Matthew Roller is a Romanist whose research and teaching are broadly concerned with the literature, history, art, philosophy, and culture of the ancient Roman world. He is the author of three monographs: Constructing Autocracy: Aristocrats and Emperors in Julio-Claudian Rome (Princeton University Press, 2001), Dining Posture in Ancient Rome: Bodies, Values, and Status (Princeton University Press, 2006), and Models from the Past in Roman Culture: A World of Exempla (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
Professor Roller has broad interests in the relationship between monumentality and memory in ancient Rome, in the moral philosophy of the younger Seneca, and in Roman reciprocity and social exchange. He is particularly interested in aristocratic competition in ancient Rome, and how that competition develops and changes from the middle Republic to the high Empire. His current book-scale project is an investigation of the arenas of competitive eloquence in the early Imperial period, from the Augustan age into the 2nd century CE.
Professor Roller’s research has been supported by major awards from the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; he has also received smaller awards from diverse funders to support particular projects.
Professor Roller has been a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University since 1994. His service to the institution includes chairing the Classics Department for seven years and the Anthropology Department for one year. Also, from 2012 to 2014 he led the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences’ decennial accreditation effort, and from 2015 to 2020 he served as Vice Dean for Graduate Education and Centers & Programs in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.