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SIU Ancient Practices Pericles quote. What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments,  but what is woven into the lives of others.
Many aspects of modern life can trace their origins back thousands of years.  The way we live today is the product of how people lived then.
SIU Ancient Practices Colosseum
Some things are obvious.  People living in the ancient world laid the foundations of engineering and architecture so well that some of what they created is still standing today.
SIU Ancient Practices Egyptian Musicians
Other Ancient Practices are less well known.  People that lived thousands of years ago enjoyed music and theater and art. They invented writing and kept records of their experiences.
SIU Ancient Practices Pompeii still life - food
And they lived their lives.  They grew crops, cooked food, made wine and beer, traveled, traded and shared their stories with friends. Just as we do.
SIU Ancient Practices Plutarch quote: The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
The Ancient Practices Program is designed to enrich your experience, by helping you understand theirs.  Join in!  Explore how your life has been shaped by how people in the past lived theirs.

Ancient Practices

  • Did you know the ancient Greeks used analog computers, or that the Romans invented concrete that sets underwater?
  • Who created writing, and why?
  • How did people navigate before GPS, and even before maps?
  • When were bread, wine and beer invented?
  • How did they build the pyramids?
  • Who invented pants?

We like to think of ourselves as “advanced” and in some ways we are, but most of the truly monumental accomplishments of humanity, the things that laid the foundations that underlie virtually everything in the modern world, were created by people that lived thousands of years ago. 

How’d they do that?

Ancient Practices is a unique interdisciplinary minor

The Ancient Practices program is designed to allow students in any major to explore that question.  You can select courses that allow you to explore aspects of life in the ancient world that are relevant to your own interests, while simultaneously satisfying core curriculum requirements and/or requirements associated with your own major.

The goal of this program is to allow students like you to explore what life was like for people who lived in the distant past, while also acquiring a unique qualification that will ensure you stand out among your peers once you graduate.

Learn more, check out the requirements, or explore course options by following the links at left.

SIU Ancient Practices - NEH logo

The Ancient Practices program has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor