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Thomas Habinek

Professor of Classics

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-3684
Office: THH 256

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. Classical Philology, Harvard University, 6/1981
A.B. Classics, Princeton University, 6/1975

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Thomas Habinek has been Professor of Classics at USC since 1992 and recently completed his fifteenth and final year as chair of department. He has published numerous books and articles on topics in Latin literature, Roman cultural history, classical rhetoric, and natural scientific approaches to ancient art and literature. His awards and honors include two fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Associates' Award for Excellence in Teaching, USC's highest teaching honor. He is currently at work on a book on interrelated concepts of personhood and authorship in the Roman world and on a jointly-authored book on the relationship between physics and aesthetics from antiquity through the nineteenth century.

Research Specialties

Latin literature, Roman Cultural History, Classical Rhetoric, Stoic Physics and its Afterlife



Habinek, T. (2012). Cicero On Living and Dying Well. Penguin Books.
Habinek, T. (2005). The World of Roman Song: From Ritualized Speech to Social Order. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Habinek, T. (2005). Ancient Rhetoric and Oratory. Blackwell Publishers.
Habinek, T. (1998). The Politics of Latin Literature: Writing, Identity, and Empire in Ancient Rome. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Habinek, T. (1997). The Roman Cultural Revolution. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Habinek, T. (1985). The Colometry of Latin Prose. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Book Chapter

Habinek, T. (2015). "Poetry, Patronage, and Politics in Rome". Companion to Ancient Aesthetics pp. 68-80. Oxford: Wliey-Blackwell.
Habinek, T. (2013). "Imago Suae Vitae: Seneca's Life and Career". Brill's Companion to Seneca pp. 3-32. Leiden: Brill.
Habinek, T. (2011). Tentacular Mind: Stoicism, Neuroscience, and the Configurations of Physical Reality, in Bridging the Gap between Neuroscience and the Humanities. Bridging the Humanities-Neuroscience Divide pp. 64-83. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Habinek, T. (2011). "Rhetoric, Music, and the Arts in Classical Rome", commissioned chapter for Oxford Handbook to Classical Rhetoric, ed. M. MacDonald.
Habinek, T. (2010). "Manilius' Conflicted Stoicism" in Forgotten Stars: Rediscovering Manilius' Astronomica. pp. 34-47. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Habinek, T. (2009). "Situating Literacy at Rome" in Ancient Literacies, ed. W. Johnson and H. Parker. pp. 114-40. Oxford University Press.
Habinek, T. (2007). Probing the Entrails of the Universe: Astrology as Bodily Knowledge in Manilius' Astronomica. (Vol. NA). pp. 229-240. Cambridge, UK: Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire/Cambridge University Press.
Habinek, T. (2005). Slavery and Class. pp. p. 385-393. England: A Companion to Latin Literature/Blackwell.
Habinek, T. (2005). Satire as Aristocratic Play. (Vol. 177-91). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire/Cambridge University Press.
Habinek, T. (1997). The Invention of Sexuality in the World-City of Rome. pp. p. 23-43. Cambridge, UK: The Roman Cultural Revolution/Cambridge University Press.

Book Review

Habinek, T. (2008). Featured Review of M. Beard, The Roman Triumph. American Historical Review.

Journal Article

Habinek, T. (2015). "At the Threshold of Representation: Cremation and Cremated Remains in Classical Latin Literature". Classical Antiquity. Vol. 35
Habinek, T. (2015). "Art as Oikeiosis in Vitruvius De Architectura 2". Arethusa.
Habinek, T. (2010). Ancient Art vs. Modern Aesthetics: A Naturalist Perspective. Arethusa. Vol. 43, pp. 215-230.
Habinek, T. (2006). The Wisdom of Ennius. Arethusa/Johns Hopkins University Press. Vol. 39 (2006) 471-88
Habinek, T. (2000). "Seneca's Renown: Gloria, Claritudo, and the Replication of the Roman Elite". Classical Antiquity/University of California Press. Vol. 19 (2000) 264-303

Honors and Awards

Best Book in Classics and Ancient History, American Association of Publishers, 2/2006-  
USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, 11/2005-  
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, 2003  
USC Associates Award For Excellence In Teaching, 2000  
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, 1984  

Service to the University


Chair, College Dean's Advisory Council on the Humanities, 09/01/2010-06/30/2012  
Member, University Strategic Planning Committee, 2010-2011   
Chair, College Dean's Advisory Council on the Humanities, 2009-2010   

Service to the Profession

Administrative Appointments

Chair, Department of Classics, 2002-  

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Editor, Classical Antiquity, 1986-  
University of California Press, Book Series: Classics and Contemporary Thought, 1992-2010  

Professional Memberships

College Art Association, 2006-  
International Society for the History of Rhetoric, 2006-  
Vergil Society of America, 2004-  
American Philological Association, 1980-  
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