Hardly a source could be found that is more important for the study of the Ancient society than the epigraphical monuments. This course provides a full treatment of the epigraphy as a historical discipline and besides the introduction to it, includes also a profound look into the ancient Roman society and a study of the all kinds of inscriptions and their peculiarities. The students will learn to use the newest methods of interpretation in their work with epigraphical documents, which will allow them to incorporate them into their future projects and researches in the fields of Ancient History, Archaeology, Classical Philology as well as others. They will have the unique opportunity to read and investigate monuments of three Roman provinces: Lower Moesia, Thracia and Macedonia in modern Bulgaria and Greece. In this way, situated in regions that used to be a border between the East and the West of the Roman Empire and in both Greek and Latin speaking lands of the Ancient Europe, the course provides an excellent studying ground in the field and is a great opportunity for those who want to add to their knowledge a competence of reading, deciphering, understanding, publishing the Latin and Greek inscriptions of the ancient Roman world; or those who are simply curious to get acquainted with the matters of the life and death, religion, politics, economy and social relations; matters that people expressed on stones.   

Professional field: Classics, History, Archaeology

Course type: Bachelor/Master

Hours: 55 h. (Lectures 34 / Exercises 21).

Price: 1399 Euro

Duration: 10 days

Dates: Session 1: 18– 27 July; Session 2: 29 July – 6 August. 


Place: Sofia & Montana (Bulgaria), Thessalonika (Greece).

Previous knowledge: Basic knowledge of Latin and / or Ancient Greek is recommendable.

Lecturers: Assist. Prof. Kalin Stoev, PhD; Alexandra Sideridou, PhD Student in Archaeology.

Course features: Lectures, exercises, travelling seminars, project studies.



  • Historical introduction to the History of the Ancient Roman society
  • Theoretical lectures on the Greek and Latin inscriptions
  • Field work with original inscriptions
  • Making copies and imprints of the inscriptions 

After the course the students would have acquired the following abilities:

  • Proficiency in the social history of the Roman world
  • Ability to incorporate inscriptions in their future projects
  • Ability to publish and interpret ancient inscriptions 
  • You can enroll  here






Day 1

Arrival. Meeting point: Sofia Railway Central station. Accomodation.

Sofia, Bulgaria.

Day 2-3

Morning: Lectures.              






Afternoon: Lecture and exercise

Sofia, Bulgaria.

Day 4

Morning: Lectures






Afternoon: Exercise: of inscriptions in Lapidarium (Archaeological Museum).

Sofia, Bulgaria.

Day 5

09.00-18.00: Travel to Montana, exercises and reading inscriptions in Lapidarium of the Historical Museum of Montana.

Montana, Bulgaria.

Day 6

Morning: Lectures






Afternoon: Exercise: reading of inscriptions in Lapidarium (Archaeological Museum).

Sofia, Bulgaria.

Day 7

09.00 – 15.00 – Travel to Thessalonica, Greece.


Afternoon: Walk in the historical centre of Thessalonika; Museum Session I (the Roman forum)

Thessalonica, Greece.

Day 8

Morning: Lecture (3h).






Afternoon: Museum Session II, project study I at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

Thessalonica, Greece.

Day 9

Morning: Project Study II at the Library of Aristotle University (3h).






Afternoon: Museum Session III, Project Study III at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Thessalonica, Greece.

Day 10


Thessalonica, Greece.



Course lectures:

  1. Latin inscriptions: categories, main features, abbreviations and dating hints. Editorial principles. Greek inscriptions – main features, dating, categories.

Lectures 2 h.

 2. Citizens and peregrins. The names of the Roman citizens. The Roman family. The names of the people in the Greek-speaking world.

Lectures 2 h.

3. The Roman emperor: names and titles in the inscriptions.

Lectures 2 h.

4.Grave inscriptions. Main features, dating hints. Their importance for the study of the Roman and Greek societies.

Lectures 2 h.

5. The Roman army. The military inscriptions. Officers and soldiers. The units and the hierarchy of the roman army. Roman military documents. The Army of the Later Roman Empire.

Lectures 2 h.

6. Epigraphy and the municipial institutions. The City in the East and the West of the Empire. Roman municipial administration and civic life. Greek cities and their epigraphical documents.  

Lectures 2 h.

7. Roman imperial administration. Senators and equestrians. Roman power in the provinces. Honorary inscriptions.

Lectures 2 h.

8. Building inscriptions. Milestones.

Lectures 2 h.

9. Ancient religion and its manifestations in the inscriptions. The votive inscriptions.

Lectures 2 h.

10. The process of the romanization in the provinces of the Roman Empire. Epichoric population. Bilingual inscriptions.

Lectures 2 h.

11. Epigraphy and the economical life. Instrumentum domesticum.

Lectures 2 h.

12. Roman republican inscriptions. Peculiarities, features, dating.

Lectures 2 h.

13. Historical inscriptions. Legal acts on stones. Decrees of the Greek world. Senatusconsulta, leges, constitutions.

Lectures 2 h.

