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ARC 17 W — The Art and Archaeology of Pompeii

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Jul 15—Aug 30
Drop Deadline: Jul 18
Unit: 1
Tuition: $325
Instructor(s): Gary Devore
Limit: 40
Status: Open
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is July 18 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 23 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Jul 15—Aug 30
7 weeks
Drop By
Jul 18
1 Unit
Gary Devore
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is July 18 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 23 at 5:00 pm (PT).
The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 CE. It lay buried deep under ash and stone for centuries until the Roman world ended and it was forgotten. Rediscovered only in the 18th century, Pompeii has been systematically uncovered and studied since then, offering us an unparalleled glimpse of urban life in the early period of the Roman Empire. It’s been a popular destination for many generations of tourists, and its evocative remains have inspired artists, authors, and academics. This online course will take a thematic approach to explore and explain the archaeological history of Pompeii, contextualize its remains, and investigate the famous (and not so famous) works of art and architecture excavated from the ruins. We will get to know the citizens of this small Roman city, both rich and poor, by investigating what has been preserved of their lives because of their deaths. We will employ written texts, artifacts, computer reconstructions, artistic imaginings, and panoramic photography to recreate what of Pompeii has been lost to history. This course will also give you invaluable information and advice if you plan to visit the archaeological site yourself.


  • Course sizes are limited.
    You won't have 5,000 classmates. This course's enrollment is capped at 40 participants.

  • Frequent interaction with the instructor.
    You aren't expected to work through the material alone. Instructors will answer questions and interact with students on the discussion board and through weekly video meetings.

  • Study with a vibrant peer group.
    Stanford Continuing Studies courses attract thoughtful and engaged students who take courses for the love of learning. Students in each course will exchange ideas with one another through easy-to-use message boards as well as optional weekly real-time video conferences.

  • Direct feedback from the instructor.
    Instructors will review and offer feedback on assignment submissions. Students are not required to turn in assignments, but for those who do, their work is graded by the instructor.

  • Courses offer the flexibility to participate on your own schedule.
    Course work is completed on a weekly basis when you have the time. You can log in and participate in the class whenever it's convenient for you. If you can’t attend the weekly video meetings, the sessions are always recorded for you and your instructor is just an email away.

  • This course is offered through Stanford Continuing Studies.
    To learn more about the program, visit our About Us page. For more information on the online format, please visit the FAQ page.

Gary Devore, Archaeologist

Gary Devore has excavated in the ancient ruins of Pompeii and also at sites near Hadrian’s Wall in the north of England. He was one of the directors and principal investigators of Binchester Roman Excavations, and of the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project, Porta Stabia. Devore received a PhD in archaeology from the University of Bradford (UK) and taught at Stanford for a decade before retiring to New Hampshire to write novels.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Pedar Foss (Editor), John J. Dobbins (Editor), The World of Pompeii (ISBN 978-0415475778)