Riotous scholarship: Aldrete will return, and with plans for new book

Some of his students construct shields and swords and mimic battles of the ancient Greeks. Others work to recreate ancient armor and then field-test its capabilities. To the delight of his students, UW-Green Bay history professor Greg Aldrete will return to teaching at the University in the 2011-12 academic year after a year of leave, but he’ll also continue the rigorous scholarship he’s known for, this time to write the book Riots in Ancient Rome.

Aldrete has landed yet another prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, this time for the 2012-13 academic year. The grant will provide 12 months support for Aldrete to research and write. His proposal for the book states that periodic episodes of rioting were well documented in Rome during the 575-year period from 200 BC to 375 AD. While this gave Rome a reputation for lawless violence, and indicted its poor as unruly, Aldrete argues that many of the riots were in fact organized, instigated and exploited by the political and social elite.

He says a comprehensive study of the Roman riots could shed light on civil disorder throughout history and even urban riots that plague some societies to this day.

Aldrete has earned widespread recognition for his scholarship and teaching. He has received UW-Green Bay Founders Association Awards for Excellence in the categories of teaching (2003) and scholarship (2006). In 2009 he received a national award of merit from the American Philological Association as one of the nation’s top teachers of classics. His Linothorax project, replicating the lightweight linen armor of the ancient Greeks and demonstrating its tactical advantages, was honored by the Archaeological Institute of America. (Watch a video on the project here.)

The NEH fellowship is the organization’s second Humanities Fellowship for Aldrete. In 2004-05 he received support to complete the well-received text Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome. He is also author of the book Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii and Ostia.

Aldrete is on leave from UW-Green Bay for the current 2010-11 academic year, serving as a postdoctoral fellow with the humanities research institute at UW-Madison.

You may also like...