James Wolfe

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Hellenic Studies, funded by the Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity, 2021-2022

  • Degree
    Ph.D., Classics, The Ohio State University, 2020
    Bēth Rhōmāyē: Being and Belonging in Syriac in the Late Roman Empire
    Research Project
    Syriac Terms for Roman Institutions: A Glossary and Analysis
Contact Info

James Wolfe is a historian of Roman institutions and the Roman administration in early Christian communities in the late antique Near East, and especially in Syriac-speaking communities in the late Roman empire. His research focuses on cultural exchange in Roman imperial contexts and the replication of Roman thought-patterns in Greek, Syriac, and Armenian texts. James received his Ph.D. in Greek and Latin from the Department of Classics at The Ohio State University in December 2020, where he studied the ways in which Syriac-speaking communities and their texts engaged with contemporary Roman ideologies of ethnicity and citizenship. He has also worked on the reception of Plutarch in Armenian historiography (JECS 31.1, forthcoming), as well as the reception of Ephrem in two early-modern Armenian manuscripts.

About the Research Project

Syriac Terms for Roman Institutions: A Glossary and Analysis

My current book project, provisionally titled Imperial Syriac and the Institutions of Rome in Syriac Literature, seeks to uncover the ways in which Syriac-speakers and their communities navigated being Roman in Syriac and how their experiences as subjects of empire can elucidate the impact of Roman imperial rule on provincial populations more generally. It argues that living under Rome as Roman subjects informed not only how Syriac-speakers thought about empire, sovereignty, and citizenship, but also how they thought about themselves and their communities both in Roman imperial contexts and in various non- and post-Roman imperial contexts. In addition to the print book, I have constructed a prototype of an online searchable database of Syriac Terms for Roman Institutions (STRI) that will serve as a digital companion to the book.