Shane Bjornlie, Ph.D.

Professor of History



Areas of Expertise

Late Antique History
Roman History
Kravis Center

Office Hours

Tuesday, 1-4 p.m.
Thursday, 1-4 p.m.
and by appointment


Professor Bjornlie is a historian of the Roman Mediterranean and Europe. His research examines the period known as Late Antiquity (4th through 6th centuries AD), with overlap in the study of the High Roman Empire (1st through 3rd centuries AD) and the Early Middle Ages (to the 9th century AD). Professor Bjornlie's primary historical interest is in the political, economic and cultural end of the Roman Empire in the western Mediterranean and Europe and in the ways that the end of the Roman Empire registered in the political, intellectual and religious lives of communities and individuals. His current research project (a book titled, The End of Empire in Late Antique Memory) examines how authors of the late-4th through 10th centuries signified and re-imagined historical episodes as consequential to the fragmentation and end of the western Roman Empire.


M.A., Ph.D. Princeton University (2006)

Awards and Affiliations

Winner of a National Humanities Center Fellowship for 2017-18 (declined)

Winner of the Classical Association of the Midwest and South (CAMWS) First Book Award for 2016

Winner of the Andrew Heiskell Post-doctoral Rome Prize and Fellow of the American Academy in Rome 2010-11

Contributing Faculty, Claremont Colleges Intercollegiate Classics Program and Late Antique-Medieval Studies (LAMS) Program

Member of the Editorial Board for the Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Research and Publications

"Gregory of Tours and the Decem Libri Historiarum between Religious Belief and Rhetorical Habit", Studies in Late Antiquity (forthcoming 2020)

Cassiodorus' Variae: A Complete and Annotated Translation (University of California Press, 2019)

"The sack of Rome in 410: the anatomy of a late antique debate". In A.E.T. McLaughlin and Young Richard Kim, Leadership and Community in Late Antiquity (forthcoming with Brepols, 2019)

"Virtues in a time of war: administrative writing, dialectic and the Gothic War". In Rita Lizzi Testa and Giulia Marconi, eds., The Collectio Avellana and Its Revivals (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2019)

"Romans, barbarians and provincials in the Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus". In Cinzia Grifoni, Clemens Gantner, Walter Pohl and Marianne Pollheimer, Transformations of Romanness: Regions and Identities (DeGruyter, 2018)

Assorted encyclopedia articles (27) in, The Oxford Classical Dictionary of Late Antiquity, ed. Oliver Nicholson (Oxford University Press, 2018).

The Life and Legacy of Constantine: Traditions through the Ages, edited (Routledge, 2016)

A Companion to Ostrogothic Italy, co-edited with Jonathan Arnold and Kristina Sessa (Brill, 2016)

"The rhetoric of varietas and epistolary encyclopedism in the Variae of Cassiodorus". In Geoffrey Greatrex, ed., Shifting Genres in Late Antiquity (Ashgate, 2015)

"Law, ethnicity and taxes in Ostrogothic Italy", Early Medieval Europe 22.2 (2014)

Politics and Tradition between Rome, Ravenna and Constantinople: A Study of Cassiodorus and the Variae (Cambridge UP, 2013) Winner of the Classical Association of the Midwest and South First Book Award for 2016