Zsuzsanna Varhelyi

Associate Professor of Classical Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

Professor Varhelyi was born in Budapest, Hungary during the Communist era, an experience that has led her to a keen interest in how such circumstances may shape our lives. Having trained at ELTE (Budapest) and at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), she came to the United States to pursue a PhD in History at Columbia University in New York. Her scholarship focuses on the rich and complex evidence surviving from the late Republic and early Imperial Rome, a period that saw ideas emerge that are still with us today: questions about how one should live one’s life, among others by the Stoics, and the role of religion in it, both by “pagans” and by post-Second-Temple Jews and Christians (“Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice”). These issues have shaped her work on the Roman elite in a period of political oppression, and guide her current research on individuality and selfhood in the Roman empire. She has also published on human sacrifice and post-traumatic stress among Roman soldiers, gender and domesticity, and ancient literacy, among others. Her teaching incorporates research on both the undergraduate and graduate level: her courses examine Roman history, Greek and Roman religions, Public virtues and private vices in the Roman Empire, and read Latin prose on all levels.