Roman Wedding, Roman Religion, Gender in Ancient Rome, Imperial Latin Literature, Tanaquil
Karen Klaiber Hersch, Associate Professor, was the grateful recipient of an Arthur Ross Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome (2000-1). Dr. Hersch’s research interests are Roman religion, Roman social history, gender in antiquity and imperial Latin literature. Her book The Roman Wedding: Ritual and Meaning in Antiquity (Cambridge University Press, 2010) focuses on a ceremony that in its continual reenactment provided for every observer an education on societal expectations for each Roman man and woman, urban or rural, rich or poor, slave or free, literate or illiterate. Dr. Hersch’s articles include examinations of the uniquely independent bride Violentilla in Statius’ Silvae as well as aspects of ethnicity in Roman bridal costume. She is currently at work on an article focusing on depictions of violence in Greek and Roman nuptial ritual, as well as a monograph entitled Tanaquil: Myth and Reality, in which she studies ancient accounts of the life of Tanaquil, Etruscan aristocrat and fifth queen of Rome, a woman said to be a kingmaker, a granter of fertility, and an expert in both divination and woolwork.
Dr. Hersch received her B.A. in Classics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, her M.A. in Classics from Tufts University and her Ph.D. in Classics from Rutgers University. She teaches courses in Latin, Roman literature and culture, gender in antiquity and Greek and Roman religion. Dr. Hersch is adviser of Temple’s chapter (Zeta Beta) of Eta Sigma Phi, the National Classics Honor Society. During 2004-5, Dr. Hersch held a Faculty Fellowship in Temple’s Center for the Humanities, and has recently served on the Board of the Center. She served as President of the Pennsylvania Classical Association in 2006-7. She has been Faculty Mentor to nine Peer Teachers in her Latin, Roman Civilization and Sacred Space classes. She won a Distinguished Faculty Award from the College of Liberal Arts in 2013.