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Christopher Star

Professor of Classics, Middlebury

I received degrees in Classics from Bates College (BA), the University of Cambridge (MPhil) and the University of Chicago (PhD). I also studied at the Humboldt University in Berlin. My teaching and research focus on the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. My long-standing interests lie in considering how the Romans came to grips with the transition from freedom to autocracy, how this transition shaped their concept of the self, and how their ideas continue to inform modern debates. My first book, The Empire of the Self, looks at the relationship between two of the emperor Nero’s advisors, the Stoic philosopher and dramatist Lucius Annaeus Seneca, and Petronius, the author of the proto-novel the Satyricon. I have also written Seneca, an introduction to his life, works and legacy, the first of its kind in English in several years.

My current research focuses on eschatology and accounts of global catastrophe. I have published Apocalypse and Golden Age: The End of the World in Greek and Roman Thought. I am also working with the inaugural Humanities Research Seminar on the topic, “Crisis, Catastrophe, and Recovery.” Supported by a grant from, I am developing a digital project that documents and analyzes the history and uses of the word “apocalypse” from ancient Greece to contemporary media.


  • –present
    Professor of Classics, Middlebury


    University of Chicago, PhD Classics