Adam Kemezis

A photo of Adam Kemezis

I am a Roman historian working on the mid-to-late Imperial period (2c-4c AD). My research focuses mostly on literary texts in both Latin and Greek, especially historiography and other narrative genres. Most of my publications deal with Greek-language authors including Cassius Dio and Philostratus and also broader topics involving Greek literature and culture under the empire. Currently, I am working on several aspects of the literary representation of Roman emperors, including in Tacitus and the Historia Augusta. This quarter at UCLA, I am teaching courses on “Lucian and His Times” (graduate-level) and “Ancient Warfare” (undergraduate).


  • AB – Stanford (1999)
  • PhD – Michigan (2006)



  • Greek Narratives of the Roman Empire under the Severans: Cassius Dio, Philostratus and Herodian. Cambridge University Press, 2014. Reviews in AHB, BMCR, CR, Histos, Mouseion, JHS, JRS.

Edited Volumes

  • (Co-edited with Patrick Hogan) Writing Imperial Politics in Greek. Special issue of CW 110.1-2 (2016-7)
  • Urban Dreams and Realities in Antiquity: Remains and Representations of the Ancient City. Brill, 2014.

Articles and Chapters:

  • Inglorius labor?: The Rhetoric of Glory and Utility in Plutarch and Tacitus,” in CW 110.1 (special issue on “Writing Imperial Politics in Greek”), p. 87-117.
  • (Co-written with Patrick Hogan) “Introduction: The Empire’s Second Language?” in CW 110.1 (special issue on “Writing Imperial Politics in Greek”), p. 31-42.
  • “Caesar’s Vesontio Speech and the Rhetoric of Mendacity in the Late Republic (Dio 38.36-46),” in Cassius Dio: Greek Intellectual and Roman Politician, Carsten Lange and Jesper Majbom Madsen, eds. Brill, 2016: 238-57.
  • “The Fall of Elagabalus as Literary Narrative and Political Reality: A Reconsideration,” in Historia 65 (2016): 348-90.
  • “Flavian Greek Literature,” in A Companion to the Flavian Age, Andrew Zissos ed.. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016: 450-68.
  • “Greek Ethnicity and the Second Sophistic,” in A Companion to Ethnicity in the Ancient Mediterranean, Jeremy McInerney, ed.. Wiley-Blackwell, 2014: 390-404.
  • “Politics and the Fictional Narrator in Philostratus’ Apollonius,” in CA 33.1 (2014): 61-101.
  • “Introduction” in Urban Dreams and Realities in Antiquity: Remains and Representations of the Ancient City. Brill, 2014.
  • “Commemoration of the Antonine Aristocracy in Cassius Dio and the Historia Augusta,” in CQ 62.1 (2012): 387-414.
  • “Narrative of Cultural Geography in Philostratus’ Lives of the Sophists,” in Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique. Pascale Fleury and Thomas Schmidt, eds., U. of Toronto Press, 2011: 3-22.
  • “Lucian, Fronto and the Absence of Contemporary Historiography under the Antonines,” in AJP 131 (2010): 285-325.
  • “Augustus the Ironic Paradigm: Cassius Dio’s Portrayal of the Lex Julia and Lex Papia Poppaea,” in Phoenix 61 (2007): 270-85.

Reviews and Other Publications:

  • Review of K. Welch, ed., Appian’s Roman History: Empire and Civil War. In BMCR 2016.11.32.
  • Review of A. Free, Geschichtsschreibung als Paideia: Lukians Schrift ‘Wie man Geschichte schreiben soll’ in der Bildungskultur des 2 Jhr n. Chr, in Sehepunkte 16.6 (2016).
  • Review of A. Galimberti ed., Erodiano e Commodo: Traduzione e commento storico al primo libro della Storia dell’Impero dopo Marco in Anzeiger für die Altertumswissenschaft 68 (2015), col. 55-58.
  • Review of J. M. Madsen and R. Rees, edd., Roman Rule in Greek and Latin Writing: Double Vision in Histos 9.
  • Review of C. Davenport and J. Manley, eds. Fronto: Selected Letters in CR 65 (2015): 157-9.
  • Review of J. Langford, Maternal Megalomania: Julia Domna and the Imperial Politics of Motherhood in BMCR March 2014.
  • Review of C. Rowan, Under Divine Auspices. CJ Online Reviews, November 2013
  • Review of A.G.G. Gibson (ed.), The Julio-Claudian Succession in AHB Online Reviews 3 (2013).
  • Review of L. Kim, Homer between History and Fiction in Imperial Greek Literature in Phoenix 66.1/2 (2012): 182-84.
  • Review of D. Mattingly, Imperialism, Power and Identity: Experiencing the Roman Empire in Mouseion 9.2 (2009): 194-99.
  • Review of K. Demoen and D. Praet, eds. Theios Sophistes: Essays on the Vita Apollonii in BMCR October 2009.
  • Encyclopedia entries “Commodus” and “Philippus Arabs” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Greece and Rome, 2009
  • Review of C.P. Jones ed. and trans. Philostratus: Apollonius of Tyana vol. 3 in BMCR July 2007.
  • Review of P.M. Swan, The Augustan Succession: An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History, Books 55-56 (9 B.C.-A.D. 14) in BMCR July 2005.

In Progress:

  • “The Biographer as Literary Artist: Form and Content in Philostratus’ Apollonius,” for the Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Biography, Koen de Temmerman, ed. Submitted, awaiting completion of volume.
  • “Beyond City Limits: Citizenship and Authorship in Imperial Greek Literature,” for volume Citizenship(s) and Political-Religious Self-Definitions in the Roman Empire, Katell Berthelot and Jonathan Price, eds. Volume under review with Peeters.
  • Pater semper incertus: Tacitus and the Father of Agricola.” Under review with journal Antiquitas aeterna.
  • “Inventing Traditions and Constructing Monarchy in the Historia Augusta,” for edited volume Les historiens grecs et romains: entre sources et modèles, Breno Battistin Sebastiani and Olivier Devillers, eds. Volume under review wth Ausonius.
  • “Parallel Narratives and Resolutions in Appian, Florus and the Greek Novels.” Planned chapter in book based on Boston Literary Interactions conference. Ed. by Alice König, Rebecca Langlands and Chris Whitton.
  • Commentary on Cassius Dio, Books 38-40. Planned manuscript for ongoing Oxford University Press serial commentary.
  • (with A.V. Makhlayuk and K.V. Markov) Planned edited volume Clio in the North: Selected Soviet and Russian Scholarship on Imperial Roman Historiography. Under contract with Brill.