Duke University | Classical Studies:

    Mary T Boatwright
  • Mary T Boatwright

  • Professor of Ancient History and Department Chair
  • Classical Studies
  • 231 Allen
  • Campus Box 90103
  • Phone: (919) 684-3189, (919) 681-4292
  • Fax: (919) 681-4262
  • Office Hours: MF 2:30-3:10pm, & by appt
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bio

          Mary T. Boatwright, Professor of Ancient History in the Department of Classical Studies at Duke, and the 2008 recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award,   earned her Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Classical Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Professor Boatwright has spent most of her academic career at Duke, where she works on Imperial Rome investigating the topography of Rome’s building and public works, as well as of its government institutions and social history.

         Her studies of Roman cities and rulers have extended to the farthest provincial reaches of the Empire, as embodied in her books and scholarly articles on the life and accomplishments of the Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117 – 138). These include Hadrian and the City of Rome, and Hadrian and the Cities of the Roman Empire (both published by Princeton UP:  1987, 2000). Among other publications, she co-authored (with Daniel Gargola and Richard J. A. Talbert), The Romans:  From Village to Empire.  A History of Ancient Rome from Earliest Times to Constantine (2004) and A Brief History of the Romans (2005). New projects include a book on the peoples of Rome and an investigation of the Empire’s northern frontiers.

         Professor Boatwright has also explored the roles and images of elite Roman women, particularly the empresses. Her 1991 article, “The Imperial Women of the Early Second Century AC,” was awarded the Gildersleeve Prize for the best article published that year in the American Journal of Philology.  She also studies the work of the Latin historians, including Tacitus, the second-century historian whose interest in the exercise of power has complemented Professor Boatwright’s own fascination with the aspirations of ancient societies and the challenges facing them.

          Professor Boatwright has also had a long association with the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, where she served as the Professor in Charge (1992-93). In fact, it was as an undergraduate student there herself that she first became fascinated by Imperial Rome, and she joined the Duke faculty directly from two years of research in the city.
  • Research Summary

    Roman history, especially the social and political history of the empire; topography of Rome; Rome's northern frontiers; Roman women; Latin historiography
  • Research Description

    Roman history, especially the social and political history of the empire; topography of Rome; Rome's northern frontiers; Roman women; Latin historiography
  • Current Projects

    Article on representations of women and families on Roman-Pannonian tombstones, Topography of the Via Flaminia in Rome
  • Areas of Interest

    Ancient Mediterranean
    Temperate Europe (Roman period)
  • Education

      • Ph.D. in Classical Studies,,
      • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
      • 1980
      • Michigan Assoc., American Academy, Rome,,
      • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
      • 1977
      • M.A. in Classical Studies,,
      • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
      • 1975
      • Laurea, voto ottimo, in Etruscologiá,
      • Universitá per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy,
      • 1974
      • Certificato in Corso Medio di Italiano,,
      • Universitá per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy,
      • 1973
      • B.A. in Classical Studies,,
      • Stanford University,
      • 1973
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • John and Penelope Biggs Residency in the Classics, Washington University in St. Louis,
      • November, 2012
      • "Writing Beyond the Disciplines" award,
      • Duke University,
      • May, 2010
      • Dean’s Distinguished Service Award,
      • Duke University,
      • 2008
      • Designation as a Mellon Foundation course of graduate course "The Historians," as part of "Making the Humanities Central" project,
      • sponsored by Duke's John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,
      • 2003
      • Summer Stipend, for travel to Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary for research on Pannonian Stelae,
      • National Endowment for the Humanities,
      • 2002
      • Grants for "Romanization on the Northern Frontier: The Evidence of the Pannonian Stelae”,
      • Duke Univ. Arts & Sciences Research Council (A&SRC),
      • 2000-2001, 2002-2003
      • Grant for “Women on the Edge: Depictions of Women on Rome’s Northeastern Frontier (Pannonia)”,
      • Duke’s A&SRC,
      • 1999-2000
      • Fellowship for University Teachers, for Hadrian and the Cities of the Roman Empire,
      • National Endowment for the Humanities,
      • 1995-96
      • Summer Stipend for research on Hadrian and cities in Greece, Turkey, Romania and Serbia (declined),
      • National Endowment for the Humanities,
      • 1995
      • Gildersleeve Prize, for “The Imperial Women of the Early Second Century A.C.,” American Journal of Philology 112 (1991) 513-40.,
      • 0 1992
      • Annual “Regular Grants” for “Hadrianic Urbanization in the Roman Empire” Duke Univ. Research Council,
      • 1987-90, 1992-95
      • Selected as an applicant for a NEH Summer Stipend for research on Hadrian and cities in Cilicia, Pamphylia, Lycia, Pisidia and Lycaonia,
      • Duke University,
      • 1989
      • Fellowship, for research on "Hadrianic Urbanization in the Roman Empire",
      • George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation,
      • 1986-87
      • NEH stipend for publication of Hadrian and the City of Rome,
      • Princeton University Press,
      • 1986
      • Regular Grants for Hadrian and the City of Rome,
      • Duke University Research Council,
      • 1984, 1985
      • Research Grant for Hadrian and the City of Rome,
      • American Philosophical Society,
      • 1984
      • Duke Endowment Award for Excellence in Teaching,
      • Duke University,
      • 1982
      • Regular Grant for research in Roman Spain,
      • Duke University Research Council,
      • 1981
      • Fellowship from Rackham School of Graduate Studies,
      • University of Michigan,
      • 1978-79
      • Borso di Studio,
      • Università per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy,
      • Summer 1974
      • Phi Beta Kappa,
      • Stanford University,
      • 1972
  • Selected Publications

