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RU Classics Alumni News


The Rutgers Classics PhD program has an outstanding placement record, and the Department is proud of our alums' contributions to the field of Classics. They hold positions at institutions across North America and in Europe, and their research and teaching interests span the ancient world.

Ilaria Marchesi

Liz Gloyn

Andrew Scott

Ryan Fowler

Debra Nousek

Gregory Golden

Benjamin Hicks

Lisa Whitlatch

Michael Johnson

Kristen Baxter


Ilaria Marchesi

B.A., University of Florence; Ph.D., Rutgers (2002)
Dissertation: "A complex prose: the poetics of allusion in the epistles of Pliny the Younger"
Associate Professor of Classics & Comparative Lit., Hofstra University

Ilaria is an expert on the Latin literature of the early empire, in particular Pliny and Martial. For her work on Pliny, which she started in graduate school at Rutgers between 1997 and 2002, she received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant. Her book on intertextuality in the letters of Pliny the Younger, The Art of Pliny's Letters (2008) participated in the renewal of Pliny studies, contributing to the shift toward literary analyses of his work. She is also editor of a book of essays on Pliny that focuses on the philological, literary, historical and cultural implications of the book-form that Pliny designed for his collected letters. Her current research takes a socio-cultural perspective on Martial's Epigrams and identifies a unifying social and cultural concern: to respond to the need every society has to provide itself with a codified set of symbolic associations accompanying and giving meaning to the central elements in its collective life. The poetry of the Epigrams is for her the site in which the poet defined, constructed, and defended his role as self-appointed 'guardian of signs' in the society for which he wrote.

At Hofstra, she is Director of the Classics Program in the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages. She teaches Latin at all levels and classical literature in translation, and her staple set of courses ranges from Latin Language to the poets of the Augustan age, from the Roman Novel to Sex and Gender in the Ancient World, to Roman Social History, in particular through the study of the city of Pompeii.
Liz Gloyn

M.A., Cambridge University; M.Phil., Cambridge University; Ph.D., Rutgers (2011)
Dissertation: "The ethics of the family in Seneca"
Lecturer in Classics, Royal Holloway, University of London

Liz is in the process of finishing her book manuscript, which expands her PhD thesis on Seneca's ethics of the family in his philosophy. Once that is complete, she plans to begin work on Seneca's tragedies, to see how the family is portrayed in those texts and what influence Stoic ethics might have in its depiction. She is also working on a book chapter examining the provision of classics teaching at Newnham College, Cambridge, between 1882 and 1922; she hopes to eventually use the rich archives of Royal Holloway to explore the distinctive nature of classics teaching in the UK during the expansion of higher education for women.
Andrew Scott

B.A., College of the Holy Cross (MA); Ph.D., Rutgers (2008)
Dissertation: "Change and Discontinuity within the Severan Dynasty: The Case of Macrinus"
Assistant Professor, Villanova University, PA

Andrew is an ancient historian currently working on a commentary on books 78-80 of Cassius Dio's Roman history as part of the Dio Project, which aims to produce commentaries for the entirety of Dio's Roman history. He has published articles on issues in Dio's contemporary history and on aspects of Spartan social history.

He teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, primarily on Greek and Roman history and historiography; a particular favorite is a course on ancient Sparta.
Ryan Fowler

B.A., University of Arizona; M.A., San Francisco State University; Columbia University; Ph.D., Rutgers 2008.
Dissertation: "The Platonic Rhetor in the Second Sophistic"
Sunoikisis Curricular Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, D.C.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Franklin and Marshall College

Ryan has two completed book manuscripts in press: The Imperial Plato (forthcoming [April 2014], Parmenides Press), and Plato in the Third Sophistic (forthcoming [May 2014], De Gruyter Publishing).

Ryan is involved with a range of CHS Sunoikisis courses, including Greek lyric (with Gregory Nagy, Harvard), Early Republican Literature (with Niall Slater, Emory), Greek Comedy (with Jeff Rusten, Cornell) and Latin literature of the Late Republic (with T. Corey Brennan, Rutgers). He has developed a liberal arts version of Professor Greg Nagy's HeroesX course that will be taught by a small consortium of colleges and universities, and will himself be teaching the course online through the University of Southern Maine. He has also delivered a paper ("Advanced Greek and Latin in a Limited, Personalized Online Setting") on the use of online technology in a panel called "Moving toward a (Responsible) Hybrid/Online Greek Major: the Potential Impact of Enhanced MOOCs on Classics Departments" at the APA Annual Meeting.
Debra Nousek

B.A., University of Alberta; M.A., U.C. Santa Barbara; Ph.D., Rutgers (2004)
Dissertation: "Narrative style and genre in Caesar's Bellum Gallicum"
Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario

Debra's research focuses on literary approaches to Latin historiography. Current projects include a book-length project that treats the full Corpus Caesarianum in the context of the development of Latin historiography and intellectual culture in the late Republic and a project that seeks to create a digital map of Cicero's experience of Rome by cataloguing references to topographical details in Cicero's works and linking the textual and visual resources.

She regularly teaches Latin and Roman history, including a new seminar on the Life and Legacy of Julius Caesar, which examines both ancient and modern receptions of Caesar.
Gregory Golden

B.A., University of Pennsylvania; M.Litt., Oxford University; M.A., University of Chicago; Ph.D., Rutgers (2008)
Dissertation: "Emergency Measures: Crisis and Response in the Roman Republic (from the Gallic Sack to the Tumultus of 43 BC)"
Assistant Professor, Rhode Island College

Greg is a Roman historian, whose current research looks at the ability of the Roman government at the end of the Republic and into the early Empire to be able to disseminate political messages throughout the areas of Roman control. He's especially interested in what wide-area "broadcast" media were available to the Romans to use to spread propaganda, from inscriptions to coins to more ephemeral means (white boards, heralds, and such).

He teaches a first-year seminar "Twice-Told Tales: Ancient Stories in Modern Retellings" in which students compare modern works on the ancient world, like the movies Troy or 300, with the original accounts from the ancient world and examine the differences and see what they tell us about our modern world. He also enjoys teaching upper level surveys on ancient Greece and Rome.
Benjamin Hicks

B.A., Washington and Lee; Ph.D., Rutgers (2012)
Dissertation: "The Process of Imperial Decision-Making from Augustus to Trajan"
Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Alabama

Ben, a Roman historian, is currently working on his book, Emperor and Governor: Case Studies in the Decision-Making Process from Augustus to Diocletian. It uses the case-study as a vehicle to examine the dynamics between emperors and governors as the Roman imperial system developed, and its presentation of related primary texts in translation with commentary is meant to make the work accessible both to those in the field of ancient history and to scholars more broadly.

His teaching includes Rome under the Shadow of Vesuvius, an interdisciplinary look at Roman society, literature, and material culture from the years AD 69-96, and ancient athletics—a popular choice at AlaB.A.,ma!
Lisa Whitlatch

B.A., Trinity University, San Antonio TX; Ph.D., Rutgers (2013)
Dissertation: "The Hunt for Knowledge: Hunting in Latin Didactic Poets"
Visiting Assistant Professor, Trinity University, San Antonio TX

Lisa is preparing her recent dissertation, an exploration of the hunting motif in Lucretius, Ovid, Vergil, Grattius and Nemesianus for publication.

She teaches a range of Latin literature courses, including Literary Classics of the Roman World, in which she pursues some of her favorite questions about genre and truth from the end of the Republic to the Age of Augustus.
Michael Johnson

B.A., Truman State; M.A., UNC-Chapel Hill; FAAR '07; Ph.D., Rutgers (2008)
Dissertation: "The Pontifical Law of the Roman Republic"

Michael teaches at St. Louis Priory, an all boy prep school in Missouri run by Benedictine monks who originally came here (in the 1950s) from Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire. Latin is required for the first 3 years, and the school has 5 classics teachers. Michael enjoys teaching Latin and Greek at all levels and a Greek and Roman history class. The Priory has a strong Rutgers Classics connection: the 2nd scarlet knight is the Classics chair, Matthew Holms, now Brother Dunstan (Rutgers, B.A. 2006).
Kristen Baxter

B.A. Villanova University; Ph.D., Rutgers (2012)
Dissertation: "Pindar the Pious Poet: Prayer and its Significance in Pindar's Epinician Odes"
Lecturer, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Pennsylvania State University

A scholar of Greek literature, Kristen is currently working on a project with Rutgers Classics Professor emeritus Lowell Edmunds that studies the epithets of Helen in archaic Greek poetry. She has also begun to convert her dissertation into articles for publication.

She teaches a variety of courses, including both Greek and Roman Civilization, and among her favorites are upper-level Greek courses on Sophocles and Lysias.

Other alumni of our PhD program include:

Karen Klaiber Hersch (2002), Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Studies, Temple University
Lawrence Kowerski (2003), Associate Professor of Classics, Hunter College (CUNY)
Sean Jensen (2010), Instructor, Modern & Classical Languages, University of Southern Indiana
Kathleen Shea (2011), Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities & Classics, Whitman College

Rutgers Studies in Classical Humanities (RUSCH)

In 1979, Professor Fortenbaugh launched Project Theophrastus, an international undertaking to collect, edit, translate and comment on the fragments of the Peripatetic philosopher Theophrastus of Eresus. Soon after launching the project, Professor Fortenbaugh began thinking of a companion publication series which would be an outlet for work accomplished by members and friends of the Project.

Officers of the University welcomed the idea and the series Rutgers University Studies in 
Classical Humanities = RUSCH became reality. Volume I on Arius Didymus was published 
by Transaction Publishers in 1983. Transaction has continued to publish the series. Five of the volumes have been devoted to Theophrastus (Vols. I, II, III, V and VIII), there is one volume on Peripatetic rhetoric (Vol. VI), and a Festschrift honoring Professor Ian Kidd, a friend and supporter of Project Theophrastus (Vol. VII).  The more recent volumes mark a new direction in the series: Peripatetics contemporary with and later than Theophrastus.

With the publication of the collected fragments of Theophrastus and the completion of some commentaries, members of the Project decided to begin working on the colleagues, students and successors of Theophrastus. In other words, they decided to redo Fritz Wehrli's Die Schule des Aristoteles, adding omitted texts, creating a more useful apparatus to the texts and including an English translation. That work has progressed nicely and is being published by Transaction. See, below, the list of available volumes beginning with RUSCH IX.

Volumes may ordered online from the publisher:

Transaction Publishers 
Box C37 
Rutgers University 
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903 
Telephone: (732) 445-9797, Fax: (732) 445-9246

