If you have questions about this program, email the program leader listed below.

Life in the Early Roman Empire: A Literary Tour

Program Details

The arrangements for the travel, housing, meals, excursions and course content of this program have been made by the leader. Questions about this program can only be answered by the program leader listed below.

Program Type Departmental
Program Location Rome, Sorrento, Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Positano, Italy
Course # SA 10340
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
Summer 2023 05/16/23 to 05/31/23

Program Leader

Name Elizabeth Mercier
Email eemercie@purdue.edu
Click here to enroll in this program!
Please Note: Due to COVID-19, programs may be altered or adapted with little notice

Program Description


Life in the Early Empire: A Literary Tour is a 3-credit course option offered in May through the Classics Department (CLCS 499). This course will give students the opportunity to explore Italy using ancient Roman authors as our guides. Each day's tour will be reimagined through the eyes of the Romans who lived there at the time. We will read translations of ancient literature selected with a view to the diversity within the ancient Roman world. We will explore how life might have been different for different members of society: the emperor, the girl, the slave, the public official, the common city-dweller, etc. We will then reflect on those experiences across cultures and across time. How do the ancient sites connect to or disconnect from our modern Italian surroundings? How does modern Italian life differ from life in the Early Roman Empire as expressed by our ancient authors? How do the experiences, tastes, people, and places that we consider to be uniquely Italian (ancient and modern) differ from our own experiences in the US today? Against the backdrop of the Italian landscape, we will gain new insights and cultivate a lasting appreciation of Rome's literary and historical predecessors.  

Stops and Stays: 

  • Overnight hotels: Rome (7 nights), Sorrento (7 nights)
  • Day trips: Naples, Capri, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Positano
  • Highlights:
  • The Roman Colosseum
  • The Imperial Fora and Trajan's Markets
  • The Pantheon
  • The Museo Nazionale Romano Palazzo Massimo
  • The Museo Archaeologico Nazionale di Napoli
  • Guided Tours of Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • Guided Tour of a lemon grove in Sorrento
  • Ferry to the Isle of Capri to see the Villa Jovis of Tiberius

Length of Program:  16 days from departure to arrival back in the United States                                             

Travel  Dates:  May 16 - May 31, 2023  *dates may be subject to slight change

Language Requirement:  none

Academic Credit

CLCS 499: 3 credits upon successful completion of the course 


The program is open to all Purdue students in good  standing. Candidates must demonstrate academic dedication, maturity, and an eagerness to experience another culture. 

Program Cost

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss.

*Costs for this program are estimated and may be subject to change. *Costs based on 15 student participants.

Estimated Cost of the Program:  $4128.00

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Expenses: $1675  (round-trip airfare, lunches and most dinners)

TOTAL Estimated Cost: $5803

Application Deadline

Currently Open                                                                                           Romulus and Remis  

Financial Aid

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.