The University of Heidelberg’s First International Summer Seminar in Ancient Studies

Life on the Fringes of Civilization

From July 23rd to August 2nd 2007, the Centre for Ancient Studies at the university of Heidelberg will offer its first ever International Summer Seminar. The seminar is a pilot project for what we hope will become an enlarged and regular programme (summer school) beginning in 2008.

The theme chosen for this year’s programme is: Life on the Fringes of Civilization. Many inhabitants of the ancient world spent their entire lives far removed from the areas we usually consider as central to ancient civilizations. Such fringe areas often included boundaries between one cultural group and another. Where overlap occurred, there was both the promise of positive interaction (e.g. trade), but also the threat of conflict and war. As its main case study, the seminar will consider the frontier of the Roman Empire in Germany and its immediate hinterland. The developments and events that occurred in and around this border zone were often instrumental in determining the history of the entire Roman Empire. Participants will receive a series of classes on Roman Germany and the limes, including excursions to major monuments and archaeological sites. Additionally, a series of distinguished guest lecturers will discuss theoretical aspects of frontier and border archaeology both within Roman Germany, and in other regions, cultures and periods of the ancient world. Can useful generalisations about life in fringe areas be made? We hope to develop a lively discussion and interaction with the participants about this topic.

The seminar will be based in the Centre for Ancient Studies, in the heart of old Heidelberg. The language of instruction is English. The deadline for applications HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MAY 15th 2007.

Participants interested in learning German at an introductory or advanced level can enrol in the International Summer School for German Language and Culture, which is organised by the International Office of the University of Heidelberg, and runs from August 3rd to 30th 2007. For more information click here:

The seminar is primarily intended for graduate students and upper level undergraduates of Archaeology, Ancient History, Classics and other related disciplines. Others are welcome to apply, but enrolment is expected to be limited to 10 to 15 participants.

Note to graduate students: Graduate students are invited to give a short presentation of their research, and how it reflects the theme Archaeology on the Fringes of Civilization, or the archaeology of Roman Germany. We can also arrange for access to the centre’s libraries for those interested in conducting their own research.