Department of Classics

Ayelet Haimson Lushkov

PhD 2009, Yale University

Associate Professor
Ayelet Haimson Lushkov



Roman History and Latin Literature


Special Interests:  Livy, Roman historical narratives (prose and poetry), Roman political culture under the Republic, literary and social theory (esp. social anthropology, New Historicism), classical reception.

My research focuses especially on the role of literature and literary devices in shaping political and historical thought, and more broadly lies at the intersection of literary criticism, cultural studies, politics, and history.



LAT 383 • Survey Of Latin Literature

33515 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 112

This course has several related goals:  

1) Consolidate reading and translating abilities and speed.

1) Master the development of Latin literature over the republican, triumviral, and Augustan periods.

2) Study in detail some examples of the main forms, genres and authors of Latin literature over our periods.

3) Establish the broad context in which the works were composed, as well as the contexts in which modern scholarship talks about them.

4) Model the modes and ways we expect you to present your thought about and understanding of these texts and authors, both in writing and orally.

LAT 390 • Horace

32635 • Spring 2016
Meets M 2:00PM-5:00PM WAG 307

This course will explore a cross-section of Horace’s poetry, as well as the reception of Horace in the Anglophone world. Class work will focus on familiarizing students with main trends in the scholarship, situating Horace within the Augustan milieu, and especially on working closely with the intricacies of Horace’s language, from diction through to meter. We will also devote some time to critical theory, especially on issues of close readings. The reception portion will focus on the one hand on the theory of translation, canonicity, and the construction of a classic, and on the other on the legacy of Horace in the Anglophone tradition.

LAT 383 • Survey Of Latin Literature

32590 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 112

Latin Literature Survey

AHC 325 • Civil War In Rome

32255 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 201
(also listed as C C 348, CTI 375, HIS 362G)

This class will survey the sequence of civil conflict at Rome from the Struggle of the Orders through to the rise of Constantine the Great. Beyond discussion of the historical material, lectures will also cover such topics as: the influence of civil war on Roman identity, culture, and history (including law and economy); representation of civil war in art and text; violence as foundational experience, and the question of the uniqueness of the Roman cases (for which we’ll discuss both the English and American civil wars as comparanda).

LAT 323 • Exemplarity In Roman Lit

32795 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 308

This course explores some aspects of the Roman fascination with exemplarity, that is, with using examples from the past to teach lessons and offer role-models for the present. We’ll read a selection of texts especially concerns with setting this examples – Livy, Valerius Maximus, Vergil, Seneca, and others – and ask what sort of lessons the Romans were teaching, why they were focused on them, and how they went about presenting them.

AHC 325 • Hist Of Rome: The Republic

33100 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 101
(also listed as CTI 375, HIS 321M)

Covers the period from Rome's foundation through Caesar's murder in 44 B.C.  The emphasis placed on the last two centuries of the Republic when problems accumulated and solutions did not.  All the factors contributing to the Republic's fall will discussed:  political, military, social, economic, religious, etc.

LAT 323 • Battle Scenes Roman Literature

34050 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 1.134

This class focuses on battle sequences in Latin literature, especially epic and history. In addition to working through the Latin (with relevant grammar and syntax reviews), we’ll think about the fetishization of both killer and killed, the beautiful heroic death, and the transformation of epic warfare into prosaic legionary battle. We’ll conclude with a very brief look at medieval chivalric literature, and think about dueling and jousting.


Assessment will be determined on attendance, participation, quizzes, mid-term and final exam.


Selections from Vergil, Statius, Silius, Caesar, Livy and Tacitus

LAT 390 • Livy

34100 • Spring 2014
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM WAG 10

LAT 390 Seminar in Classical Studies:

Selected topics in Roman studies. Topics given in recent years include Roman comedy, Pliny, and Roman fragmentary historians.

C C 383 • Roman History Survey

33410 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 10

The aim of the is course is to survey Roman History, concentrating on the period from the Gracchi to Nero (133 BC—AD 68), the most important, most discussed and best documented era.  Throughout the course the emphasis will be placed on the key problems and the key issues, be they political, constitutional, military, economic, social, religious, or all of the above.Students should have a working knowledge of Latin and/or Greek, since the ancient sources will need to be consulted in the origianl; an acquaintance with German, and/or French, and/or Italian would also be of help, since important work on the period has been undertaken in these languages.  There will be either a term-paper (20-25 typed pages long), on a topic agreed upon the students and instructor; or the student may instead take the Roman History Examination required of Ph.D. students in Classics and Classical Archaeology, for which this course is designed as preparation.

