The author of two books, Daily, Sabbath, and Festival Prayers in the Dead Sea Scrolls (1998) and The Parabiblical Texts: Strategies for Extending the Scriptures Among the Dead Sea Scrolls (2007), six co-edited volumes, and  numerous articles, Daniel is also a popular teacher of undergraduate courses in biblical literature, early Judaism and early Christianity.  With his appointment to the Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies, Professor Falk brings distinction and tremendous name recognition to Penn State as a whole, and particularly to CAMS, Jewish Studies, and to the College of the Liberal Arts.


Michael Legaspi (PhD Harvard University 2006) is a scholar of the history of biblical interpretation focusing especially on the Hebrew Bible.  He is the author of an award-winning book, The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies (2010) which describes the development in 18th-century Germany of a new kind of Hebrew scholarship modelled on the study of the classical Greek and Roman languages and cultures.  His current project examines the biblical concept of wisdom in a variety of historical contexts from antiquity to the Enlightenment.  Michael has taught at Creighton University and at Phillips Academy in Andover, and will join the faculty of CAMS and Jewish Studies in the fall of 2014.


Anna Peterson (PhD Ohio State 2010) is a Hellenist specializing in Greek prose of the Roman imperial era, particularly in the works of Lucian the wit and satirist.  Anna’s scholarship examines the intersection of comedy and philosophy, and the way in which Lucian presents himself as a defender of “true” philosophy by rooting out charlatans.  A seasoned teacher of Greek and courses in classics, Anna comes from Loyola University of Chicago, and will join our faculty in the fall of 2014.


Assistant Professor Zoe Stamatopoulou has been appointed Tombros Early Career Professor of Classical Studies in recognition of her excellent record of accomplishment in teaching and research.  Professor Stamatopoulou (Zoe to her colleagues and students) is an expert in early Greek poetry, researching the reception of Hesiod among classical poets and dramatists.  An invited presenter at national and international conferences, she has had articles accepted recently by Classical Quarterly, Classical Philology, Transactions of the American Philological Association, and The American Journal of Philology. Zoe will hold the title of Tombros Early Career Professor of Classical Studies for three years, and will enjoy support for her research and scholarship at a level usually reserved for distinguished senior faculty members.  This honor is endowed by Peter and Ann Tombros, alumni benefactors and supporters of the College of the Liberal Arts, the University Libraries, the Palmer Museum of Art, and the University at large.  Congratulations Zoe!


Spring 2013 commencement ceremonies at Penn State were led in two different colleges by student Marshals who were graduating CAMS majors. Lindsay F. Wells, a triple major in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Art History, and Medieval Studies (shown here with CAMS Head, Paul Harvey) was selected as Student Marshal and commencement speaker for the College of the Liberal Arts.  The highest student honor in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences also went to a CAMS major, Merle Chelsea Gilliam, a triple major in Geography, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and Anthropology.  Lindsay and Chelsea are outstanding examples of the excellence cultivated by students who count CAMS among their academic homes at Penn State.

Tawny Holm Joins CAMS and Jewish Studies

An expert in Classical (Biblical) Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, Tawny Holm comes from the department of Religious Studies at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania to join Penn State as Associate Professor in CAMS and Jewish Studies.   The author of standard reference works and articles on Aramaic and Near Eastern literature, Prof. Holm has published numerous reviews and peer-reviewed journal articles in her field.  Her masterly new book, Of Courtiers and Kings: The Biblical Daniel Narratives and Ancient Story-Collections, examines the literary traditions of the eastern Mediterranean in the Persian and Hellenistic eras that influenced the composition of the biblical book of Daniel.  She brings to our programs a welcome addition of expertise in the complex interplay of cultures and languages in the ancient Near East during the periods of Hellenistic syncretism, Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, and the emergence of early Christianity.

Chuck Jones is the New Tombros Librarian for Classics and Humanities

Charles E. (Chuck) Jones has joined Penn State as the Tombros Librarian for Classics and Humanities, the position formerly held by Daniel Mack.  Chuck is a leader in the field of digital scholarship, and will provide guidance and support for instructional and scholarly initiatives in the Humanities in general, and in the ancient world in particular.  Trained in Assyriology, Elamite, and in Mesopotamian and Iranian history, Chuck has had a distinguished career providing bibliographical services to researchers and students at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.  He has authored, edited, or managed numerous on-line discussion groups and blogs for the dissemination of digital information on the ancient Near East and the ancient old world more widely, including Abzu: Guide to Resources for the Study of the Ancient Near East Available on the Internet, ANE List, The Oriental Institute Online, and the Ancient World Online.

Personal tools
Log in