      • Peoples of the Roman World.
      • Introduction to Roman Civilization,
      • Cambridge University Press,
      • 2012.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      In this highly-illustrated book, Mary T. Boatwright examines five of the peoples incorporated into the Roman world from the Republican through the Imperial periods: northerners, Greeks, Egyptians, Jews, and Christians. It explores over time the tension between assimilation and distinctiveness, as well as the changes effected in Rome by its multicultural nature.

      • with
      • Daniel J. Gargola, Noel Lenski and Richard J. A. Talbert.
      • The Romans From Village to Empire: A History of Rome from Earliest Times to the End of the Western Empire.
      • Oxford University Press,
      • 2011.
      • (2nd, expanded edition. Czech translation published 12/12).
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      How did a single village community in the Italian peninsula eventually become one of the most powerful imperial powers the world has ever known? In The Romans: From Village to Empire, Second Edition, Mary T. Boatwright, Daniel J. Gargola, Richard J.A. Talbert, and new coauthor Noel Lenski explore this question as they guide students through a comprehensive sweep of Roman history, ranging from the prehistoric settlements to the fall of the empire in 476. Addressing issues that still confront modern states worldwide--including warfare, empire building, consensus forging, and political fragmentation--the authors also provide glimpses into everyday Roman life and perspective, demonstrating how Rome's growth as a state is inseparable from its social and cultural development. Vividly written and accessible, The Romans, Second Edition, traces Rome's remarkable evolution from village, to monarchy, to republic, to one-man rule by an emperor--whose power at its peak stretched from Scotland to Iraq and the Nile Valley--to the empire's fall in 476. Firmly grounded in ancient literary and material sources, the text describes and analyzes major political and military landmarks, from the Punic Wars, to Caesar's conquest of Gaul and his crossing of the Rubicon, to the victory of Octavian over Mark Antony, and through Constantine's adoption of Christianity. Featuring two new chapters (13 and 14), the second edition extends the book's coverage through the rise of Christianity, the growth of the Barbarian threat, the final years of the empire, its fall in 476, and, finally, to its revival in the East as Byzantium. This edition also combines chapters 1 and 2 into one--"Archaic Italy and the Origins of Rome"--and integrates more material on women, religion, and cultural history throughout. Ideal for courses in Roman history and Roman civilization, The Romans, Second Edition, is enhanced by two new 8-page, 4-color inserts and almost 100 extensively captioned illustrations. It also includes more than 30 ancient maps, revised and improved under the supervision of coauthor Richard J. A. Talbert, and textual extracts that provide fascinating cultural observations made by ancient Romans themselves. A new Image Bank CD contains PowerPoint-based slides of all the photos and maps in the text.

