Events Calendar
Mar 6 - Mar 27
10:30 - 12:30
Travellers in the Greek and Roman Worlds
short courses

Dates: 6, 13, 20, 27 March 2019

Wednesdays: 10.30 – 12.30

Course code: 18TON379

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In a time without steam, electricity or petrol, the Greeks and Romans travelled far and wide – and at some speed. This course offers the opportunity to find out why and how the ancient Greeks and Romans travelled across their world.

During this course, we shall first examine what prompted travel in the classical world; then we shall discover how the Greeks and Romans found their way to nearby and to far flung places. We shall consider travel by river and sea and finally by road. On our journey, we shall use written evidence from classical authors (all in translation) and we shall examine images of archaeological remains and artefacts to enhance our understanding of what it was like to travel without steam power, electricity or petrol. En-route, there may be one or two surprises of how 21st century the ancient travellers were.

Suggested reading as a follow-up for the course:

Adams, C and Roy, J (eds). Travel, Geography and Culture in Ancient Greece, Egypt and Near East. Oxford 2007.

Adams, C and Laurence, R. (eds). Travel and Geography in the Roman Empire. Routledge 2001.

Additional information

This course is suitable for all, no prior knowledge is required. It allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment. 

There will be optional discussion opportunities during the course.

Intended learning outcomes

For students to:

  • be able to discuss with confidence both the literary and visual evidence for travel in the Greek and Roman worlds,
  • be able to evaluate this evidence.
  • develop empathy with ancient Greek and Roman travellers.

    About the tutor

    Christine Spillane PhD graduated from the University of Reading where she undertook research into imagery in Virgil's Aeneid. Her doctoral thesis with the Open University examined Late Antique and Mediaeval illuminated manuscripts of the Aeneid. She is an experienced teacher of both secondary school students and adults.Christine seeks to inspire her students with a similar enthusiasm for the Classical world as she holds herself, not least by encouraging her students to look at artefacts in museums and by organising visits to the Classical world. When reading texts, she encourages a co-operative spirit in her students to investigate style and sound, in addition to moulding a good translation.


    United Kingdom



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