Elizabeth Colantoni
Elizabeth Colantoni

Associate Professor of Classics
Department of Religion and Classics
University of Rochester
Box 270074
Rochester, NY 14627-0074

Office: 429 Rush Rhees Library
Telephone: 585-275-9360
Email: Elizabeth.Colantoni@Rochester.edu

I have worked at the University of Rochester since 2008; I was promoted to the position of Associate Professor in 2015.  My appointment is in the Department of Religion and Classics, and I am on the steering committee for the Program in Archaeology, Technology, and Historical StructuresMy teaching is focused on Classical archaeology, ancient history, and Latin, and my research interests are in Etruscan and Roman archaeology, ancient Roman religion, and early Rome. 


Ph.D., M.A. Classical Art and Archaeology, University of Michigan
M.A. Latin, University of Michigan
M.A. Anthropology, Florida State University
B.A. Classics and French, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


I teach a range of courses on the archaeology, history, and literature of the Classical world.

Recent and future course offerings:

  • Classical Archaeology: Roman Art and Archaeology (Spring 2017)
  • Cicero (Spring 2017)
  • Building, Engineering and Society in Classical Antiquity (Fall 2016)
  • Field Methods in Archaeology (Summer 2016)
  • Classical Archaeology: Greek Art and Archaeology (Spring 2016)
  • Plautus and Roman Comedy (Spring 2016)

Course descriptions are available on the University Registrar's web page.


I am currently involved in several different research projects, including work focused on: (1) the archaeology of early Roman religion; (2) excavation of the prehistoric, Roman, late antique and early medieval remains at the San Martino site in Torano di Borgorose, Rieti, Italy; and (3) analyzing the relationship of the temple of Jupiter in Rome to the surrounding landscape.

(1) At present, my main area of research is ancient Roman religion, and I am particularly interested in physical evidence for ancient religious practices.  Religion is well suited to study through both written and material evidence, but many modern narratives of ancient Roman religion rely heavily on written sources, with relatively superficial use of archaeological data.

Most of my work in this area focuses on the analysis and synthesis of archaeological evidence for religious practices in Rome, particularly during the centuries for which there are no surviving contemporarySan Martino literary or historical texts.  My goal is to study and present the archaeological evidence in a way that is meaningful and useful to scholars of Roman religion who deal primarily with textual evidence.  In this way, I hope to encourage the integration of archaeological evidence into the broader scholarly dialogue about Roman religious practices, which will in turn lead to a better and fuller understanding of ancient Roman religion. To that end, I am currently at work on a book-length study of the archaeology of early Roman religion.

(2) I am director of the University of Rochester’s excavations at the San Martino site in Torano di Borgorose, Rieti, Italy.  Excavations here have revealed an intact, uninterrupted stratigraphic sequence from the middle or late Republican period through the present day, with evidence of a Roman-period villa alongside the still-standing medieval church of San Martino.  Also present at the site is an area with the remains of a settlement that dates to the Copper Age.

San Martino Archaeological Field School Webpage

(3) Together with Blair Tinker (Research Specialist for GIS, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester) and Daniel Weiner (University of Rochester class of 2016), I am part of a team that is using digital tools to reconstruct the temple of Jupiter and its surrounding landscape in order to examine the great monument within the larger context of the city of Rome.

Recent Publications

  • 2016: "A Note on the Names of Rome’s Curiae” in Latomus 75: 477-478.
  • 2016: Review of The Urbanisation of Rome and Latium Vetus: From the Bronze Age to the Archaic Era, by Francesca Fulminante, in American Journal of Archaeology 120.3, available on-line at http://www.ajaonline.org/book-review/2831
  • 2015: Maenads” and “Villa of the Mysteries” in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, edited by Eric Orlin, Lisbeth Fried, Michael Satlow, and Jennifer Knust, Routledge, New York, pp. 558, 990-991.
  • 2015: La ceramica dai contesti tardo antichi di San Martino di Torano (Borgorose RI)” in Le forme della crisi. Produzioni ceramiche e commerce nell’Italia central tra Romani e Longobardi (III-VIII sec. d.C.), Atti del Convegno (Spoleto-Campello sul CLe forme della crisilitunno, 5-7 Ottobre 2012), edited by Enrico Cirelli, Francesca Diosono and Helen Patterson, Ante Quem, Bologna, pp. 493-498. Co-authored with Gabriele Colantoni, Maria Rosa Lucidi, Jeffrey A. Stevens and Francesco Tommasi.
  • 2013: “Tarquinia” in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, edited by Roger Bagnall, Kai Brodersen, Craige Champion, Andrew Erskine, and Sabine Heubner. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, Massachusetts, vol. XI, pp. 6532-6533.
  • 2012: “Straw to Stone, Huts to Houses: Transitions in Building Practices and Society in Protohistoric Latium” in Monumentality in Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture. Ideology and Innovation, edited by Michael L. Thomas and Gretchen E. Meyers, University of Texas Press, Austin, pp. 21-40.
  • 2012: “Materiali ceramici di età romana e tardo-antica dall’area archeologica di San Martino a Torano di Borgorose (Rieti)” in Lazio e Sabina 8, pp. 181-186. Co-authored with Gabriele Colantoni, Astrid D’Eredità, and Maria Rosa Lucidi.
  • 2012: “Polarities in Religious Life: Male/Female in the Roman World” in Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum, edited by Antoine Hermary and Bertrand Jaeger, Fondation pour le Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae and Getty Publications, Los Angeles, vol. VIII, 2012: 270-282, pl. 25.