University of California, Riverside

Department of History

Michele R. Salzman

Michele R. Salzman
Office Phone: (951) 827-1991


Michele R. Salzman

Professor of History

Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College, 1981

Areas of specialization: Roman and Greek History; Late Antiquity; Religion in the Ancient World; Social History; Latin Literature


Salzman's research focuses on the religious and social history of Late Antiquity. She is author of On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity (UC Press, 1990), and numerous articles on Roman history and religion. Her second book, The Making of a Christian Aristocracy (Harvard University Press, 2002) examined the social and religious issues that bear upon the conversion of the Roman aristocracy from paganism to Christianity in the western Roman Empire in the century after Constantine. Her third book, The Letters of Symmachus: Book 1 (Translation with Michael Roberts, Introduction and Commentary by Michele Renee Salzman) Greco-Roman World Series of the Society of Biblical Literatures (Society of Biblical Literatures, 2011; Brill Press, 2012), provides the first English translation and commentary of the letters of one of the “last pagans of Rome.” She is the Senior Editor of The Cambridge History of Religions in the Ancient World, Volumes I and II (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and co-editor with M. Sághy and R. Lizzi-Testa of the Pagans and Christians in Late Antique Rome: Conflict, Competition and Coexistence in Late Antique Rome (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Salzman is currently working on a book project, The 'Falls' of Rome: The Transformations of Rome in Late Antiquity, 270-603 CE. Her book proposes a new way of looking at the city of Rome from the third through the sixth century not as a ‘decline and fall’ but as a series of negotiated responses to crises. The book considers evidence in the textual and archaeological remains for the role that the four dominant elites in the city of Rome played in response to a series of crises from the third to seventh centuries.
Salzman has received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, and the Whiting Foundation. In 2008 she was the Lucy Shoe Merritt Scholar in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. In 2010, she received an NEH Grant to be Project Director of a Summer Seminar at the American Academy in Rome on "The 'Falls' of Rome: The Transformations of Rome in Late Antiquity."

She was elected Chair of the Advisory Council of the School of Classical Studies of the American Academy in Rome in 2013 and was elected Vice President for Programs for the Society of Classical Studies for 2015-2018. She is currently a member of the California Consortium for Late Antiquity and serves as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Tri-Campus Classics Program.

Before joining the faculty at the University of California, Riverside in 1995, Salzman taught at Swarthmore College, Columbia University, and at Boston University.


Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, 1985-86

Professor-In-Charge, Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, 2003-2004

American Philological Association Award for Outreach as member of the Steering Committee of the UC Multi-Campus Research Group in Late Antiquity

Lucy Shoe Merritt Scholar in Residence at the American Academy in Rome, 2008

University of California Presidential Chair, 2009-2012

NEH Grant as Director of a Summer Seminar at the American Academy in Rome, Project Director for "The 'Falls' of Rome:  The Transformations of Rome in Late Antiquity," June 28-July 30, 2010

Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, 2014

NEH Summer Stipend, 2014


  • American Philological Association
  • American Philosophical Society
  • Archaeological Institute of America
  • Association of Ancient Historians
  • North American Patristic Society
  • Society of Biblical Literatures
  • Tri-Campus Classics Program, Chair of the Executive Committee


UC Riverside Courses:

  • Senior Seminars in Pagans and Christians, Constantine, Romans and Barbarians, The Age of Augustus
  • The Roman Republic
  • The Roman Empire
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Rome: The Eternal City. History, Topography, Monuments
  • Cities in the Roman Empire
  • Materials for the Roman Empire
  • Religions of the Ancient World
  • Women and the Family in the Ancient World

Tri-Campus Classics Courses:

  • Latin Epistolography
  • Tacitus
  • The Age of Trajan
  • Pliny and his world
  • Varro and Augustine
  • Education in Late Antiquity

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

CHASS Student Academic Affairs
3400 Humanities & Social Sciences Bldg.
Tel: (951) 827-3683
Fax: (951) 827-5836

College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
3413 Humanities & Social Sciences Bldg.
Tel: (951) 827-1546
Fax: (951) 827-4537


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