Scheda programma d'esame
Anno accademico2022/23
PeriodoSecondo semestre

Learning outcomes

This course will provide an introduction to the history, archaeology and material culture of Classical civilizations from the Iron Age to the Roman Empire. Particular attention will be paid on the study of Greek culture, from the Geometric to the Hellenistic period, and of Italian territory (and more specifically Etruria and Rome) before and during the long period of Roman domination, considering both archaeological and artistic contexts.


At the end of the course students will demonstrate a basic knowledge of the ancient civilizations with specialized skills in the field of Classical Archaeology, especially regarding the most significant historical and cultural aspects of the first millennium BC. Through classroom and outdoor lessons the course aims to provide students with the tools to read figurative documents in their functional and iconographic contexts.


Through activities and experiences proposed in this course students will be able to develop active behavior applying in individual and group research.

Teaching methods

Second semester.

First part: 14 hours of classroom lesson: 7 lessons

Second part: 14 hours of classroom lesson: 7 lessons

In the first part of the course, lessons will take place in presence once a week, every Tuesday, starting from 22 February 2022

In the second part of the coursel lesson will take place twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday, starting from 21 April 2022.

At the end of the course will be proposed one off-site lesson:

1) off-site lesson in the Museo delle Navi in Pisa (4 hours).


Lesson 1

Introduction to classical archaeology: time and space

Approaching classical art and archaeology. Art replicas in the classical world. Relationship between Greek statues and Roman copies. Technique of casting bronze statues and plaster copies. Archaeological plaster casts collections. The Collection of the University of Pisa.

FOCUS on: Statue of Penelope, Sophocles statues, Discobolus, Bronzes from Riace.


Lesson 2

Classical myths and their representations. FOCUS on: Athena and Marsyas by Myron, Hanging Marsyas, Arrotino.


Lesson 3

Ancient art, contemporary emotions. Do ancient artworks express emotions we recognize? Do they raise emotions in us? Why? We will look at the answers to these questions together.

FOCUS on: Tyrannicides group, Laocoon.


Lesson 4

A framework of Greek archaeology. Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic artistic productions: pottery.

FOCUS on: Geometric style pottery, Corinthian pottery, black-gloss pottery, Attic black-figure pottery, Attic red-figure pottery.


Lesson 5

A framework of Greek archaeology. Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic artistic productions: sculpture.

FOCUS on: Kuroi and korai, Doryphoros and Diadoumenos by Polykleitos, Hermes from Olympia by Praxiteles, Dying Gaul, Ludovisi Gaul.


Lesson 6-7

Greek Athletics and the Great Festivals (part 1-2). Terminology and athletic practices. Origins of Greek athletics and the great festivals. Athletes and fame. Athens and the Panathenaia. Representations of Athena.

FOCUS on: Terme Boxer, Apoxyomenos by Lysippos, Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon, Pheidias, panathenaic amphoras.


Lesson 8

Discovering the Etruscans.  Who are the Etruscans? What do we know about the Etruscans? The beginning of the Etruscan culture: the Villanovan Period. The Etruscans and the Greek culture.

FOCUS on: Villanovan villages and huts, burial customs and cinerary urns.


Lesson 9

The age of aristocracy. The development of the power of Etruscan aristocracy in the Orientalizing period: palaces, burials and necropolis.

FOCUS on: The tumuli of  Cerveteri, palaces of Murlo and Acquarossa.


Lesson 10

Etruscan art and manufacts: Characterizing productions: pottery, bronze, jewelry, sculptures and reliefs.

FOCUS on: bucchero pottery, sanctuary of Portonaccio at Veii.


Lesson 11

Etruscan customs and traditions: banquet, religion and haruspicy. Language and inscriptions.

FOCUS on: some Etruscan inscriptions.


Lesson 12

Etruscan art and manufacts: – Etruscan funerary painting, Etruscan sculpture.
FOCUS on: Etruscan Orientalizing tombs of Veii, Etruscan Archaic tombs of Tarquinia.


Lesson 13

The Roman fora: The Roman forum. The imperial fora.  Main architectural and artistic aspects.


Lesson 14

Pompeii, a Roman city. Discovering the plan of the city: with houses, temples, stores and buildings for entertainment.


Lesson 15-16

Off-site lesson in the Museo delle Navi in Pisa: tour of the archaeological museum, both Etruscan and Roman sections.




Images and texts will be provided during the lessons.

Assessment methods

Grades are based on attendance and active partecipation and discussion in class (30%) and on final written exam composed of 14 questions and 2 short essays (70%).


Commissione d'esame: Chiara Tarantino, Rocco Palermo, Lisa Rosselli


First part of the course: prof. Chiara Tarantino  

Second part of the course : prof. Rocco Palermo


Ultimo aggiornamento 01/08/2022 13:27