AHC 325 • Ancient Historians

32910 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM ECJ 1.204
(also listed as C C 322)

This class aims to acquaint the student with the main works of ancient historiography, as well as provide grounding in the central issues with which these works engage. The ancient historians are our first port of call in our quest to understand democracy, tyranny, empire, religion, civil war, and international relations, so it is to these foundational texts that we will turn to enliven our connection with the ancient world. Beyond acquiring basic knowledge of each of the historians and their text, we will explore issues such as: the development and coherence of a historiographical tradition, the value of textual material as historical evidence, the status of prose historiography as an independent work of literary art, and the function of historiography as a space to explore broader questions such as truth, identity, nationalism, ethnicity, and political ideologies. We will conclude by thinking about the unique qualities of historiography, and what distinguishes it from related genres such as biography, historical epic, or historical novels. 

LAT 323 • Images Of Augustus

33455 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 3.120



This course follows the adventures of the young Octavian on his way to becoming the emperor Augustus. We will read in full Augustus' own autobiography, The Achievements of the Divine Augustus, as well as a cross-section of texts from the civil wars of his youth, through the victory at Actium, to the height of the Augustan empire. These supplementary texts will include chiefly Cicero's letters and Vergil's Aeneid, though we will also look at Horace, Velleius Paterculus, and the elegists Propertius and Ovid. Along the way we will talk about literature as a political medium, strategies of self-representation, and finally consider how to win yourself an empire in ten easy steps.


Assessment includes regular attendance, a mid-term and final exam.

AHC 325 • Hist Of Rome: The Republic

32790 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM UTC 3.102
(also listed as HIS 321M)

This class will cover the history of the Roman republic from its foundation to the death of Caesar, paying attention both to the mundane (facts, dates, and names) as well as to the improbably exciting (fratricide, slave revolts, elephants, holy chickens, and global domination, to name only a few). Our central theme will be the transformation of Rome from a small city-state to a world empire, and the roots of this transformation in aristocratic culture. We will also focus on the consequences of this transformation for Rome itself and for the modern world.



2 quizzes (each 25%) requiring essay answers

Final exam (50%) requiring essay answers



M. Cary & H.H. Scullar, A History of Rome (3rd ed.)

Plutarch, Fall of the Roman Republic (Penguin)

Sallust, Jugarthine War & The Conspiracy of Catiline (Penguin)



Appian, Civil Wars (Penguin)

LAT 383 • Grad Rdng: Latin Prose

33380 • Fall 2011
Meets WF 1:00PM-2:30PM WAG 10

This course is intended to bolster and consolidate Latin reading skills, increase reading speed and effectiveness, and introduce some methods of textual analysis. The class will read, in the original Latin, a survey of prose texts, covering a range of period and styles, from Cato the Elder to Tacitus. Our main project would be getting comfortable with a range of prose genres and their stylistic idiosyncrasies. We will read one example each of the major prose genres: oratory, epistolography, biography, historiography, technical literature and philosophy. Classes will consist of reading substantial portions of prepared Latin, as well as reviewing grammar and syntax. The actual texts we read are: Cato, de Agri Cultura; Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino; Livy, AUC 6, Seneca, select letters, and Tacitus, Agricola. 

AHC 325 • Civil War In Rome

33158 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM ECJ 1.204
(also listed as C C 348, HIS 362G)

This class will survey the sequence of civil conflict at Rome from the Struggle of the Orders through to the rise of Constantine the Great. Beyond discussion of the historical material, lectures will also cover such topics as: the influence of civil war on Roman identity, culture, and history (including law and economy); representation of civil war in art and text; violence as foundational experience, and the question of the uniqueness of the Roman cases (for which we’ll discuss both the English and American civil wars as comparanda).

 Assessment components will include: attendance, regular quizzes, mid-term, final exam, and a final project, which may be academic or creative.

AHC 378 • Theory & The Ancient Historian

33205 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 112
(also listed as HIS 350L)

This class surveys some of the main theoretical approaches to the study of ancient history: text-based history and the linguistic turn, social anthropology, gender, archaeology, various statistics-based approaches, etc. We will discuss how theory fits in with historical methodology, how to choose the right approach  for the right set of texts, and how to incorporate modern theory with ancient evidence. Students will have the opportunity to sample some cutting edge work in the field, and improve research skills.

This course carries a Writing flag; it may also be counted as an elective.

Assessment will include short papers, class work (including presentations), and a final research paper.

LAT 365 • Seminar: Intertextuality

32620 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 112

Intertextuality in Roman Literature: Theory and Practice. There is now a core group of texts, modern and ancient, which define our approach to and practice of intertextual reading. This course will read the modern thinkers (Hinds, Edmunds, Thomas, Farrell), as well a group of ancient case studies (Lucan, Ovid, Vergil, Livy, Tacitus, etc.), and discuss the development, problems, and limitations of intertextuality in Roman Literature.

