The Catholic University of America

Professor William E. Klingshirn 

Professor William Klingshirn, Department of Greek and Latin  

William E. Klingshirn (email; AB, Holy Cross, 1977; AM, PhD, Stanford, 1982, 1985), ordinary professor, specializes in the history and culture of the late antique Mediterranean world. His current research is focused on diviners and divination in the Roman empire, on definitions of Christian culture in the early middle ages, and on the reception of Caesarius of Arles in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Professor Klingshirn has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1988-89; 2006-07) and the American Council of Learned Societies (2000-01).  He is past president of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States (CAAS) and a member of the editorial committee of Translated Texts for Historians.  From 2007 to 2013 he served on the Board of Editors of Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought and Religion. He now serves on the editorial board (Doctorum Collegium) of the journal Latinitas (series nova), published by the Pontifical Academy for Latin. A CUA faculty member since 1985, he has taught a wide range of courses in classics, ancient history, Latin, Greek, early Christianity, and late antiquity, and regularly participates in the Christian Tradition sequence of the Honors Program. He currently serves as Director of CUA's Center for the Study of Early Christianity. In 2014 he was appointed a Fellow (sodalis) of the Pontifical Academy for Latin, and in 2015 was honored with an ovatio by the Classical Association of the Atlantic States.

courses taught and upcoming

Spring 2016
  • CLAS 206/HIST 206, History of Ancient Rome
  • LAT 705/ECST 705, Lived Religion in Merovingian Gaul
Sample past courses
  • GL 755, Greek and Latin Epigraphy
  • GR 208, Sophocles
  • HSHU 101, The Christian Tradition I: From Jesus to Muhammad
  • LAT 465, Advanced Latin Seminar
  • LAT 476/576, Cicero, De Divinatione
  • LAT 509, Intensive Elementary Latin
  • LAT 515, Roman Historiography
  • LAT 524, Julius Caesar
  • LAT 528, Roman Lyric
  • LAT 579, Roman Epistolography
  • LAT 609, Gregory of Tours
  • LAT 705, Patristic Seminar-Caesarius of Arles
  • LAT 707, The Later Roman Empire
  • CLAS 205/HIST 305, History of the Ancient Mediterranean I
  • CLAS 206/HIST 314, History of the Ancient Mediterranean II
  • CLAS 302, Greek and Roman Religion
  • CLAS 305, The Roman Family
  • CLAS 321/521, Numismatic Workshop
  • CLAS 572, The Mediterranean World of Late Antiquity
  • CLAS 621, Gibbon’s Decline and Fall


Selected recent Articles and book chapters

  • “Theology and History in the Thought of Robert Austin Markus.” Papers Presented at the Sixteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies held in Oxford, 2011, ed. M. Vinzent, 73–83, Vol. 1: Former Directors, Studia Patristica 53 (Leuven: Peeters, 2013).
  • "Defining the Sortes Sanctorum: Gibbon, Du Cange, and Early Christian Lot Divination," Journal of Early Christian Studies 10 (2002), 77-130.
  • "Isidore of Seville's Taxonomy of Magicians and Diviners," Traditio 58 (2003), 59-90.
  • "Divination and the Disciplines of Knowledge according to Augustine," in Augustine and the Disciplines: From Cassiciacum to Confessions, ed. Karla Pollmann and Mark Vessey (Oxford, 2005), 113-40.
  • "Christian Divination in Late Roman Gaul: the Sortes Sangallenses," in Mantikê: Studies in Ancient Divination, ed. Sarah Iles Johnston and Peter T. Struck (Leiden, 2005), 99-128.
  • "Inventing the sortilegus: Lot Divination and Cultural Identity in Italy, Rome, and the Provinces," in Religion in Republican Italy, ed. Celia E. Schultz and Paul B. Harvey, Jr. (Cambridge, 2006), 137–61.
  • "Comer y beber con los muertos: Mónnica de Tagaste y la adivinación de los sueños beréber" (trans. Enrique A. Eguiarte), Augustinus 52 (2007), 127–31.
  • “Cultural Geography: Roman North Africa,” in A Companion to Augustine, ed. Mark Vessey with the assistance of Shelley Reid (Oxford, 2012), 24-39.
  • "Christianity in Gaul," in The Cambridge History of Religions in the Ancient World, gen. ed. Michele R. Salzman, vol. 2: From the Hellenistic Age to Late Antiquity, ed. William Adler (Cambridge, 2013), 484-509.