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EIU Department of History

Faculty and Staff Listing

Lee E. Patterson, Professor of History, Graduate Coordinator

Office: 2572 - Coleman Hall
Phone: 2175816372

Lee Patterson's Vita

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.

Current Syllabi

Frequently Taught Courses

  • HIS 1500: Roots of the Modern World: Society and Religion
  • HIS 3120: Ancient Egypt
  • HIS 3130: Iraq and the Ancient Near East
  • HIS 3140: Ancient Greece
  • HIS 3150: The Roman World
  • HIS 3160: Ancient Iran
  • HIS 4863: The Trojan War: History and Archaeology
  • HIS 4865: Alexander the Great
  • HIS 5440: Ancient Persia: From the Achaemenids to the Sasanians
  • HIS 5700: History of Armenia
  • HIS 5710: Roman Frontiers


University of Missouri-Columbia, Ph.D. in Classical Studies (2003)

Professional Organizations

  • Society for Classical Studies (formerly American Philological Association)
  • Classical Association of the Middle West and South
  • Association of Ancient Historians
  • American Research Institute of the South Caucasus
  • Society for Armenian Studies


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, etc.) and Roman Armenia (and related issues involving the Arsacids, 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 pieces in various venues, with new studies forthcoming in two Oxford handbooks.  On the Roman side, I am currently writing a book on Roman Armenia.  My interest in this topic has yielded a number of recent publications, including items in the journals Revue des Études Arméniennes and Latomus.  I am the recipient of three Achievement and Contribution Awards, two in Research in 2014 and 2020 and one in Balanced (Teaching, Research, and Service) in 2016.

Selected Publications

  • Kinship Myth in Ancient Greece.  Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.
  • “Justin II and the Armenian Revolt of 572.”  HiMA, Revue internationale d’Histoire Militaire Ancienne 10 (2021).  (forthcoming)
  • “Mythography and Politics.”  The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Mythography.  Eds. R. Scott Smith and Stephen Trzaskoma.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.  (forthcoming)
  • “Aristonicus,” “Armenia,” “Commagene,” “Hyrcani,” “Meherdates,” “Perseus,” “Pharasmanes,” “Phraates,” “Tigranes,” “Tiridates,” “Vardanes,” “Vologaeses,” “Vonones,” “Zeno.” The Tacitus Encyclopedia. Ed. Victoria Emma Pagán. Wiley-Blackwell. (forthcoming)
  • "Heracles as Ancestor."  The Oxford Handbook of Heracles.  Ed. Daniel Ogden.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.  418-31.
  • Review of Gareth Sampson, Rome & Parthia: Empires at War. Ventidius, Antony and the Second Romano-Parthian War 40-20 BC. (
  • “Mithridates II’s Invasion of Armenia: A Reassessment.” Revue des Études Arméniennes 39 (2020): 187-98.
  • "Nero, the Reign of Tigranes VI, and the Annexation of Armenia."  Latomus 79 (2020): 761-78.

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Related Pages

Contact Information

History Department

2744 Coleman Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

Sace E Elder, Chair

2542 Coleman Hall

Brian Mann, Undergraduate Advisor

3721 - Coleman Hall

Lee Patterson, Graduate Coordinator

2572 - Coleman Hall

Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz
History with Teacher Licensure in Social Science Coordinator

2556 Coleman Hall

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