Gregory S. Aldrete

Frankenthal Professor of History and Humanistic Studies

Interests: Ancient Greek and Roman History; Daily Life in the Roman World; The City of Rome; Floods in Rome; Military History; Roman Rhetoric and Oratory

After earning my undergraduate degree from Princeton University and my Ph.D in ancient history from the University of Michigan, I joined the History Department at UWGB in 1995. I teach classes in History and Humanistic Studies including: Foundations of Western Culture I, Perspectives on Human Values: The Classical World, History of Ancient Greece, History of Ancient Rome, War and Civilization, Topics in Ancient History, and Interdisciplinary Themes and Great Works courses.

My particular areas of research interest are the history of the Roman Empire, rhetoric and oratory, military history, and urban problems in the ancient world. I have written several books, including: Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins 2007), Gestures and Acclamations in Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins, 1999), Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii and Ostia (Univ. of Oklahoma, 2009), The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Done For Us? with Alicia Aldrete (Continuum 2012), Ancient Linen Body Armor: Unraveling the Linothorax Mystery with S. Bartell and A. Aldrete (Johns Hopkins, 2013), and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life in the Ancient World (Greenwood, 2004), as well as various chapters in books and articles. I have been fortunate enough to have held a number of fellowships which have enhanced my understanding of the ancient world and made possible research trips to Italy to view museum collections and archaeological sites. Most pleasant of these were two NEH fellowships which allowed me to spend several summers at the American Academy in Rome. Additionally, I was awarded two full-year NEH Humanities Fellowships in 2004-2005 and 2012-2013. In 2006, I attended an NEH seminar at UCLA that investigated using high-tech three-dimensional virtual reality models of ancient Rome as aids to teaching and research. One of my ongoing research endeavors is a collaborative project with students that attempts to reconstruct and test a type of ancient body armor known as a linothorax, which is made out of laminated layers of linen. (See "UWGB Linothorax Project" link below for more details).

In the past few years, I have begun making video courses with the Great Courses/The Teaching Company. The first three of these are: A History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective, a 48-lecture survey of world history from Mesopotamia to the Middle Ages, Decisive Battles of World History, a 36-lecture course that examines how various battles constituted key turning points in history that shaped and determined the world that we live in today, and History's Greatest Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach, a 24-lecture course that examines various notable military disasters and considers what we can learn from them.

I firmly believe in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the ancient world which combines history, philology, archaeology, and art history and which uses both textual and physical evidence. For me, some of the most exciting moments of my research, such as examining 1,500 year old manuscripts at the Vatican Library, have involved physical evidence, and I have tried to incorporate this approach into my teaching as well, by bringing artifacts such as coins into the classroom and by always emphasizing the close reading of a variety of primary sources. As a teacher, my goals are to convey to my students a bit of the enthusiasm for and fascination with the ancient world that I feel, and to show some of the connections between that world and our own.

Please click any of the links below to explore aspects of my activities:

Curriculum Vitae  
The UWGB Linothorax Project roman gestures Roman Oratorical Gestures
Greek Hoplite Battle Roman Army Training

Office: 369 Theatre Hall

Mailing address:
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
2420 Nicolet Dr., Theatre Hall 331
Green Bay, WI 54311