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Richard Lim
Professor, Chair

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Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; Monday 4:00-5:00 p.m.; and by appointment

Richard Lim, professor of Ancient Mediterranean, Greece and Rome, Late Antiquity.

My scholarly focus is on the history and religions of late antiquity in the Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds, esp. the Later Roman Empire. I am working on several book projects, including Inventing the World: Transforming Civic Spectacles in Late Antique Rome and Carthage, Before Europe and Asia: The Invention of Civilization in Eurasia (under contract with Harvard Univ. Press); and Late Antiquity: A Social and Cultural History (under contract with Cambridge Univ. Press). Recent publications include scholarly articles on late antique adaptations of the literary dialogue form, the construction of Manichaeism in the Roman Empire, aspects of late Roman urbanism and interpretations of chariot-racing in the Circus Maximus, and thematic chapters on late antiquity/Later Roman Empire. Previous books include The Past Before Us: The Challenge of Historiographies of Late Antiquity, Carole Straw and Richard Lim, eds., Bibliothèque de l’Antiquité Tardive 6 and Smith College Studies in History 53 (Brepols: Turnhout, 2004 and Public Disputation, Power and Social Order in Late Antiquity, Transformation in the Classical Heritage 23 (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1995).

Richard Lim has been teaching the history of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds at Smith since 1990. Every semester, he offers one his four-course ancient history survey sequence: “Ancient (Archaic and Classical) Greece” (HST 202), “Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World” (203), “Roman Republic” (HST 204) and “Roman Empire” (HST 205). These introductory courses accommodate students with varying background and levels of preparation and indeed are designed to welcome entering/first-year students. He also offers colloquia on various topics in ancient history (HST 206), including “Ancient Greek and Roman Slavery” and “Greek Sports and Roman Games.” He also twice taught an interdisciplinary seminar (PRS/Presidential Seminar 313) on “Western Encounters in Afghanistan” with Cornelia Pearsall (English). In addition, he has been offering every year or every two years a course on the Ancient Silk Road (HST 201) that treats key Eurasian historical interactions from c. 500 B.C. to the end of the Mongol Empire. Several colleagues outside of History, including those in Art History, Classics, Religion, etc., also contribute through their courses and expertise to the richness of the ancient studies/history curriculum at Smith.