Location: Bowdoin / Catherine K. Baker


Catherine K. Baker

Visiting Instructor in Classics 

Contact Information


Sills Hall - 117A

Teaching this semester

ARCH 3303. Greek and Roman Colonies

Explores the process, characteristics, and impact of Greek and Roman colonization in the Mediterranean world. Study covers settlements established by the Greeks beginning in the eighth century BCE, as well as colonies founded by Rome in Italy and throughout their empire. Topics include among others the motives for colonial foundations, site selection, commercial interests and economic viability, interaction with native cultures, relationship with the “mother country,” political status of the colony and their inhabitants, the founding myths of colonies, the literary and artistic accomplishments of these colonists.

CINE 2670/CLAS 2242. Hercules Goes to Hollywood: Ancient Greece and Rome in Cinema

Examines the presentation and reception of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds in cinema. Considers how filmmakers interpret ancient Greece and Rome for the silver screen and modern audiences. Questions how Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra differs from the ancient queen; why Hollywood allows the slave in “Gladiator” to become more powerful than an emperor; why ancient audiences continue to be fascinated with the ancient world; and how ancient texts are changed to fit modern expectations. Integrates the reading of ancient authors with the viewing of films based on these texts, such as “Chi-Raq,” to explore both the ancient world and its modern reinterpretation by today's filmmakers.

Catherine Baker - Bowdoin College

Catherine K. Baker received her B.A in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology from Brandeis University, an M.A. in the History of Art and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and an M.A. in Classics from the University of Cincinnati, where she is completing her Ph.D.  Catherine’s dissertation explores Roman colonization in the Central Apennine region of Italy from the 4th to the 2nd centuries BCE and examines the material interactions between colonists and existing local populations like the Samnites.  More broadly, Catherine’s research encompasses the intersection of colonization, identity, and exchange in the ancient world.  She is particularly interested in the role that objects, such as coins and pottery, play in shaping communities and identities, and in forging new connections across cultural boundaries. 

Catherine has taught at the University of Cincinnati and at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.  Since 2009, she has excavated at Pompeii as part of the University of Cincinnati’s Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia, and she is currently involved with the publication of the project’s small finds.  Catherine also serves as the pottery specialist for the Contrada Agnese Project of the American Excavations at Morgantina.