I am a late Roman historian and work on the political and institutional history of the empire between the second and fifth centuries, with a special interest in how one can read historical sources against the background of other evidence. My first book was a study of Roman and post-Roman Spain that tried to set the small body of written texts against the background of material culture; my second looked at the impact of Roman imperialism on neighboring territories and argued that the history of the barbarians, specifically the Goths, can be understood entirely as a response to Roman imperialism. I am presently at work on four projects: a history of the Roman empire from Hadrian to the fall of the western empire for the Profile History of the Ancient World; a study of late imperial political culture and the gap between political rhetoric and political practice called The Rhetoric of Being Roman; a history of the Latin chronicle tradition from its beginnings to the fifth century AD, in four volumes and in collaboration with R.W. Burgess; and as editor-in-chief of the forthcoming Landmark Ammianus Marcellinus.
Before coming to Penn State in 2009, I taught for eight years at the University of Tennessee
“Coded Polemic in Ammianus Book 31 and the Date and Place of Its Composition,” Journal of Roman Studies 102 (2012): 79-102.
“Barbarische Identität. Aktuelle Forschungen und neue Interpretationsansätze,” in M. Konrad and C. Witschel, edd.Römische Legionslager in den Rhein- und Donauprovinzen -- Nuclei spätantik-frümittelalterlichen Lebens? Munich: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2012. Pp. 103-11.
Rome’s Gothic Wars from the Third Century to Alaric. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. [German translation, Die Goten vor Rom, Darmstadt: Theiss, 2009; Portuguese translation, Guerras Góticas de Roma, Sâo Paolo: Madras, 2009; French translation, Rome et les Goths, IIIe-Ve siècle: invasions et intégration, Paris: Editions Autrement, 2009]
“Mark Antony’s Last Throw,” London Review of Books 34.20 (25 October 2012): 15-16.