Susanna Elm


Sidney H. Ehrman Chair and Distinguished Professor of European History


DPhil Oxon, Literae Humaniores (Ancient History) St. Hilda's College, 1986

Philosophicum, summa cum laude, Free University Berlin (BA-equivalent in Philosophy and education), 1982

Interim examination, summa cum laude, University Berlin, 1980

Music certificate, qualified flute teacher, North Rhine Westphalian Academy of Music, 1978

Valedictorian, Gymnasium Leopoldinum I, Detmold, 1978

Research Interests

Ancient History with a focus on the political, economic, religious and cultural history of the later Roman Empire, East and West. Current projects include Augustine of Hippo and slavery, the possibility of formulating a theology of economics, late Roman Antioch, elite display, and aspects of ancient medicine.


2022 - present, Distinguished Professor of History and Ancient Greek and Roman Studies

2015–2022, Sidney H. Ehrman Professor of European History, UC Berkeley

2002–Present, Professor of History and Classics, UC Berkeley

1999–2004, Director, Undergraduate Program in Religious Studies

1997–2004, Chair, Graduate Program in Ancient Mediterranean History and Archaeology

1994–2002, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley

1994–19955, Acting Director, Graduate Program in Ancient Mediterranean History and Archaeology

Co-Director, Interdisciplinary Program for Religious Studies

1988–1994, Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

Awards & Honors Since 2000

2021 -  Corresponding Fellow, The British Academy

2020-2021 ACLS and Loeb Foundation grants

2018, Visiting Professor, Sonderforschungsbereich Bedrohte Ordnungen, at the Lehrstuhl Professor Irmgard Männlein-Robert, Klassische Philologie, Universität Tübingen, May-July

2018, Hyde Lecturer in Ancient History, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, March 19-23

2017, Hedi-Fritz-Niggli University Professor, Universität Zürich, Spring semester

2013–2014, UC Regents' Faculty Research and Mellon Research Fellowship

2013, May-July, Researcher in Residence (by invitation), Center for Advanced Studies (CAS), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

2009 Fall, Visiting Professor, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies (CAS)

2007, American Philological Association Prize for Scholarly Outreach for the Multi-Campus Research Group Late Antiquity Steering Committee.

2007, Ellen Maria Gorrison Berlin Prize Fellow, American Academy Berlin, Spring.

2003, UC Berkeley Regents' Faculty Research Fellowship, Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Eberhard-Karls Universität;t Tübingen, Fall.

2000–2001, Fellow, Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton

Invitation to the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, declined


The Emperors's Eunuch: Civil War, Queer Masculinities, and Imperial Representation in the Early Theodosian Age, UC Press, forthcoming.

A Short History of Ancient Christianity. With Rebecca Lyman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, under contract.

The Emperors's Eunuch: Political Unity, Manliness, and Imperial Representation in the Theodosian Age. In preparation. 

Sold: Augustine of Hippo on Slavery, Taxation, and Original Sin. In preparation.

Virgins of God. The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity. Oxford Classical Monograph Series. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994; paperback, 1996, re-ed. 1999, 2003; e-book 2006; Fecioarele lui Dumnezeu: Întemeierea ascetismului în Antichitatea Târzie, Romanian trans. Eva Darmian, Iasi: Editura Doxologia, 2020.

Sons of Hellenism, Fathers of the Church: Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus, and the Vision of Rome. Berkeley: UC Press, 2012; paperback 2015. Winner 2013 C. J. Goodwin Award of Merit, American Philological Association.

Virgins of God. The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity. Oxford Classical Monograph Series. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994; Paperback, 1996, re-ed. 1999, 2003; e-book 2006).

Co-edited Books

The Late (Wild) Augustine, edited by Susanna Elm and Christopher M. Blunda, Leiden: Brill/Schoeningh, 2020.

The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Christianity. Ed. S. Elm and R. Lyman. Cambridge University Press, under contract.

Material Christianity, ed. Christopher Ocker and Susanna Elm. Springer Nature, 2020. 

Antioch: The Many Faces of Antioch: Intellectual Exchange and Religious Diversity (CE 350-450). Ed. Silke-Petra Bergjan and Susanna Elm, COMES, Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2018.

Braut Christi: Familienformen in Europa im Spiegel der sponsa, Ed. Susanna Elm and Barbara Vinken, München: W. Fink Verlag, 2016.

Wer heilt, hat Recht? Medizin, Kunst, Ritus. Ed. Stefan Willich and Susanna Elm. Trigon 11, Guardini Stiftung, Berlin: Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag 2014, 45-102.

Quo Vadis Medical Healing. Past Concepts and New Approaches. Ed. Susanna Elm and Stefan Willich. International Library of Ethics, Law and the New Medicine 44. New York: Springer, 2009.

Violence in Late Antiquity: Perceptions and Practices. Ed. Hal Drake and co-ed. E. Albu, S. Elm, M. Maas, C. Rapp, M. Salzman. London: Ashgate, 2006.

