I am a historian of the Roman Empire with wide-ranging interests in Graeco-Roman antiquity. I received my B.A. in Classics at Harvard University with a senior thesis on dynastic succession and the transmission of imperial power in Tacitus' Annals, which also treated Tacitus' engagement with the annalistic tradition. I then pursued an MPhil in Ancient History at King's College, Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar, where my work focused on politics and literary culture at Rome in the Late Republic.
My PhD dissertation at Princeton, entitled Empire of Law: Legal Culture and Imperial Rule in the Antonine and Severan Age, examines the development of the Roman imperial legal system and its impact on provincial culture and society during the first three centuries of Roman imperial rule (ca. 30 BCE - 284 CE). The thesis revolves around two regional case studies (North Africa and Egypt) of two exceptionally well-documented regions of the Roman Empire. Central to the thesis is the problem of modelling the relationship between law and social practice, a problem that legal historians of Roman Egypt initially obviated by positing a strong dichotomy between imperial and local law (Reichsrecht and Volksrecht). Furthermore, questions of social and cultural change in the provinces under Roman rule place the thesis in the ambit of the debate over "Romanization." Another focus of the dissertation is to build a productive framework in which to understand the Constitutio Antoniniana, Caracalla's universal grant of Roman citizenship to free inhabitants of the Empire in 212 CE.
As of October, 2014, I hold a postdoctoral position at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, with a project on court proceedings in the imperial and local courts of Roman Egypt — a corpus of several hundred transcripts of trials, preserved in papyrus documents, of which no study currently exists. This is an exciting project that promises to enhance many aspects of our understanding of the legal process in Roman imperial courts. In particular, it will shed light on the activity of legal and forensic specialists — key agents, who operated at the interface between imperial courts and provincial society, and whose agency was instrumental to the evolution of the imperial legal sphere.
In addition to my primary research interests in Roman imperial history, papyrology and ancient law, I have various side projects and interests in subjects such as engagement with classical models in Late Antique historiography, Varro and Roman antiquarianism, the social history of Epicurean philosophy, and the memory and legacy of the Social War.