Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Welcome to Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) at Penn State!

CAMS is the study of cultures that arose and flourished around the Mediterranean basin (including Egypt, Greece, Rome, Anatolia, Israel, Mesopotamia, and North Africa) from ancient Mesopotamia (ca. 4000 BCE) to the end of Greco-Roman antiquity (ca. 600 CE). CAMS investigates the whole scope of the ancient Mediterranean world and trains students to interpret the linguistic, historical, and archaeological evidence of its cultures.

Committed to Diversity

The Department of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) at Penn State is devoted to fostering an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all who study the ancient world. As an open and welcoming academic community, we embrace a view of the ancient Mediterranean and its legacies as the common heritage of all people, regardless of gender, color, race, nationality, religion, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

In keeping with our conviction that scholarship on antiquity benefits from a multiplicity of voices and perspectives, CAMS supports diversity in research areas, classroom activities, and above all in its membership, especially among groups historically under-represented in the field.

We affirm Penn State’s commitment as a public institution of higher education to effectively serve the members of our communities at all levels – on campus, across the state, and beyond – and we welcome the input of our students, colleagues, and friends as we pursue this goal.

Featured Graduate

Gress selected as Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies marshal

Congratulations to Robert Gress, our Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies major student marshal for spring 2022 commencement! Robert is graduating with a B.A. degree in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. He was the 2021 recipient of the Robert E. Dengler Classics Grant-in-Aid Award. Robert previously worked for United Parcel Service and the United States Coast Guard Reserve. After graduation, he will continue studying Classics in graduate school. 
Featured Graduate

Castleberry selected as Anthropology marshal

Congratulations to Sarah Castleberry, the spring 2022 Anthropology student marshal! She is graduating with B.A. degrees in Anthropology and Art History, with a minor in Latin. Sarah sang advanced choral repertoire with Penn State Oriana Singers in the Penn State School of Music for six semesters. She also spent three weeks in Rome after her freshman year through the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies’ Study Tour of Roman History and Archaeology and studied abroad in Perugia, Italy, last fall. After graduation, Sarah will return home to Connecticut to work as a field archaeologist at Heritage Consultants, LLC for the summer and then plans to find anthropological or museum work near Boston, Massachusetts, next fall.

Welcome, Dr. Michael Beshay!

We are happy to announce that Dr. Michael Beshay will be joining the CAMS faculty in the Fall of 2022. Dr. Beshay writes: “I’m a scholar of religions of late antiquity who specializes in the history of early Christianity. My research centers on several interconnected topics, including the development of authoritative traditions; their transmission and reception in diverse artifacts and across confessional boundaries; the significance of ritual and “magic” for the production of novel religious idioms; and the legacies of so-called “heretical” Christians within the beliefs and practices that emerge as “Orthodox.” I explore these dynamics relative to the ritual traditions surrounding the Virgin Mary and King Solomon–two prominent figures whose authorities span multiple religious communities and represent layers of cultural innovation and conflict.”

CAMS Assistant Professor Jake Nabel has been selected to receive a Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship for the 2022/23 academic year. Awarded on a competitive basis, the Loeb Fellowship funds major research projects within the field of Greek and Roman studies. Its support will allow Prof. Nabel to complete his monograph, The Arsacids of Rome: Royal Fosterage and Interdynastic Kinship in Roman-Parthian Relations, for the University of California Press. A study of ancient interstate politics, the book reappraises the relationship between Rome and the Iranian empire of Parthia by foregrounding the careers of several Parthian princes who were sent to live at the court of the Roman emperor in the first century CE.
April 22, 2022
3:30 pm
Join us on April 22 at 3:30pm for the final installment in our lecture series “New Approaches to the Ancient Mediterranean.” Bethany Hucks’ talk will present a guide for the use of 3D models in the Classics classroom from the perspective of methodological theory and the evaluation of source materials rather than a digital manual. What kinds of questions can and cannot be answered when building or viewing models? How can we determine which information to include and how can we know what may be missing or misrepresented in the archival records used to create models? How can 3D models increase equity and access to Classics for culturally deprived communities? What can 3D models teach us about the way ancient people thought about ideas such as authenticity or cultural connectivity, and about the ways that we think about ancient people? What are the practical considerations, limitations, and opportunities that 3D models can provide? The Zoom link is
March 25, 2022
3:30 pm
On Friday, March 25, the CAMS Department congratulated Pamela Cole and Mary Lou Munn on their retirement. We also enjoyed Senior Thesis Presentations by Alisia Lee, Abigail Mason, and Casey Snyder, and we were excited to hand out awards to our amazing students. Click for details!
March 31, 2022
7:00 pm
Foster Auditorium
On Thursday, March 31, at 7pm in Foster Auditorium, the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is hosting a presentation on Uprooting Medea, an all-global majority production of Euripides’ Medea by Khameleon Productions. This Medea questions the pertinent topics of race, belonging and identity through centering these themes which are already prevalent in Euripides’s original.
March 18, 2022
3:30 pm
Please join us for the fourth installment of the AY2021-22 lecture series, “New Approaches to the Ancient Mediterranean.”