Gary Forsythe

Gary Forsythe

Professor - Ancient Greece and Rome


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania


Professor Forsythe came to Texas Tech University in the fall of 2000, after having taught Greek and Roman history and Greek and Latin language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, and the University of Chicago, and after receiving a two-year research fellowship in the School of Historical Study at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of seven books, as well as numerous articles and book reviews; and he has presented 27 papers at conferences, including an international convention on the history, politics, and religion of Rome during the middle republic, held in Rome in September of 1998. Three of his books concern early Roman history and its annalistic tradition. Although his published scholarship involves many aspects of Roman history, religion, and epigraphy, his first published article concerned the Greek historian Thucydides, and his most recent teaching at the graduate level has concentrated on major periods and topics of ancient Greek history. One of his books (A Critical History of Early Rome: From Prehistory to the First Punic War) was published in 2005 by the University of California Press and received the Texas Tech University President?s Book Award for 2005. His most recent book, published in 2012, is Time in Roman Religion: One Thousand Years of Religious History. It is published by Routledge in its series, Routledge Studies in Ancient History. It is a collection of six essays concerning various aspects and problems of Roman religious history with various concepts of time serving as both the unifying theme and the analytical methodology. The scope of these six essays range from early times to late antiquity, including an examination of how December 25th became the birthday of Jesus.

Published Works

A Critical History of Early Rome

A Critical History of Early Rome by Dr. Gary Forsythe

During the period from Rome's Stone Age beginnings on the Tiber River to its conquest of the Italian peninsula in 264 B.C., the Romans in large measure developed the social, political, and military structure that would be the foundation of their spectacular imperial success. In this comprehensive and clearly written account, Gary Forsythe draws extensively from historical, archaeological, linguistic, epigraphic, religious, and legal evidence as he traces Rome's early development within a multicultural environment of Latins, Sabines, Etruscans, Greeks, and Phoenicians. His study charts the development of the classical republican institutions that would eventually enable Rome to create its vast empire, and provides fascinating discussions of topics including Roman prehistory, religion, and language.

In addition to its value as an authoritative synthesis of current research, A Critical History of Early Rome offers a revisionist interpretation of Rome's early history through its innovative use of ancient sources. The history of this period is notoriously difficult to uncover because there are no extant written records, and because the later historiography that affords the only narrative accounts of Rome's early days is shaped by the issues, conflicts, and ways of thinking of its own time. This book provides a groundbreaking examination of those surviving ancient sources in light of their underlying biases, thereby reconstructing early Roman history upon a more solid evidentiary foundation.

Read reviews on Amazon.com.

Livy and Early Rome

Livy and Early Rome by Dr. Gary Forsythe

Livy's work is of interest to two distinct schools of history and literary criticism and Forsythe argues that this has resulted in some conflicting interpretations about various aspects, including Livy's sources and his relationship to his subjects. This study concentrates on Livy's working methods as an ancient historian, a perspective often overlooked, and is aimed at readers interested in early Roman history and Livian historiography. All extracts are accompanied by English translations.

Learn more at Amazon.com.

A Concise History of Western Civilization

A Concise History of Western Civilization by Dr. Gary Forsythe

Learn more at Amazon.com.


The Historian L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi and the Roman Annalistic Tradition

The Historian L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi and the Roman Annalistic Tradition by Dr. Gary Forsythe

Forsythe exhaustively examines all surviving fragments from Piso's history. Piso's centrality to many important historical and historiographical issues of the regal period, early republic, and middle republic and the relative abundance of his fragments and testimonia on his life make the work wide ranging in its scope. In a comprehensive and contextual manner, the author treats his subjects in the broader contexts of Roman history and the annalistic tradition.

Contents: List of Abbreviations; Preface and Acknowledgements; Piso's Family and Political Career; Prolegomena to the History; Piso's First Book, The Regal Period; Piso's Second and Third Books, The Early Republic; Piso's Later Books, The Middle Republic; Appendix, Testimonia and Fragments; Bibliography; Index.

Learn more at Amazon.com.

Contact Information

Email: Gary.Forsythe@ttu.edu
Office: 142 Holden Hall
Website: http://courses.ttu.edu/gforsyth