Michael S. Vasta
Visiting Professor of History and Greek and Roman Studies
Ph.D. Classical Studies with Ancient Studies minor, Indiana University (2014); M.A.
Latin, Indiana University (2009); B.A. History and Greek & Roman Studies, Illinois
Wesleyan University (2007)
Michael Vasta joined the Illinois Wesleyan University faculty in Fall of 2015. He
completed his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2014 with a dissertation entitled “The
Crisis of Exemplarity and the Role of History in Sallust.” Currently, he is preparing
an article on the ancient Romans’ relationship to their past in Sallust’s Histories and developing a manuscript on the role of history in all three of Sallust’s works.
Michael has wide teaching and research interests. He primarily works on authors such
as Sallust, Cicero, Caesar, and Tacitus but is also interested in larger topics of
ancient historiography, Roman Republican and Triumviral history and culture, and Roman
rhetoric and oratory. His secondary interests include Roman Imperial history and culture
and Roman topography, a passion nourished by his time at the Classical Summer School
of the American Academy in Rome in 2010. Michael has presented his research at meetings
of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, as well as the Classical
Association of the Atlantic States, and was an invited speaker for Illinois Wesleyan’s
Ides program in 2012.
At Indiana University, Michael previously taught Introductory and Intermediate Latin,
prose and poetry, as well as Classical Mythology and Greek Culture. This semester,
he will be teaching Introductory Latin, Ancient Greece, and a new course on Civil
Violence in Ancient Greece and Rome.
In his graduate career, Michael won a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the
Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences for 2013-2014 and the Mary A. Sollman
Scholarship from the American Academy in Rome to attend its Classical Summer School
in 2010. As an undergraduate at Illinois Wesleyan, he won the Christopher Berkeley
Prize in History and the Robert S. Eckley President’s Club Award in Social Sciences.
Though his interest in the Classics began with an airing of the History Channel’s “Rome Week” that coincided with some sick days in grade school, Michael fell in
love with antiquity during his time as a student at Illinois Wesleyan. He is excited
to share his passion with the next generation of Illinois Wesleyan students.