A native of Los Angeles California, I attended UC San Diego, receiving a BS in Physics (1986) and a BA in Classical Studies
(1987). I received the PhD in Classics from Brown
University in 1997.
I am a Kress/Brown Fellow of the American
Academy in Rome (1993-1994 and 1995-1996), a Broneer Fellow
of the American School of
Classical Studies in Athens (1994-1995), and a Junior Fellow
of the Center for Hellenic Studies (2000-2001).
I served as Vice President and President of the Classical
Society of the American Academy in Rome (1999-2002), an
organization which grants scholarships to graduate students
and high school Latin teachers for study in the Academy's Classical
Summer School. I was the Assistant Director of the Classical
Summer School in 1996 and 1997, and completed a three-summer appointment as Director, 2008-2010, for which I received a commendation.
I am currently Creighton's representative on the Advisory
Council of the American Academy (last year I chaired the executive committee of that body), and was a council member
of the American Academy's Society
I was an assistant professor at the Intercollegiate
Center for Classical Studies in Rome in 1998-1999, mediated
Creighton's application to the consortium of schools that make
up the ICCS, serve as Creighton's Faculty Representative to
the ICCS, and worked there as an associate professor in 2006-2007.
I had been named the Professor in Charge of the new ICCS Sicily
for the year 2010-2011; the recession unfortunately brought that program down. In 2011-2012 I served as the Professor in Charge of the ICCS Rome, and thanks to a grant awarded to the ICCS, I finished the year as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in Charge. I am currently working to improve ICCS outreach to constituencies among High School Latin teachers, was elected to the ICCS Managing Committee, which is a bit like a board of trustees in 2012, and have been named Chair of the Managing Committee to begin in July 2015.
I also sit on the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
I have been Creighton's Faculty Representative of the
Kent Cooke Foundation. I am a Faculty
Associate of the Kripke
Center for the Study of Religion and Society and sit on the board of the Kenefick Professor in the Humanities. I was awarded the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences' Dean's Award for Professional Excellence in Tenure Track Teaching in 2011.
My research interests center on Roman civilization and especially
the city of Rome. I have written articles on the Annales
Maximi, the prosecution and exile of M. Aemilius Scaurus
(pr. 56), the composition of
Appians Roman History, and an article on a
mysterious Roman sarcophagus bearing an inscription (IGUR
1700) suggesting that it could have been the historian Appians.
With two students in my Greek New Testament class as co-authors,
I wrote an
article on Mel Gibson's The Passion in 2004, and an article on fictitious elements of Appian's narrative of the
Battle of Pharsalus which appeared in the 2005 volume of the Canadian journal Phoenix.
More recently I wrote a chapter on Appian's Civil
Wars for the Blackwell Companion to Greek and Roman
Historiography which appeared in 2007, and I am still at work on a final author-entry for the Brill's
New Jacoby project, having published 11 to date. I am particularly proud of my entries for Appian (237) and A. Postumius Albinus (812). I have
written the Appian entry for the Blackwell Encyclopedia
of Ancient History, and I am at work on two books. One is pedagogical,
and seeks to teach Greek through translation of Greek verse
inscriptions in Rome; the other is scholarly, an edition and
commentary on Caesar's Civil War, with co-authors Kurt
A. Raaflaub and Cynthia Damon. While working on these books I have written an article on a Latin verse inscription, CLE 1142, which I plan to publish with my ICCS students who collaborated with me on it, and an article, "A Complex Oedipus: Forbidden Planet's Edward Morbius," on the great 1956 SF movie Forbidden Planet, It is in press to appear in the volume The Classical Tradition in Scince Fiction, in Oxford University Press's Classical Presences Series, edited by Brett Rogers and Ben Stevens. I gave a preliminary version of the paper at an event sponsored by Professor Wendy Wright, the Kenefick Chair in the Humanities at Creighton, and as the Keynote Speaker of the Texas Classical Association at UT Austin.
With a great deal of help, I spent the better part of three years developing a revised classical languages curriculum
for our department. As a part of this process, I attended a
conference on classics in Jesuit Education at Xavier University
in early November 2005, delivering the paper "Classical
Language Reform at Creighton University." The paper appeared under that title volume of proceedings. After years of collaboration with the admissions office we created two merit scholarships for incoming students interested in studying classical languages, the Leo Vincent Jacks Scholarships.
I have developed a strong interest in visual culture, and I pursue this interest in part through an ever growing collaborative relationship with the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. I began as the Chair of Creighton's College
of Arts and Sciences' Joslyn Museum Committee about eight years ago, and developed, with Dean Barbara Braden, the CU at Joslyn lecture series which brings Creighton faculty into the museum to give public presentations on art-related topics. With Meghan C. Freeman I studied a portrait of the emperor Augustus in the Joslyn's collection, and our work led to the portrait's being conserved, placed on display at the museum, and published in the Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome (Freeman went on to study Classics at Yale). I am at work on four other Roman portraits in the Joslyn, two of which have been conserved at the Gerald Ford Conservation Center in Omaha: one, of a Severan lady, in collaboration with Claire O'Brien, and the other, probably a relief portrait of a freedman. The other two portraits are of a Roman boy and a Roman infant, and in addition I am working on a fragment of an Early Christian sarcophagus in the Joslyn with Amanda Swisher. I organized on Creighton's side and served as the liaison for an internship program at the Joslyn for Creighton students. I am a member of the American Association of Museums and the International Council of Museums.
In teh last two years I have been part of a group organizing a national traveling exhibition, "An Archaeologist's Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab," and I am co-editing the exhibition catalogue with Jill Deupi of the Bellarmine Museum at Fairfield University.
I am very proud of my collaboration with Dr. Daniel D. Lydiatt in the study of early modern medical texts, in particular, the great anatomists. We have focused for several years on the anatomy of the head and neck, and three papers of ours, "The Historical Latin and Etymology of Selected Terms of the Larynx," and "Historical Vignettes of the Thyroid Gland," and "The Historical Evolution of the Understanding of the Submandibular and Sublingual Salivary Glands" have been published in the journal Clinical Anatomy. I chaired the committee for and directed Dan's MALS thesis, The Influence of the “Final Cause Doctrine” on Anatomists of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries Concerning Selected Anatomical Structures of the Head and Neck, for which he was awarded the degree in December 2010. We have published a version of the thesis in the September 2012 issue of The Laryngoscope, the house organ of the Triologic Society.
Before coming to Creighton I taught at the American Academy
in Rome, UC San Diego, Gustavus
Adolphus College, the ICCS Rome, and at the Johns Hopkins, Catholic, and Georgetown Universities. I held a lectureship at Boston University during my tenure as director of the Academy's Classical Summer School.
My extracurricular interests include architecture, geology, astronomy,
film scores, philately, pop culture, and
travel. I love Dylan Dog fumetti and Penn & Teller's Bullshit! I continue to muddle along as the father
of a serious, 13-year-old daughter, Genevieve, and I seem to have annexed a 114-year-old house with foundation issues somewhere along the way. If you're interested, you can see
pictures at my Facebook