Latin Epigraphy

Course Name

Latin Epigraphy




5/6 ECTS

Course date

semester 2 (2023 - 2024)

Registration open until

27/10/2023 - 01/12/2023 Students should also sign up via the website of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (




Ton Derks (VU) & Caroline Kroon (UvA)

E-mail Contact

Ton Derks

Course objectives

The student who has successfully completed this course;

  • is able to read and understand Latin inscriptions at a level that fits with their preceding education (VWO with Latin; introductory courses Latin I and Latin II at university; B Classics);
  • has a good knowledge of the handbooks, corpora and databases for epigraphic research and has the ability to effectively use them for their own research;
  • has a good knowledge of the most commonly used abbreviations and is able to apply the rules of transcription on a new text;
  • is able to write a systematic epigraphic commentary on an unseen text and is able to assess which elements of the text are common and which unusual;
  • is able to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the interpretation of epigraphic texts by including the original spatial context, the type of monument etc. into the interpretation of the epigraphic text.

Course content

An intensive introduction to the sources and methods of Latin epigraphy, mainly through on-site teaching.

The course comprises individual study and research (under supervision) in the library of the KNIR, alternated with lectures, and museum and site visits. The programme includes visits to the epigraphic collections of the Museo Nazionale Romano, the Musei Capitolini and the Vatican, and further comprises a city walk along monuments with in situ preserved ancient inscriptions, and excursions to the Roman necropolis at Isola sacra and the ancient city of Ostia.

Students need to have at least a basic working knowledge of Latin (a secondary school exam/A-level Latin or introductory courses Latin I and II at university).


Seminars, practical assignments, excursion

Paper (100%)
Assignments (formative only)


UvA/VU-students who need 6 ECTS will make slightly longer assignments or do an extra assignment. This must be determined with your lecturer in week 1.


Background Literature and Course Materials

Literature will be made available online

Students pay their own air ticket to Rome. Successful completion of the course qualifies for a reimbursement of travel costs of 100 euros.


Further information

Important: enrollment for the course closes on 1 december, at noon.
Students should also sign up via the website of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (
A maximum of 15 students can be admitted; selection will take place if there are more interested students.

Fridays   14h30-17h15

26/01/2024, 14h30-17h15 (Amsterdam)
02/02/2024, 13h30-17h15 (Amsterdam)
09/02/2024, 13h30-17h15 (Amsterdam)
16/02/2024, 13h30-17h15 (Amsterdam)

01/03/2024 t/m 10/03/2024: Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome