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Mark Munn

Mark Munn

Professor of Ancient Greek History, Greek Archaeology, and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

318 Weaver Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-0052


  1. BA., Classical Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1974
  2. Regular Member and Fellow, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1977-1978
  3. Ph.D., Graduate Group in Ancient History, University of Pennsylvania, 1983



I study the classical Greek world through its literary and its material culture and in its broader Mediterranean context. Classical Athens and its political and intellectual history is my central interest, represented in my book, The School of History: Athens in the Age of Socrates (University of California Press, 2000). More generally, I study and teach aspects of the Greek world from the Mycenaean to the Hellenistic periods. Among my special interests are the history of ancient Mediterranean religions, connections between Anatolia and Greece (topics represented in my recent book: The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion, University of California Press, 2006), Greek historiography (especially Thucydides), warfare and fortifications, epigraphy, survey archaeology and topography. I am presently working on the ideology of desire (eros) in classical Athenian art, rhetorical, and political thought.  My next major project is a collaborative volume on the post-Geometric pottery from the Southern Argolid survey in Greece. I am committed to helping students develop new perspectives on the ancient Greek and Mediterranean world by crossing traditional boundaries of disciplines and genres.



After conducting an excavation at the Dema tower, a classical Athenian watchtower, as part of my the research leading to my first book, The Defense of Attica: The Dema Wall and the Boiotian War of 378-275 B.C. (California 1993), I directed pottery studies for the Southern Argolid Survey (see Jameson, Van Andel, and Runnells, A Greek Countryside:The Southern Argolid from Prehistory to the Present Day, Stanford 1994), a survey of the Skourta plain on the borders of Attica and Boiotia, Greece, and most recently a collaborative excavation project at the fortress of Panakton in Greece (currently not an active field project); see "First Excavations at Panakton on the Attic-Boiotian Frontier," Boeotia Antiqua 6 (1996), 47-58; and Gerstel, Munn et al, "Panakton: A Late Medieval Village,” Hesperia 72 (2003), pp. 147-234.


Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations: A survey of the history and cultures of ancient Mediterranean civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syro-Levant, Anatolia, Greece, and Rome.

Freshman seminar: Greek Gods in Action from Achilles to Alexander Ancient Greece

The Rise of the Greek Polis: Eros and the Rise of Classical Athenian Democracy

Texts in Context: Athens in the Age of Socrates

Age of Alexander

Athens and the Ideology of Empire

Ancient Mediterranean Historiographies

Ancient Mediterranean Religions: a Greek Perspective

Anatolia and the Greeks: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Rome

Constructions of Social Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World



“Panakton and the Drymos,” pp. 189-199 in Attika Symposium Proceedings of a Conference in memory of Hans Lauter, May 18-20, 2007, University of Marburg, Hans Lohmann and Torsten Mattern, eds.


“Earth and Water: The Foundations of Sovereignty in Ancient Thought,”  pp. 191-210 in The Nature and Function of Water, Baths, Bathing and Hygiene from Antiquity through the Renaissance, Cynthia Kosso and Anne Scott, eds., Leiden: Brill


“Alexander, the Gordian Knot, and the Kingship of Midas,” pp. 107-143 in Macedonian Legacies: papers on Macedonian culture and history in honor of Eugene N. Borza, Tim Howe and Jeanne Reames, eds.  Claremont, CA: Regina Books

"Kybele as Kubaba in a Lydo-Phrygian Context," pp. 159-164 in Anatolian Interfaces: Hittites, Greeks and Their Neighbors: Proceedings of an International Conference on Cross-Cultural Interaction, September 17-19, Carlos Museum, Emory University, Billie Jean Collins, Mary Bachvarova, and Ian Rutherford, editors, Oxbow press(


"From Science to Sophistry: The Path of the Sun, the Shape of the World, and the Place of Athens in the Cosmos," pp. 111-133, inPhysis and Nomos: Power, Justice and the Agonistical Ideal of Life in High Classicism, Proceedings of the Symposium Philosophiae Antiquae Quartum Atheniense, July 4-12th, 2004.  Apostolos Pierris, editor, Institute for Philosophical Research, Patras, and David Brown Book Co, 2007


The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion, University of California Press.

"ΚΤΗΜΑ ΕΣ ΑIΕI: The Occasion of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War," pp. 180-203 in Ten Years of the Agnes Kirsopp Lake Michels Lectures at Bryn Mawr college, S. Faris and L. Lundeen, eds.,  Department of Greek and Latin, Bryn Mawr College


"Thucydides on Plataea, the Beginning of the Peloponnesian War, and the 'Attic Question,'" pp. 245-69 in OIKISTES: Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World, Offered in Honor of A.J. Graham, Vanessa B. Gorman and  Eric W. Robinson, eds., Leiden: Brill, 2002


The School of History: Athens in the Age of Socrates, University of California Press.


The Defense of Attica: The Dema Wall and the Boiotian War of 378-375 B.C.  University of California Press

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