      • "The Elogia of the Volusii Saturnini at Lucus Feroniae, and the Education of their Domestic Service."
      • L'écriture dans la maison romaine.
      • Ed. M. Corbier and J.-P. Guilhembet.
      • Paris:
      • de Boccard,
      • 2012.
      • 99-112.
      • [web]
      • "Women and Gender in the Forum Romanum."
      • Transactions of the American Philological Association
      • 141
      • (2011)
      • :
      • 107-43.
      • "Antonine Rome: Security in the Homeland."
      • The Emperor and Rome: Space, Representation and Ritual.
      • Ed. Bjoern C. Ewald and Carlos F. Norena.
      • New York: Cambridge University Press,
      • 2010.
      • 169-97.
      • Hadrian and the Cities of the Roman Empire.
      • Princeton University Press,
      • 2000.
      • "Children and Parents on the Tombstones of Pannonia."
      • The Roman Family in the Empire: Rome, Italy and Beyond.
      • Ed. M. George.
      • Oxford,
      • 2005.
      • 287-318.
      • "The City Gate of Plancia Magna in Perge."
      • Roman Art in Context: An Anthology.
      • Ed. E. D'Ambra.
      • Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall,
      • 1993.
      • 189-207.
      • "Imperial Women of the Early Second Century A.C."
      • American Journal of Philology
      • 112
      • (1991)
      • :
      • 513-40.
      • Hadrian and the City of Rome.
      • Princeton University Press,
      • 1987.
      • "Trajan Outside Rome: Buildings and Sculptural Commissions in Italian and Provincial Cities."
      • Sage and Emperor
      • .
      • Ed. P. Stadter and L. Van der Stockt.
      • Leuven: Leuven University Press,
      • (2003)
      • :
      • 259-77.
      • "Faustina the Younger, Mater Castrorum."
      • Etude de Lettres
      • .
      • Ed. R. Frei-Stolba and A. Biel.
      • (2003)
      • :
      • 249-68.
      • "Tacitus and the Final Rites of Agrippina: Annals 14, 9."
      • Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History.
      • Ed. C. Deroux.
      • Collection Latomus,
      • XIV
      • 2008.
      • 375-93.
      • "Hadrian in London".
      • American Journal of Archaeology
      • 113
      • .1
      • (2009)
      • :
      • 121-28.
      • (Museum review of exhibit "Hadrian: Empire and Conflict," at the British Museum.)
      Publication Description

      Museum Review of Hadrian: Empire and Conflict

      • Review of A. Leone et al..
      • 'Res bene gestae': Ricerche di storia urbana su Roma antica in onore di Eva Margareta Steinby.
      • Bryn Mawr Classical Review
      • (2009)
      • .
      • [web]
      • "Just Window Dressing? Imperial Women as Architectural Sculpture."
      • I Claudia II
      • .
      • Ed. D.E.E. Kleiner and S.B. Matheson.
      • Austin: University of Texas Press,
      • (2000)
      • :
      • 61-75.
      • with
      • co-editor H. B. Evans.
      • The Shapes of City Life in Rome and Pompeii.
      • Caratzas,
      • 2000.
  • View All Publications
  • PhD Students

    • Kathryn Langenfeld
      • Status: PostPrelim
      • Thesis: Contextualizing the Historia Augusta in the Literary Landscape of the Fourth Century
    • Jessica Vahl
      • Status: PostPrelim
      • Thesis: Native Hardship, Resentment, and Revolt in the Roman Empire: The Case of the Batavians
  • Teaching

    • CLST 556SL.01
      • ROMAN TOPOGRAPHY
      • Perkins 071
      • MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
  • Rome
  • Paestum 2
  • pottery
  • Pompeii 1
  • Morgantina 2
  • Jake 2
  • Hadrian's Villa 2
  • Agrigento 2
  • Tomb of Caecilia Metella
  • Hadrian's Villa 1
  • site
  • Agrigento 3
  • papyrus
  • Pantheon 2
  • Morgantina 1
  • pottery
  • Roman Forum 1
  • Paestum 1
  • Pompeii 2
  • Acropolis
  • Jake 1