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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.

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 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
  • Association for Iranian 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, as well as two forthcoming items in the journals Revue des Études Arméniennes and Latomus.  I am the recipient of two Achievement and Contribution Awards, one in Research in 2014 and one in Balanced (Teaching, Research, and Service) in 2016.

Selected Publications

  • “Justin II and the Armenian Revolt of 572.”  HiMA, Revue internationale d’Histoire Militaire Ancienne 10 (2021).  (forthcoming)
  • "Heracles as Ancestor."  The Oxford Handbook to Heracles.  Ed. Daniel Ogden.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.  (forthcoming)
  • “Politics.”  The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Mythography.  Eds. R. Scott Smith and Stephen Trzaskoma.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.  (forthcoming)
  • “Mithridates II’s Invasion of Armenia: A Reassessment.” Revue des Études Arméniennes 39 (2020): 161-72.
  • "Nero, the Reign of Tigranes VI, and the Annexation of Armenia."  Latomus 79 (2020): 761-78.
  • “Minority Religions in the Sasanian Empire: Suppression, Integration, and Relations with Rome.”  Sasanian Persia: Between Rome and the Steppes of Eurasia.  Ed. Eberhard Sauer.  Edinburgh Studies in Ancient Persia.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.  181-98.
  • “Myth as Evidence in Strabo.”  The Routledge Companion to Strabo.  Ed. Daniela Dueck.  London and New York: Routledge, 2017.  276-93.
  • “Antony and Armenia.”  TAPA 145.1 (2015): 77-105.
  • “Caracalla’s Armenia.”  Syllecta Classica 24 (2013): 173-99.
  • “Geographers as Mythographers: The Case of Strabo.”  Writing Myth: Mythography in the Ancient World.  Studies in the History and Anthropology of Religion 4.  Eds. R. Scott Smith and Stephen M. Trzaskoma.   Leuven: Peeters, 2013.  201-21.
  • Kinship Myth in Ancient Greece.  Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.
  • “Strabo, Local Myth, and Kinship Diplomacy.”  Hermes 138.1 (2010): 109-18.
  • “Alcman’s Partheneion and Eliade’s Sacred Time.”  Classical and Modern Literature 25.1 (2005): 115-27.
  • “An Aetolian Local Myth in Pausanias?”  Mnemosyne 57.3 (2004): 346-52.
  • “Pompey’s Albanian Connection at Justin XLII,3,4.”  Latomus 61.2 (2002): 312-25.
  • “Rome’s Relationship with Artaxias I of Armenia.”  Ancient History Bulletin 15.4 (2001): 154-62.

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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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