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Summer 2013

“When Professor Beck first told me about the 2013 Classics Summer Field Trip, I was very interested, but also quite hesitant in signing up given that I am not a Classics Major. Ultimately the combination of the opportunity to take it for credit as CLAS 347 along with my personal and academic interest in Ancient Greek History prevailed, and he succeeded in convincing me. To say I made the right decision would be a major understatement! Visiting numerous sites over the duration of the 16 day trip, our time was split between the iconic 'world renowned sites' such as the Parthenon, and those of less popular standing—but of equal historical and archaeological significance. We also spent a day visiting Thebes with a group of classics students from the University of Athens, with whom we took part in a one-day seminar on Greek Federalism. The major sites we explored included the Agora and the Acropolis in Athens, Delphi, Olympia, and finally Mycenae and Corinth. While most are familiar with these places at least by name, for those of us who have had the opportunity to go further and study them in the classroom, surveying them first hand greatly enhanced our academic perspective. Although we were all extremely excited about visiting these iconic sites, we soon realized the luxury and true pleasure of visiting those that were less well known, and thus not overrun with other visitors. Elis, Bassai, Messene, Sparta, and the Menelaion were my personal favorites. As this trip could also be taken for credit as CLAS 347, on each site, students gave comprehensive presentations on both its archaeological and historical features, and often a discussion moderated by the professors ensued. While some students searched for answers to their more in-depth historical queries, others sought to understand the more modern implications on these archaeological sites. The relevance of topography was emphasized greatly at each site, and as the trip wore on, it became much easier to distinguish a pattern and why this was significant in the socio-political history of the specific polis. By day, we travelled from site to site, trekking under the hot Greek sun, visiting some of the most historically symbolic sites on this planet, and by night, we cheered with ouzo, celebrating our visit to Greece in some of the coolest beach towns!” – Chloé Bigio, B.A. U3