LAT 390 • Fragmentary Roman Historians

32665 • Fall 2010
Meets M 2:00PM-5:00PM WAG 10

The Fragmentary Roman Historians. Fragments remain one of the least utilized corpora in Latin literature and offer considerable scope for original research. This seminar will read through the extant fragments of the Roman historians, familiarize students with the main bibliography on the fragments, and consider questions of methodology, responsible reading practices, the literary value of the fragments, and the consequence of fragmentary survival for our understanding of Roman literary culture.

AHC 378 • Conspiracy Of Catiline-W

32380 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 208
(also listed as HIS 350L)

AHC 378 Undergraduate Seminar in Ancient History:

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in Greek and Roman history.

This course carries Writing and Independent Inquiry flags.

LAT 365 • Livy's Ab Urbe Condita

32960 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 12:30PM-2:00PM CBA 4.342

LAT 365 Seminar in Latin:

Critical study of authors such as Horace, Livy, Lucretius, and Tacitus.

Prerequisites: Latin 323 with a grade of at least C.

This course carries Writing and Independent Inquiry flags

C C 322 • Ancient Historians

32677 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 2.128

C C 322 Classical Literature in Translation:

Survey of Greek and Latin philosophical, literary, and historical classics, in translation. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

LAT 383 • Grad Rdng: Latin Prose

33115 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 10

Latin 383 is an intensive prose reading course intended for MA students in Classics and related disciplines who wish to improve their ability to read Latin accurately and at speed.  Students should already have a firm grasp of Latin morphology and syntax as well as significant experience with Latin prose before attempting this course.  You will be expected to prepare a substantial amount of Latin for each class meeting (c. 300 lines/week).  Although the focus of the course will be on acquainting students with the several important Late Republican texts, we will also spend some time with the Imperial Latin Prose of Seneca the Elder.  Class meetings will be devoted to close translation of selected passages from the prepared assignments; detailed review of Latin syntax; and sight reading.  By the end of the semester, students will be able to read quickly and with a strong grasp of Classical Latin syntax.


Edited Volume: 
  1. (Co-edited with Brockliss, W., P. Chaudhuri, and K. Wasdin). Reception and the Classics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Classical Tradition. Yale Classical Studies 36; Cambridge University Press. (forthcoming November 2011).

Articles and Book Chapters: 

  1. “Intertextuality and Source Criticism in the Scipionic Trials” In: W. Polleichtner (ed.) Livy and Intertextuality. Bochum, 2010: 93-133.  
  2. “Citation and the Dynamics of Tradition in Livy’s AUCHistos 5 Working Papers 2011.04.
  3. (Co-written with Brockliss, W., P. Chaudhuri, and K. Wasdin.) “Introduction” In: Reception and the Classics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Classical Tradition. Yale Classical Studies 36; Cambridge University Press. (forthcoming November 2011).
  4. ‘Cornelius Scipio Africanus, P. (RE 343)’, ‘Fasti of Magistrates’, and ‘Imperium’ for R. Bagnall, K. Brodersen, C. Champion, A. Erskine and S. Huebner (edd.) Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Blackwell-Wiley. (forthcoming 2011).


Book Reviews: 
  1. Levene, D. Livy and the Hannibalic War. Oxford: 2010. Forthcoming, Journal of Roman Studies.
  2. Robb, M. A. Beyond Populares and Optimates: political language in the late Republic. Historia Einzelsschriften 213. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2010. BMCR 2011.07.30.  
  3. S. Pugh, Herrick, Fanshawe and the Politics of Intertextuality: Classical Literature and Seventeenth-Century Royalism. Farnham; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010. BMCR 2010.12.25.
  4. G. D. Farney, Ethnic Identity and Aristocratic Competition in Republican Rome. Cambridge, 2007. The Classical Bulletin 85.1 (2010): 24-6.
  5. M. R. Pelikan Pittenger, Contested Triumphs: Politics, Pageantry, and Performance in Livy’s Republican Rome. Berkeley, 2008. Classical Review 60.2 (2010): 441-3.
  6. D. Hammer, Roman Political Thought and the Modern Theoretical Imagination. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. BMCR 2009.12.10.
  7. J. Murrell, Cicero and the Roman Republic. Greece and Rome: Texts and Contexts. Cambridge, 2008. BMCR 2009.08.49.
  8. W. J. Tatum, Always I am Caesar. Blackwell, 2008. BMCR 2009.03.56. 
  9. J. R. W. Prag, Sicilia Nutrix Plebis Romanae: Rhetoric, Law & Taxation in Cicero’s Verrines. London, 2007. BMCR 2009.02.33.
  10. C. J. Smith, The Roman Clan: The Gens from Ancient Ideology to Modern Anthropology. Cambridge, 2006. BMCR t;/em>2006.11.06.


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