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Jake Nabel

Jake Nabel

Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

322 Weaver Building University Park , PA 16802 Office Phone: (814) 865-2700


  1. PhD in Classics, Cornell University (2017)
  2. Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania (2010)
  3. BA, Bard College (2007)


I’m a historian of ancient Rome and its relations with the empires of pre-Islamic Iran. My research centers on interstate affairs between the early Principate and the Parthian empire, Rome’s imperial peer on the Iranian plateau, but I also maintain active interests in Latin literature, the Hellenistic East, and Sasanian history. In all my work, I draw on both Greco-Roman literary texts and Near Eastern sources to promote the fuller integration of ancient Persia into the study of the classical Mediterranean. In the classroom, I help students put Roman and Near Eastern history in dialogue with one another and with the historiographic mainstream, combining close readings of primary sources with comparative treatments of topics like political institutions, trade, and slavery. I also enjoy teaching the Greek and Latin texts at the heart of the classical tradition, especially historians like Thucydides and Tacitus. My interest in Near Eastern sources and in the digital humanities led to my creation of Parthian Sources Online (, a digital collection of texts for the study of the Parthian empire. I currently maintain the project as PI. My CV and publications are available at

Student Testimonial

“The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an incredibly helpful community of individuals who love to learn. The faculty members of this department are very thoughtful and provide invaluable assistance to otherwise confused undergraduates. (...)
The smaller department size allows students to establish relationships with faculty and to establish a community in a school that might otherwise seem dauntingly large. The Classics and the study of the ancient Mediterranean world are strong at Penn State. For a school that prides itself on cutting-edge research and applied sciences, Penn State is a superb promoter of the Humanities. This support allows the CAMS department to recruit world-class faculty, provide generous funding and aid to undergraduates, and establish resources for research. The structure of the department was a perfect fit for me and allowed me to explore a wide-range of subjects related to my interests. In my four years in the program, I strengthened my Latin and Greek and was also able to study Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian. I now look forward to continuing my training in philology as I pursue graduate study.”

Timothy W. Dooley
2011 CAMS graduate

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