Saundra C. Schwartz

Saundra C. Schwartz

Associate Professor
Social, cultural, and legal history of the post-Classical Greek world

Office: Sakamaki B406 (On Leave, Fall 2023)
Phone: (808) 956-6762

BA Wesleyan 1986; MA, M Phil, PhD Columbia, NY, 1990, 1992, 1998




Professor Schwartz is an ancient historian and classicist trained at Wesleyan University (B.A. 1986) and Columbia University (M.A. 1992, Ph.D. 1998). Her research centers on the influence of Roman law in the Greek-speaking provinces of the Roman Empire, and explores how political changes affected how justice was imagined and, conversely, how fantasies of poetic justice may have influenced behavior. Her research began with the ancient Greek novels, and has expanded to include early Christian texts such as Luke-Acts and the apocryphal Acts of Andrew in order to understand how various groups in the Roman Empire constructed alternative views of imperial justice. Her current book project is a study of the cultural impact of Roman law in the provinces of the empire during the first four centuries C.E. as reflected in the representation of trials in three Greek novels: Chaereas and Callirhoe by Chariton, Leucippe and Clitophon, by Achilles Tatius, and The Aethiopica by Heliodorus.

Prof. Schwartz has served on the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities (2003-2009). She regularly serves as a judge for History Day and the National Forensics League, and is the department editor for pre-modern history for the website, World History Connected. She is a trained gamemaster for “Reacting to the Past,” an innovative series of historical simulation games designed for undergraduates. Prior to joining the History faculty at UHM, she taught in the History and Humanities program at Hawaiʻi Pacific University (1996-2009), where she developed the program in East-West Classical Studies and served as chair of Humanities.

Awards and Honors

NEH Summer Seminar, “Law, State, and Individual in Ancient Greece, Rome, and China,” University of California, Berkeley, 2003
Summer Scholarship, Center for Hellenic Studies, 1999
Summer Seminar, American Numismatic Society, 1991
President’s Fellowship, Columbia University, 1989-91
Faculty Fellowship, Columbia University, 1988-89

Representative Publications

  • From Bedroom to Courtroom: Law and Justice in the Greek Novel. Netherlands: Barkhuis, 2017.
  • “The Κρίσις Inside: Helidoorus’ Variations on the Bedtrick.” In Narrating Desire: Eros, Sex, and Gender in the Ancient Novel, edited by Marília Futre Pinheiro, Marilyn B. Skinner and Froma I. Zeitlin, 161-180. Trends in Classics 14. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012.
  • “Dressing Up, Dressing Down: False Enslavement in the Greek Novels.” In Éclats de littérature grecque d’Homère à Pascal Quignard: Mélanges offerts à Suzanne Saïd, edited by Sandrine Dubel, Sophie Gotteland, and Estelle Oudot, 175-189. Paris: Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, 2012.
  • “Chronotopes of Justice in the Greek Novel: Trials in Literary Spaces.” In Spaces of Justice, edited by Francesco de Angelis. Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2009.
  • “From Bedroom to Courtroom: The Adultery Type-Scene and the Acts of Andrew.” In Mapping Gender in Ancient Religious Discourse, edited by Todd Penner and Caroline Vander Stichele, 267-311. Biblical Interpretation Series 84. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2007.
  • “The Delicts of the Countryside in Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe.” In A Tall Order: Writing the Social History of the Ancient World. Essays in honor of William V. Harris,edited by Jean-Jacques Aubert and Zsuzsanna Várhelyi, 263-83. Munich: Saur Verlag, 2005.
  • “Rome in the Greek Novel? Images and Ideas of Empire in Chariton’s Persia.” Arethusa 36 (2003): 375-394.
  • “Clitophon the Moichos: Achilles Tatius and the Trial Scene in the Greek Novel” Ancient Narrative 1 (2000-2001): 93-113.
  • “Callirhoe’s Choice: Biological vs Legal Paternity.” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 40 (1999): 23-52.

Courses Taught

HON 291: Reacting to the Past: Democratic Athens and Imperial China
HIST 151: World History to 1500
HIST 362: Gender and Sexuality in the Classical World
HIST 496: Senior Tutorial in History
Other courses on ancient Greece and Rome, the reception of antiquity in popular culture