I received my B.A. in Classics from the University of California, Irvine, my M.A. and Ph.D. in History from UCLA (I also attended the University of Heidelberg and the Free University in Berlin). Before I came to Rutgers, I taught at the University of Oregon, at UCLA, and at Harvard. From 2006-2010, I served as the founding dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program.
One of my most recent books, published by Cambridge University Press (The Construction of Authority in Ancient Rome and Byzantium. The Rhetoric of Empire), deals with the power of rhetoric, how words and notions of virtue shaped the ancient but also our modern political discourse. Another book, Vestal Virgins, Sibyls, and Matrons: Women in Roman Religion (University of Texas Press), looks at Roman women and the role they played maintaining Rome's socio-political structure as well as the understanding of the Roman self by means of religious rituals. I also oversaw the creation of two sets of dictionaries, one for the ancient and the other for the modern world (ten volumes altogether), that introduce high school students to civilizations of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the Americas (The Ancient World and The Modern World, M.E. Sharpe).
I am the founder and editor-in-chief of a scholarly series, Roman Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches (Rowman and Littlefield, Ltd.). This series focuses on subjects related to the Roman world, examined from a multitude of angles, with the goal to invite works with new and alternative approaches, especially from younger scholars whose work connects more than one discipline and that evoke us to think beyond established patterns and models of explanation.
My present research focuses on Roman perception of space as well as the integration of computer generated modeling in the humanities and social sciences.
- 510:205, Byzantium: The Imperial Age
- 510:306, Roman Empire
- 510:307, The Roman World in Late Antiquity
- The Construction of Authority in Ancient Rome and Byzantium. The Power of Rhetoric (Cambridge University Press: London and New York, Fall 2008; paperback 2012)
- Vestal Virgins, Sibyls, and Matrons: Roman Women in Religion (University of Texas Press: Austin, 2008)
- Isis and Sarapis in the Roman World (Brill: Religions in the Graeco-Roman World, vol. 124, Leiden, 1995)
- “Cleopatra, Isis, and the Formation of Augustan Rome,” in: M. Miles, Cleopatra: A Sphinx Revisited (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2011), 78-95
- “Initiations and Mysteries in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses,” Electronic Antiquity 12.1 (2008), 73-87
- "Divine and Human Feet: Records of Pilgrims Honouring Isis," in: J. Elsner and I. Rutherford, Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Antiquity. Seeing the Gods (Oxford, 2005), 353-369
- "Cult, Dedicators and Dedications of Isis and Sarapis in Lydia and Mysia," Byzas 1 (Deutsches Archologisches Institut: Istanbul, 2005), 155-168
- "Confusion en la tierra, paz en los cielos: Galieno y los cristianos," in: Del Coliseo al Vaticano. Claves del Cristianismo primitivo, eds. Elena Muniz Grijalvo and Rafael Urias Martinez (Fundacion Jos Maria Lara: Seville, 2005), 153-173
- "Forging a Past: The Sibylline Books and the Making of Rome," in: Cultures of Forgery. Making Nations, Making Selves, eds. J. Ryan and A. Thomas (Routledge: New York and London, 2003), 15-27
- "Hypatia's Murder - The Sacrifice of a Virgin and Its Implications," reprint in ed. G. Nagy, Greek Literature vol. 8 (Routledge: New York and London, 2002), 397-412
- "Amicus ad Aram: A Friend unto Death Tiberian Versions," American Journal of Ancient History, New Series 1.2 (2002) , 109-123
- "Politics and Religion in the Bacchanalian Affair," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 100 (2000), 301-310
- 2012 Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (National Endowment for the Humanities in collaboration with the University of Illinois’ Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science and the University of South Carolina’s Center for Digital Humanities)
- Loeb Classical Library Foundation Grant, 2003-4
- Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University, Washington, D.C., 2000-1
- Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, 1996-7
- Cook College Student Leadership Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Advising, 2004
- Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award, Harvard Extension School, 2000