Ethan Spanier, Ph.D.

Director, Hellenic Studies Center

Department of History

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Dugan Hall 205-Q

883 Broadway Street

Lowell, MA 01854-3099


Office: Dugan 205-Q

Phone: 978-934-4428


Office Hours:

Monday 10:00-Noon

Wednesdays 10-Noon

and by appointment


Influence of agricultural production on identity

Warfare in the ancient world

Impact of cinema on perceptions of the ancient world

The Good Farmer in Ancient Rome

Textbook on Ancient Military History

Function of Ancient History in the Cinema

2012 The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, ed. Roger Bagnall et al., Wiley-Blackwell


"The Wolf at the Door: Russian Archaeology in the Crimea" presented to the Archaeological Institute of America, Walla Walla Chapter, Whitman College 2011

"Ancient Farming: A Tale of Roman Agricultural Sustainability," presented to the annual conference of the Tilth Producers of Washington, Bellingham, WA 2008

"Renegotiation of Elite Status in the Roman Agricultural Landscape," presented to the national meeting of the Agricultural History Society, Iowa State University 2007

"Growing Imperialism: Trees, Power and Roman Farming in Landscape Studies" presented to the national meeting of the Association of Ancient Historians at Stanford University 2006

"The Generation Gap: Struggle for Civic Virtue in Thucydides VI.9-24," presented to the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest, University of Oregon 2002

"The Fabrication of a Monster: Catiline and the Blood Oath of Bellum Catilinae 22.1-2," presented to the Classics Graduate Students Colloquium, Duke University 2001

  • Distinguished Teaching Award, UMass Lowell History Department (2012)
  • Nominated for Gilbert C. Fite Award: Best Dissertation in Agricultural History, AHS (2011)
  • Rondau Award, History Dept., University of Washington (2009)
  • Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, US Department of Education (2004-2008)
  • Independent Site Survey of Mycenae and Tiryns (2012)

SAG 2012 blog by me

(click the link above)

  • Assisted the Sopintendenza archaeologicia di Boscoreale with material, photographic and site analysis of Boscoreale and Terzigno (2007)
  • Independent site survey of Cosa, Le Colonne and Sette Finestre (2007)
  • Trench Director, Institute of Classical Archaeology, Chersonesos under Joseph Carter (2003)
  • HIST 105 Western Civilization

An introduction to the Ancient Near East, Mediterranean and Europe from proto-history to 1715.


  • HIST 213 History of the Ancient Near East

UG survey of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, Syria, Levant and Persia from Neolithic Catal Huyuk to the Sasanian Empire.

  • HIST 225 History of Ancient Greece

UG survey of Greek history and culture from the Aegean Bronze Age through the Archaic and Classical periods to Alexander the Great and the Diadochoi.

  • HIST 226 History of Ancient Rome

UG survey of early Roman history from Villanova culture and the Etrsucans, to the rise of the Latins, through the Republic and Principate periods to the Dominate of Constantine.


  • HIST 302 Byzantine Civilization

Upper level class on Byzantine civilization and culture. Topics include diplomacy and warfare, literacy, monasticism, the reception of Classical literature; icons and iconoclasm; spiritual art and church architecture; and the legacy of Byzantine civilization in Russia, the Islamic world, and Europe.

  • HIST 332 Warfare in the Ancient World

Upper level class that provides a practical introduction to the study of warfare in the ancient world and traces the advances made in empire building, ideology and military technology. The chronological structure of the class starts with the Sumerians , Egyptians and Hittites and continues through the Dark Age, Classical and Hellenistic Greeks, to the rise and fall of Rome.

  • HIST 389 Ancient History in Film

Upper level course that seeks to understand the interconnections between ancient texts, social history, and pop culture in American sword and sandal films. The class will engage the primary texts that are the foundation for these cinematic creations and discuss how both history and films are socially constructed.

  • HIST 392 Olympians and Gladiators: Ancient History in Sports

Upper level course seeks to understand the social and cultural function of competitive sports in the Greco-Roman world. From the earliest Greek games at Olympia and elsewhere to the politically infused spectacles of Rome, these organized contests served as a vital social mechanism to help negotiate piety, civic pride, self-worth, political aspirations and class consciousness. This course will take a penetrating look at the various games; explain the mechanics of how different sports were played, and how they impacted ancient society.


See my CV here: