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MemberJody Gordon

Jody Michael Gordon is an Associate Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and an Assistant Director of the Athienou Archaeological Project (AAP). He received his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati, where his dissertation involved an archaeological study of the effects of imperialism on local identities in Cyprus during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. In addition to working in Cyprus, Jody has excavated in Tunisia, Italy, Spain, and Greece, and his research interests include Roman archaeology, cultural identity, ancient imperialism, and computer applications in archaeology. See here for more on Jody’s teaching at Wentworth Institute of Technology.

MemberChristopher Jones

I am a historian of the Assyrian empire, interested in study ancient imperialism, organization, and communication. I completed my Ph.D in 2021 at the Department of History at Columbia University with a dissertation titled “Power and Elite Competition in the Neo-Assyrian Empire, 745-612 BC.” For the 2021-22 academic year, I hold the position of Visiting Professor of History and Political Science at Warren Wilson College. My dissertation examines the careers of Assyrian provincial governors and other mid-level officials. Using several thousand official letters which survive from this period, as well as analytical tools borrowed from the fields of social network analysis, organizational communication, and leader-member exchange theory, I analyze the social connections, status, and career progression of these officials. Understanding empire as a dynamic process enacting power relationships which are created and maintained through communication, I argue that Sargon II greatly expanded the number of provinces as well as the number of officials, increasing competition between them. These structural changes to the empire created an often-vicious competition for status, a decrease in effective communication, and made the king less able to assert control over his officials. Kings attempted to remedy this through special agents, loyalty oaths, and scholars who could test officials’ loyalty through divination, but all of these proved ineffective.

MemberAaron L. Beek

Aaron L. Beek is a philologist and historian with two primary research areas: ancient banditry/piracy and ancient North Africa.  More broadly, he works on a swath of Middle Republic and Hellenistic events, particularly as told and remembered by imperial-era writers centuries later.  Other research interests include Plautus, Latin Patristics (especially Tertullian), and Latin epigraphy (particularly epigraphy in North Africa). He has also worked on history pedagogy, digital humanities, and text analysis.

MemberHannah Cornwell

I am a Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Birmingham. My research interests focus on socio-political history of the Roman Republic and Empire, with a particular interest in the nature of Roman imperialism, and Roman attitudes towards their position as a political power in the Mediterranean. My first book, Pax and the Politics of Peace (OUP, 2017), examines the two generations that spanned the collapse of the Republic and the Augustan period in order to understand how the concept of pax Romana, as a central ideology of Roman imperialism, evolved. I argue for the integral nature of pax in understanding the changing dynamics of the Roman state through civil war to the creation of a new political system and world-rule. Roman discourses on peace were part of the wider discussion on the way in which Rome conceptualized her Empire and ideas of imperialism. Besides a specific focus on the language of peace and civil war, I have also published on the reactions to Roman imperialism, examining the geo-political situation of the western Alps under Augustus, and the elite response to imperial power. I am currently examining the production of space as a means of understanding diplomacy as a social practice in the Roman world. This study focuses on the architectural and urban spaces of the city of Rome as a site of diplomatic practice, in order to examine the social interactions through which Rome, as a political entity, communicated and maintained its position in the Mediterranean.

MemberCatherine Bonesho

I am currently the Assistant Professor of Early Judaism in the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department at the University of California-Los Angeles. My primary research interests are in the Early Judaism, rabbinic literature, the Roman Near East. Specifically, I am interested in the ways ancient Jews navigated living under imperial domination through the development of legislation and rhetoric about the Other. I am currently working on my first monograph, The Festivals of the Gentiles in Early Judaism. My research also concentrates on the Roman Near East and Semitic languages, especially Aramaic, and their use in imperial contexts. In particular, I investigate the material presentation of Aramaic inscriptions found throughout the Roman Empire. I have authored translation and paleographic articles on Palmyrene Aramaic inscriptions as one of the founding members of the Wisconsin Palmyrene Aramaic Inscription Project in journals including Maarav and KUSATU. I spent the 2017-2018 academic year in Rome as a Rome Prize Fellow in Ancient Studies at the American Academy in Rome (FAAR ‘18). I earned my PhD in Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies (2018) and my MA in Hebrew and Semitic Studies (2014) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

MemberAnnelies Cazemier

I am an ancient historian with a particular interest in the Greek world, Hellenistic history, and religion, as well as Greek history during the Roman period. Teaching in a History department at Southampton, I am also increasingly fascinated by the reception of the Greek world in later periods of history. My forthcoming book on Greek Sanctuaries and the Rise of Rome explores the spread of Roman power as seen from religious sites in Greece, the Aegean, and Asia Minor (from the third until the early first century BCE). It brings out the key role of cults and sanctuaries in early exchanges between Greeks, Romans, and Hellenistic rulers – in war, diplomacy, and trade. As part of my work for the Copenhagen Associations Project, I undertook research on ancient Greek associations, carrying out surveys and detailed studies of epigraphic evidence (esp. from the Aegean), and analysing religious aspects, foreign involvement, and relations with Rome. My ongoing research interests include the local histories and wider connections of islands in the Aegean from the fifth century BCE, through the Hellenistic age, into the Roman Imperial period; Greek sanctuaries and their networks; and travel and mobility in the ancient world.

MemberMichael J. Stahl

A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Michael J. Stahl received his Ph.D. from New York University in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East (2018). Completed with the support of a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities, Dr. Stahl’s doctoral dissertation—now published in Brill’s series Supplements to Vetus Testamentum as, The “God of Israel” in History and Tradition (https://brill.com/view/title/57242)—analyzes the Hebrew Bible’s use of the formulaic divine title “god of Israel” (’elohe yisra’el) and provides a history of its social and religious politics in ancient Israel and Judah. Dr. Stahl’s research integrates critical theoretical approaches with historical and philological methodologies to explore the intersection of politics and religion in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel (including early Judaism). Recently awarded a CBA research grant, Dr. Stahl’s current book project, God and Empire: Mesopotamian Imperial Theology and the Origins of Biblical Monotheism, critically appropriates postcolonial discourse theory to investigate the politics of empire that shaped biblical/early Jewish historiography in the Elijah cycle (1 Kings 17:1–2 Kings 2:18) depicting Israel’s relationship to its deity YHWH in terms of an ideological conflict with the Phoenician storm-god Baal. As a complement to his work on the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel, Dr. Stahl’s research also examines the role of deities in the politics of human communities in ancient Syria and Lebanon.