Guy Rogers

Professor of History and Classical Studies

Classicist and historian of Greek and Roman history, ancient religion and warfare, Alexander the Great, and Jewish History.

Guy MacLean Rogers holds a Magna cum Laude B.A. degree with subject honors in Classics and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania where he played varsity soccer and was awarded a Thouron Fellowship. In 1979 he earned a first-class honors B.A. degree in Ancient History from University College London and a Full Colors Award for football. He received a Ph.D. in Classics from Princeton University in 1986. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for his research and writing, including ones from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Fellowship program, and the American Philosophical Society. In 1997 he held a senior visiting fellowship at All Souls College Oxford. In 2003 he was the recipient of the “Perennial Wisdom Medal” from the Monuments Conservancy in New York City for his contributions to the study of humanities.

Professor Rogers’ first book, The Sacred Identity of Ephesos: Foundation Myths of a Roman City, won the 1989 Routledge Ancient History Prize. In 2014 The Sacred Identity of Ephesos was reprinted in the Routledge Revival Program of distinguished works from the past 100 years. In 2004 his biography, Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness was published by Random House; it was selected as a History Book club featured alternate, and has been translated into Russian and Greek. His textbook, Roots of the Western Tradition: A Short History of the Ancient World, is in its eighth edition. The first Mandarin edition was published by Brilliant Publications of Shanghai in 2013. He has been a member of the editorial advisory board of the Italian classical journal Mediterraneo Antico since its inception. From 2002 to 2006 he served as the co-editor of Rome, The Greek World, and the East, the three volumes of collected essays of the late Oxford historian Sir Fergus Millar. In 2013 Yale University Press published his book, The Mysteries of Artemis of Ephesos: Cult, Polis, and Change in the Graeco-Roman World in its Synkrisis series. His book, For the Freedom of Zion: The Great Revolt of Jews against Romans, 66-74 CE, will be published by Yale in 2021.

He has contributed regularly to television programs and documentaries about the ancient world for the History Channel and the BBC, and his op-ed pieces have appeared in U.S. national and international newspapers and news websites, including the Los Angeles Times and Middle East Eye in London.

Professor Rogers was Chairman of the History Department of Wellesley College from 1997 to 2001 and 2012. From 1999 to 2002 he served as Wellesley College’s first Faculty Director of Internships and Service Learning. He was appointed to the Macricostas Chair of Hellenic and Modern Greek Studies at Western Connecticut State University from 2006-08, the first endowed chair within the state system. From 2008-13 he held the Mildred Lane Kemper endowed Chair at Wellesley College. From 2013-18 he served on the Advisory Board of the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs and from 2013-18 was an affiliated faculty and advisory board member of the Freedom Project at Wellesley College. In 2014 he was elected to the William R. Kenan Jr. endowed Professorship of Classics and History at Wellesley College. He teaches courses on Greek and Roman history, ancient religion and warfare, Alexander the Great, Iulius Caesar, and western civilization.

The Global Education Network in New York City selected Professor Rogers’ course on Alexander to become its first online course. In the spring of 2014 he taught the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), “Was Alexander Great? The Life, Leadership, and Legacies of History’s Greatest Warrior” for The Harvard/MIT EdX consortium to 17,500 students worldwide. A blog about his experiences teaching “Was Alexander Great?” online appeared in Inside Higher Education. In 2016 “Was Alexander Great?” was leased to Xuetang University, China’s premier MOOC provider. Since the summer of 2019 Professor Rogers has taught humanities courses for Torhea/Neoscholar Education in Shanghai China.

His interests include baroque and classical music, painting, oenology, animal welfare, and travel. He lives in Litchfield County, Connecticut and New York City.


HIST200 Roots of the Western Tradition

HIST228 Swords and Scandals: Ancient History in Films, Documentaries, and Online

HIST229 Alexander the Great: Psycopath or Philosopher King

HIST230 Greek History from the Bronze Age to the Death of Philip II of Macedon

HIST231 History of Rome

HIST325 "Veni' Vidi; Vici": The Life and Times of C. Iulius Caesar


  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania
  • B.A., University of London
  • M.A., Princeton University
  • Ph.D., Princeton University

Current and upcoming courses

  • Films such as Gladiator, The Passion of the Christ, and 300, documentaries such as The Last Stand of the 300, and Internet courses such as Alexander Online perhaps influence how the majority of people now understand antiquity. But are these visual media historically reliable representations of the past? Or do they rather primarily reflect changing artistic and societal concerns? How have the use of digital backlots, blue screens, and other technical innovations affected how the past is being represented and understood? In this course we will examine the representation of the ancient world in films, documentaries, and online media from the "Sword and Sandal" classics of the past such as Ben-Hur to the present, within the scholarly frameworks of ancient history and modern historiography.