In my history classes I want my students to encounter the treasures of the past and learn the lessons of human experience, to think critically and creatively about history, and to develop a sense of curiosity that they will carry with them into their own futures. Whatever their major, whatever their goals in life, I encourage my students to let the humanities guide their journey. History and its related fields allow us to experience the world in its wondrous variety and leave us with an inquisitiveness that lifts us above the banalities of an existence that knows only career objectives and materialistic goals. I try to promote a love of learning that not only can make students' future careers successful by whatever measure their chosen industries apply but can make their journey through life enriched and fulfilling.
University of Missouri-Columbia, Ph.D. in Classical Studies (2003)
Two distinct fields compete for my scholarly time: political uses of myth in the Greek world (and related issues involving perceptions of myth by Strabo, Pausanias, Herodotus, etc.) and Roman Armenia (and related issues involving the Parthians, the Sasanians, Roman frontier studies, etc.). My first book Kinship Myth in Ancient Greece (reviewed in BMCR) examined communities (and sometimes kings like Alexander the Great) that invoked shared putative ancestors to justify a diplomatic venture. On authors’ attitudes toward myth I have published articles in various journals, with a new study on Strabo appearing in Writing Myth: Mythography in the Ancient World, edited by R. Scott Smith and Stephen M. Trzaskoma. On the Roman side, I am currently writing a book on Roman Armenia. In support of this project I was invited by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University to be a Visiting Scholar in the summers of 2012 and 2013. My interest in this topic has yielded entries on Armenia, Parthia, and the Caucasus for the Virgil Encyclopedia, to be published by Wiley-Blackwell, and an article, "Caracalla's Armenia," that is forthcoming in Syllecta Classica. I am also preparing a chapter for a forthcoming companion volume on Rome and Persia to be published by Wiley-Blackwell. In November 2013 I presented a paper on Roman-Sasanian relations at the conference "Persia and Rum" in Rome, Italy.