Medical Challenges for the New Millennium — An Interdisciplinary Task. Ed. Stefan N. Willich and Susanna Elm. New York/Amsterdam: Kluver, 2001.

Orthodoxie, christianisme, histoire-Orthodoxy, Christianity, History. Ed. Susanna Elm, Éric Rebillard and Antonella Romano. Collection de l'École française de Rome 270. Rome: École française de Rome, 2000; e-book 2007.

The "Holy Man" Revisited (1971-1997): Charisma, Texts, and Communities in Late Antiquity. Ed. Susanna Elm and Naomi Janowitz. Special Issue Journal of Early Christian Studies 6: 3 (1998).

Articles Since 2015

"The Human Condition: Condicio and origo in Augustine (Letters 10*, 20*, and 24*)," in Making Sense of the Oath, ed. Stephan Esders, in Cultural Encounters, Brepols, forthcoming.

"Augustinus, De Genesi ad Litteram Book 9," in Augustinus De Genesi ad Litteram, ed. Johannes Brachtendorf and Volker Drecoll, Schöningen, forthcoming.

"Eutropius the Consul, Eutropius the Eunuch: Power, Ugliness, and Imperial Representation," in Inclusion-Exclusion, ed. Peter Schadler and Yitzhak Hen, Cultural Encounters, Brepols, forthcoming.

"Bodies, Books, Histories: Augustine of Hippo and the Extra-ordinary," in Constructing Christians: Rhetoric and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity, ed. Richard Flower and Morwenna Ludlow, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

"Dressing Moses: Reading Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses Literally", in Gregory of Nyssa, ed. Mark Edwards and Anna Marmodoro, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

"Death and the Tigris: Does Later Roman Historiography Represent an Antiochene Agenda? (Festus and Eutropius)", in The Many Faces of Antioch: Intellectual Exchange and Religious Diversity in Antioch (CE 350-450). Ed. S.-P. Bergjan and S. Elm, Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2018, 171-197. "Introduction: The Many Faces of Antioch," ibid., 9-18.

"Sold to Sin through origo: Augustine of Hippo on Slavery and Freedom" (Oxford International Patristic Conference Opening Keynote), Studia Patristica 98 (2017):1-21.

"'The Old Man from Tyre': Julian's Contra Galilaeos and the Fourth-century Nachleben of Porphyry's Engagement with the Christians," in Die Christen als Bedrohung? Text, Context und Wirkung von Porphyrios' Contra Christianos, ed. Irmgard MännleinRobert, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2017, 307-324.

"Signs under the Skin: Flogging Eternal Rome," in Unter die Haut. Tätowierungen als Logound Piktogramme, ed. Iris Därmann and Thomas Macho, Munich/Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2017, 51-75.

"New Romans: Salvian of Marseilles on The Government of God," NAPS Presidential Address, Journal of Early Christian Studies 25 (2017): 1-28.

"Die sponsa Christi und der 'marriage plot' – eine neue Rolle für Frauen und ihre Entwicklung im spätrömischen Reich," in Braut Christi: Familienformen in Europa, ed. S. Elm and B. Vinken, Munich-Paderborn: W. Fink Verlag, 2016, 25-43. With Barbara Vinken, "Braut Christi. Familienformen in Europa im Spiegel der sponsa," ibid., 7-23.

"The Letter Collection of the Emperor Julian," in Collected Epistolography in Late Antiquity, eds. E.J. Watts, B. Storin, C. Sogno, Berkeley: UC California Press, 2016, 54-68. 9

"Response to Stefan Esders: Deditio and Baptism," in Borders: Terms, Ideologies and Performances, ed. A. Weissenrieder, Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2016, 135-142.

"Bürger und Fremde im römischen Reich," Merkur. Deutsche Zeitschrift für europäisches Denken, März 2016, 77-84.

"Autobiography as Apology-an Episcopal Genre? Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus, Augustine of Hippo," in Spätantike Konzeptionen von Literatur – Notions of the Literary in Late Antiquity. Ed. J.R. Stenger. Heidelberg: Winter, 2015, 41-56.

"When Augustine Spoke of Babylon, What did he See?" in Translatio Babylonis: Unsere orientalische Moderne, ed. B. Vinken, Munich-Paderborn: W. Fink Verlag, 2015, 29-42.

"Gregory of Nazianzus: Mediation between Individual and Community," in Group Identity and Religious Individuality in Late Antiquity. Ed. E. Rebillard and J. Rüpke, American University Press, Washington D.C., 2015, 89-107.

"Con/discordia (Prudentius)," in Rom rückwärts: Europäische Übertragungsschicksale von Lucan bis Lacan. Ed. J.Kasper und C. Wild, Munich: W. Fink Verlag, 2015, 47-55.

Professor Susanna Elm


3321 Dwinelle Hall

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