  • On Stoic and Peripatetic Ethics: The Work of Arius Didymus = RUSCH I, ed. W. Fortenbaugh, 1983 (pp.vii, 258)
  • Theophrastus of Eresus: On His Life and Works = RUSCH II, ed. W. Fortenbaugh, A. Long and P. Huby, 1985 (pp. 355)
  • Theophrastean Studies, On Natural Science, Physics and Metaphysics, Ethics, Religion and Rhetoric = RUSCH III, ed. W. Fortenbaugh and R. Sharples, 1987 (pp. 384)
  • Cicero's Knowledge of the Peripatos = RUSCH IV, ed. W. Fortenbaugh and P. Steinmetz, 1989 (pp. 281)
  • Theophrastus: His Psychological, Doxographical, and Scientific Writings (includes editions of the 
    Meteorologica by H. Daiber and the work On Fish by R. Sharples) = RUSCH V, ed. W. Fortenbaugh 
    and D. Gutas, 1992 (pp. 350)
  • Peripatetic Rhetoric after Aristotle = RUSCH VI, ed. W. Fortenbaugh and D. Mirhady, 1994 (pp. xi, 350)
  • The Passionate Intellect: Essays on the Transformation of Classical Traditions = RUSCH VII, ed. Lewis Ayres, 1995 (pp. xvi, 376)
  • Theophrastus: Reappraising the Sources = RUSCH VIII, ed. J. M. van Ophuijsen and M. van Raalte, 1998 (pp. ix, 410)
  • Demetrius of Phalerum: Text, Translation and Discussion = RUSCH IX, ed. W. Fortenbaugh and 
    E. Schütrumpf, 2000 (pp. ix, 464)
  • Dicaearchus of Messana: Text, Translation and Discussion = RUSCH X, ed. W. Fortenbaugh and E. Schütrumpf, 2001
  • Eudemus of Rhodes = RUSCH XI, ed. I. Bodnár and W. Fortenbaugh, 2002
  • Lyco of Troas and Hieronymus of Rhodes: Text, Translation and Commentary = RUSCH XII, ed. 
    W. Fortenbaugh and S. White, 2003
  • Aristo of Ceos: Text, Translation and Discussion = RUSCH XIII, ed. W. Fortenbaugh and S. White 2006
  • Heraclides of Pontus: Text and Translation = RUSCH XIV, ed. E. Schütrumpf et al. 2008
  • Heraclides of Pontus: Discussion = RUSCH XV, ed. W. Forenbaugh and E. Pender 2009
  • Strato of Lampsacus: Text, Translation, Discussion = RUSCH XVI, ed. M_L, Desclos and W. Fortenbaugh 2012

Project Theophrastus

In 1979, Project Theophrastus was founded by Professor William Fortenbaugh.

Its stated purpose was to collect, edit, translate and comment on the fragments of the philosopher Theophrastus, who was Aristotle's pupil and second head of the Peripatetic School. At the outset, the Project was generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, private foundations and Rutgers University. It continues to receive support from the university and private foundations.

In 1991, Brill in Leiden published the collected fragments of Theophrastus together with a full translation.  A second printing with corrections followed the following year. The collection is in two volumes running approximately 1200 pages. In addition to Fortenbaugh, the primary editors of the volumes were Pamela Huby (Liverpool), Robert Sharples (London) and Dimitri Gutas (Yale). Significant contributions were also made by Andrew Barker (Warwick), John Keaney (Princeton), David Mirhady (Simon Fraser), David Sedley (Cambridge) and Michael Sollenberger (Mount St. Marys MD). To date, three commentaries on particular areas within the collection have been published: those on biology and on botany by Sharples were published in 1995 and 1998 respectively, and that on psychology by Huby appeared in 1999. These commentaries, like the text-translation volumes, are available from Brill.

The work of Project Theophrastus has been expanded to include the colleagues, pupils and successors of Theophrastus. In particular members of the Project intend to redo Fritz Wehrli's Die Schule des Aristoteles/The School of Aristotle. Missing texts are being included, the apparatus of variant readings and parallel texts is being enlarged, and an English translation added. For details go to Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities.

Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities

Order these volumes online


The Project sponsors biennial meetings which take place at different locations in Europe and America.  The conferences are open; scholars interested in a future topic are encouraged to contact the organizer.

Here is a list of past conferences:

  • 1979 Rutgers University, on the School of Aristotle, organized by William Fortenbaugh
  • 1981 Rutgers University, on Arius Didymus, organized by William Fortenbaugh
  • 1983 Liverpool University, on Theophrastus, organized by Pamela Huby and Anthony Long
  • 1985 Unversity College London, on Theophrastus, organized by Robert Sharples
  • 1987 Univeristy of the Saarland, on Cicero's knowledge of the Peripatos, organized by Peter Steinmetz
  • 1989 Eresus, Lesbos, on Theophrastus, organized by Dimitri Gutas
  • 1991 Rutgers University, on Peripatetic Rhetoric, organized by David Mirhady
  • 1993 Leiden University, on Theophrastus, organized by Joannes Max van Ophuijsen and Marlein van Raalte
  • 1995 University of Colorado at Boulder, on Demetrius of Phalerum and Dicaearchus of Messana, organized by Eckart Schütrumpf
  • 1997 University of Budapest, on Eudemus of Rhodes, organized by István Bodnár
  • 1999 University of Trier, on Theophrastus, organized by Georg Wöhrle
  • 2001 University of Texas at Austin, on Lyco of Athens, Aristo of Ceos and Hieronymus of Rhodes, organized by Stephen White
  • 2003 University of Leeds, on Heraclides Ponticus, organized by Elizabeth Pender
  • 2005 Grenoble, France, on Strato of Lampsacus, organized by Marie-Laurence Desclos
  • 2007 Rome, Italy, on Chamaeleon of Heraclea and Praxiphanes of Mytilene, organized by Elisabetta Matelli
  • 2009 Greencastle, Indiana, on Aristoxenus of Tarentum, organized by Carl Huffman
  • 2011 Trier, Germany, on Phainias of Eresus, organized by Oliver Hellmann

An Introduction to Wool-Working for Readers of Greek and Latin

Weaving on a warp-weighted loom. Drawing after Attic black-figure lekythos
(ca 550-530 BCE) now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.
Immediately, they both set up their looms in different places
and they stretch twin webs with slender warp: the web has been bound to the beam, a shed rod separates the warp,
the weft is inserted in the middle with sharp shuttles,
the weft which their fingers draw out,
and which, led between the warp, the notched teeth strike
as the comb is tapped. They both hurry and,
with their clothes gathered at their chests,
they move skilled arms, their eagerness belying the labor.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.53-60

The vase painting and passage above detail the process of weaving on a warp-weighted loom. It is difficult to visualize these activities if one is not familiar with the textile arts or with the ancient technology of cloth production. The DVD Text & Textile: An Introduction to Wool-Working for Readers of Greek and Latindemonstrates the process of turning wool into cloth using ancient tools and techniques. It is, if you will, a backward journey through metaphor: the many terms that describe the textile arts also apply to the work of the storyteller. The textile metaphors we find in literary contexts come to life when we understand the world in which they originate. In fact, textiles were not only a source of metaphor for the poet's art, but also a means of storytelling through visual narratives.

This DVD with Susan Edmunds, Prudence Jones, and Gregory Nagy shows:
- How wool is spun into thread with a spindle
- How cloth was woven in ancient Greece and Rome
- Images of textile work from vase paintings and other sources
- Economic and cultural significance of women’s textile work
- Importance of textile metaphors in Greek and Latin literature


Expert spinners and weavers demonstrate the steps involved in making cloth from wool using tools and technology appropriate to the time period.

In addition, special guest Gregory Nagy of Harvard University and the Center for Hellenic Studies discusses the relationship between text and textile.


This instructional DVD is not just for readers of Greek and Latin. Students of classical literature and civilization at any level will gain a deeper appreciation of connections between language, thought, and material culture in Greek and Roman antiquity. Today’s weavers and spinners will learn about the history and cultural significance of their craft.

Running time: 30 minutes. The DVD contains supplementary material for classroom and general educational use, including information for those wanting to learn to spin or weave using ancient techniques.
ISBN: 0-9759617-0-5 


Youtube Link


Supplementary material:
pdf How to Get Started Spinning and Weaving
pdf A Teacher's Guide
pdf Some Latin Textile Terms
pdf Some Greek Textile Terms
pdf Passages from Greek and Latin Literature cited in Text and Textile
pdf Select Bibliography
pdf Text and Textile DVD Flyer

Text & Textile: An Introduction to Wool-Working for Readers of Greek and Latin was made possible by a generous grant from the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, D.C.

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