MemberNicholas Wagner

Nick is a PhD candidate in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he received a BA in Classics and Classical Humanities. His research interests include Greek and Roman historiography, Greek and Roman intellectual history, Roman political oratory, and Roman religion. He is writing his dissertation on the development of religious rhetoric in a number of Cicero’s from throughout his career. In particular, he is interested in tracking the rhetorical effects of Cicero’s religious language, such as the ways in which Cicero can use religion to denigrate his opponents or extol his allies, and how those rhetorical effect fit within the larger context of Roman identity in the late Republic.

MemberCsaba Szabó


Csaba Szabó – Imola Boda, Bibliography of Roman Religion in Dacia (BRRD). Cluj -Napoca, 2014.
Csaba Szabó, Béla Cserni and the beginnings of urban archaeology in Alba Iulia. Cluj –Napoca, 2016.
Csaba T. Szabó, Erdélyi Régészet. Kisirások régészetről és műemlékvédelemről [Transylvanian archaeology. Short writings on archaeology and cultural heritage]. Cluj Napoca, 2017
Csaba Szabó, Sanctuaries in Roman Dacia: materiality and religious experience. Archaeopress, Roman Archaeological Series 49, Oxford, 2018

Historian, archaeologist. My research is focusing on:

  • – Roman religion in the Danubian provinces, especially the case study of Dacia
  • cult of Mithras in Dacia and the Danubian provinces
  • history of archaeological thought in Romania and Central-East Europe
  • heritage of Béla Cserni and András Bodor
  • public archaeology in Romania

MemberJonathan H. Young

God(s), humans, animals, nature (1-4 CE): Classics, Early Christianity, Ancient Philosophy, Middle/Neoplatonism, Second Sophistic, Ancient Reception of Texts. My research centers around religious and intellectual history of the Roman empire during approximately the 1-4 centuries C.E. My focus is on “pagan” and Christian interaction, in Middle and Neoplatonic authors who discuss the human and animal souls and their relation to the divine. Outside of philosophical texts, I am also interested in intellectual and rhetorical writings of the empire and how these sources portray religion as well as ethnographic representations of peoples, animals, and cultures perceived to be outside of Greco-Roman culture.

MemberIsabel Köster

…The Deaths of Quintus Pleminius.” Classical Journal 109 (2014): 309–332

“Feasting Centaurs and Destructive Consuls in Cicero’s In Pisonem.” Illinois Classical Studies 39 (2014): 63–79

Book reviews
Review of C. Beltrão da Rosa and F. Santangelo, eds.Cicero and Roman Religion. Eight Studies. Sehepunkte 21.1 (2021)

Review of T. Boll. Ciceros Rede cum senatui gratias egit. Ein Kommentar. Exemplaria Classica 24 (2020): 329–332

Review of H. I. Flower. The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corn…

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Colorado Boulder. My research focuses largely on the history and literature of the Roman Republic and early Empire.

MemberZachary B. Smith, Ph.D.

I study religion in late antiquity, with a current focus on Christianity in its ascetic expressions. Secondarily, I work on “asceticism” writ large across traditions and on ways to define “asceticism.” I teach as a religious historian in the Department of Theology at Creighton University, and am also the Associate Editor of the Journal of Religion & Society published by the Rabbi Kripke Center for Religion and Society.

MemberJohn W. Borchert

John began the Ph.D. program at Syracuse in 2013. (B.A., Philosophy and Religion, Ithaca College, 2009; M.A. Religion, Syracuse University, 2013). His research focuses around questions of religion, technology, and embodiment in American contexts. Using a combination of Posthuman and Ritual theories, Borchert approaches questions of embodied practice from the materiality outward and has written about alternate reality games, burial and memorialization, and online churches. He is interested more broadly in Continental Philosophy, Media, Aesthetics, and Materiality.

MemberCharles Schmidt

I am a Ph.D. candidate in New Testament and Early Christian Studies in the Department of Religion at Rice University, working under April DeConick, along with Niki ClementsMatthias Henze, and Scott McGill. I arrived at Rice after taking an M.A. in New Testament and Christian Origins at Duke University under Mark Goodacre. I currently serve on the Graduate Advisory Board for Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence. I also work as lead copy editor for Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies and have recently joined the faculty at The Women’s Institute of Houston. My research focuses on ancient Mediterranean religion in the Greco-Roman period, with particular interests in freelance religious experts and their use of medical theories and the Romanization of Christianity.

MemberCarl R. Rice

I am a doctoral candidate in Yale University’s combined program in ancient history. I first graduated from West Virginia University in 2013 with two bachelor’s degrees (history and religious studies), then from North Carolina State University in 2016 with a master’s degree in history.   My dissertation project, titled “Religio Licita: Empire, Religion, and Civic Subject, 250-450 CE,” explores the question of normative religion and its role in shaping the subjects of empire in the third, fourth, and fifth centuries. Drawing on an array of primary sources (including historiography, oratory, legal texts, numismatics, and material culture), I argue that the late Roman state became increasingly concerned with policing the boundaries of permissible religio and employed a variety of coercive strategies to enforce conformity. My dissertation project examines the development and articulation of this normative discourse and its consequences for the empire’s subjects.   In addition, I am interested in gender and sexuality studies in the Roman and late Roman worlds, social and cultural histories of antiquity more broadly, and exploring various critical approaches to ‘doing’ ancient history. I also enjoy thinking about various strategies for teaching the ancient world in a modern university classroom.   Please feel free to write me at