The Ph.D Program: Ancient History

All images appear courtesy of the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Emory University’s NEW Ph.D. in Ancient History emphasizes interdisciplinary work in the social, political,  and cultural history of ancient Greek and Roman society, including Late Antiquity. The program draws on the strengths of the Emory faculty not only in History but also in Art History, Classics, Philosophy, and the Graduate Division of Religion. Family and gender history,  Greek and Roman law, the history of religion, and the comparative history of slavery are some of the topics students can expect to study with the support of faculty actively working in these areas.

Students in Ancient History will follow a rigorous course of study featuring interdisciplinary work and exposure to the many different facets of ancient history. Core faculty in the History Department include Judith Evans Grubbs, whose focus is Roman social history, especially marriage and the family in Roman law and who has interests in Roman slavery, Roman imperialism, and Late Antiquity; and Cynthia Patterson, a specialist in Greek social history, particularly the nature of citizenship and family and gender relations, with interests in Greek historiography and Plato in his historical context. In addition, students will be able to work with faculty in other departments, including Art History (Gay Robins, Eric Varner, Bonna Wescoat, and Jasper Gaunt); Classics (Peter Bing, Sandra Blakely, Jonathan Master, Louise Pratt, and Garth Tissol); Philosophy (Richard Patterson), Religion (Carl Holladay; Vernon Robbins); and Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies (Roxani Margariti).

Emory University has strong library holdings in all aspects of the ancient Greek and Roman world. In addition to the main collections in the Robert W. Woodruff Library, students have access to the holdings of the Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library, the Woodruff Health Sciences Library (including the Tye collection on ancient medicine), and the Pitts Theology Library. Moreover, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, located adjacent to Bowden Hall, showcases Greek and Roman art from the Neolithic Age to Late Antiquity and owns a substantial study collection for teaching and research. Graduate students also have the opportunity to work with Professor Wescoat on the “Samothrace: Framing the Mysteries of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods”  project funded by a CRiH grant from Emory ( They are also encouraged to participate in established programs for the study of Greek and Roman history and archaeology at Rome and Athens.

Dr. Evans Grubbs and Dr. Patterson are not currently taking new graduate students.

Graduation Year PhD Recipient Dissertation Title
2019 Cassandra M. M. Casias "Bishops and Other Men’s Wives in the Later Roman Empire"