14. Methods of epigraphical research: Epigraphy and prosopography.

Lectures 2 h.

  15. Methods of epigraphical Research II. Field work: Making imprints, restaurating an inscription.

Lectures 3 h.

  17. Children life during the Roman period – education, gymnasia, rite of passage, children slavery and consecration to the Gods.

Lectures 3 h.

 18. Museum sessions in Sofia, Montana, Thessaloniki. Project studies at library (Thessaloniki – EPIGRAPHY COURSE-Thessaloniki, summer 2016). 

21 h.


Recommended bibliography:

Abbot, F.F., Johnson, A.C. Municipial Administration in the Roman Empire. New York, 1968.

Alfoeldy, G. The Social History of Rome. Translated by David Bround. London: Routledge, 1988. 

Anderson, A.S. Roman Military Tombstones. Princes Risborough, 1984.

Arnold, W.T. The Roman System of Provincial Administration to the Accession of Constantine the Great. Third Edition. Revised by E.S. Bouchier. Chicago: Ares Publishers Inc., 1974.

Barrow, R.H. A Selection of Latin inscriptions. Oxford, 1934.

Bodel, J. (ed.). Epigraphic Evidence. Ancient History form Inscriptions. London: Routledge, 2001. 

Bowman, A.K. Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier, London, 1994. 

Brunt, P.A., Moore, J.M. Res Gestae divi Augusti. Oxford, 1967. 

Castren, P. Ordo populusque Pompeianus. Polity and Society in Roman Pompeii. Rome,


Chatzopoulos, M., Macedonian Institutions Under the Kings: I. A historical and epigraphic study, II. Epigraphic Appendix. Meletimata 22. Research Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity, National Hellenic Research Foundation : Athens, 1996.

Collingwood, R.G. & Richmond, I. The Archaeology of Roman Britain. London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1967.    

Davies, R. Service in the Roman Army. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 1989.

Dessau, H. Inscriptiones latinae Selectae. Berlin, 1882-1916, vol. I-III.

Domazsewski, A.v., Dobson, Br. Die Rangordnung des roemischen Heeres. 2. durchgesehene Auflage. Einfuehrung, Berichtigungen und Nachtraege von Brian Dobson. B?hlau Verlag Koeln-Graz, 1967.  

Fischwick, D. The imperial Cult in Latin West. Leiden-New York, 1987.

Gagarin, M. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors. London, 1985.

Gauthier, Ph. & Hatzopoulos, M.B., La loi gymnasiarchique de Beroia. Meletimata 16. Athenes, 1993.

Gordon, A.E. Illustrated introduction to Latin Epigraphy. New-York, 1983.

Harris, W.V. (ed.). The inscribed Economy. Production and Distribution in the Roman Empire in the Light of Intrumentum Domesticum (Journal of Roman Archaeology, ser. VI). Ann Arbor: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 1993.    

Jones, A.H.M. The Cities of the Roman Empire. Political, administrative and judicial Functions. Recueils de la Societe Jean Bodin, VI, 1954, 135-173.   

Jones, A.H.M. The Later Roman Empire, 284 – 602. A Social, Economic and Administrative Survey. Vol. I – III, Oxford, 1964 –  

Erdkamp, P. (ed.). A Companion to the Roman Army. Blackwell Publishing. Oxford, 2007

Keppie, L. Understanding Roman Inscriptions. London, 1991.

Kienast, D. Roemische Kaisetabelle. Grundzuege einer roemischen Kaiserchronologie. Darmstadt, 1990.

MacMullen, R. Romanization in the Time of Augustus, Yale University Press / New Haven & London, 2000.

Mann, J.C. Legionary and Recruitment and Veteran Settlement during the Principate. London, 1983.

Marucci, O. Christian Epigraphy. An elementary treatise. Cambridge at the University Press. Cambridge, 1912.

Millar, F. The Emperor in the Roman world (31 BC- AD 337). Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New-York, 1977.

Phang, S.E. Military Documents, Languages, Literacy, in: Erdkamp, P. (ed.), 2007, 286-306. 

Roxan, M. Roman Military Diplomas, vol. I-V. London, 1978 –

Sandys, J.E., S.G. Campbell. Latin epigraphy: an introduction to the Study of Roman inscriptions. Cambridge, 1969.

Schmidt, M. G. Reflections of Roman Life and Living. Berlin, 2003.

Sitwell, N.H.H. The Roman Roads of Europe. London, 1981.

Smallwood, E.M. Documents illustrating the Principates of Trajan and Hadrian. Cambridge at the University Press. Cambridge, 1966.

Southern, P. The Roman Army. Social and institutional History. Oxford, 2006, 131-133.

Toynbee, J.M.C. Death and Burial in the Roman World, Oxford, 1971. 

Vittinghoff, F. Roemische Kolonisation und Buergerrechtspolitk. Wiesbaden, 1951.



* Please notice that Historyon reserves the right to make changes to the program. Depending on weather or other circumstance the location of the course could be changed.