I joined Princeton’s Program in the Ancient World in 2014 after receiving a MAR in the History of Christianity from Yale University and degrees in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My interests cluster around elite Christians in the later Roman Empire, book history, legal history, and the history of epistemology.
My dissertation approaches the rise of Christianity from a new angle: not the Christianization of people, but of structures of knowledge. In it, I recount the forging of new epistemic tools in the fires of doctrinal controversy during the early fourth century, and I trace the appropriation of those tools in secular domains of scholarship later in the fourth century, in the generations after Nicene Christians came to significant political power for the first time. The rise of Christianity has been described as a change in the content of ancient peoples’ beliefs. My work shows how imperial Christianity changed not just what people believe, but how people believe.
The work correlates dramatic innovations in book culture during the Theodosian dynasty across five languages and seven traditions of Roman scholarly literature, looking to shifts in the political and social landscape to explain the institution of a new epistemic regime. It mines late antique scholarly productions ranging from Roman juristic writings and authoritative legal compendia to Christian theological tractates and conciliar acta, military handbooks, historical narratives, miscellanies, grammatical treatises, and the Palestinian Talmud in order to explore the ways that imperial Christianity inflected the production of truth even in domains that do no constructive theological work, and it traces these changes from intellectual arguments to manuscript witnesses.
I am co-director of the Solomon's Pools Archaeological Project, as well as a field archaeologist with the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, where I focus on excavation of the Roman 6th Legion “Ferrata” castra in Legio, Israel.
I am a fellow of the American Academy in Rome (FAAR'19) and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. In fall 2019 I will be a Visiting Scholar in the Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità of La Sapienza University, Rome, and I will spend spring and summer of 2020 in Athens as the Oscar Broneer Traveling Fellow of the American School of Classical Studies.