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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Kendra Eshleman

classical studies

photo of Kendra Eshleman

Associate Professor and Chair

Ph.D., Classical Studies
University of Michigan, 2004

Stokes S237
Phone: 617-552-3797
Fax: 617-552-6974

Fields of Interest

I am a Roman historian with a special interest in the Second Sophistic and early Christianity. My primary research area is the formation of identity among intellectuals in the first three centuries CE. My first book, The Social World of Intellectuals in the Roman Empire, examines the many ways in which being (who you are) was shaped by belonging (whom you know) for philosophers, sophists, and Christians in this period.

Academic Profile

At Boston College, I teach Latin and Greek at all levels, especially (but not exclusively) prose. In recent years, I have taught advanced seminars on Tacitus, Apuleius, Cicero, Homer, Thucydides, Greek Rhetoric. I also regularly teach Greek and Roman History, Roman Family Law, and Roman Religion.

Representative Publications

“Affection and Affiliation: Social Networks and Conversion to Philosophy.” Classical Journal 103 (2007/08): 147-58.

"Defining the Circle of Sophists: Philostratus and the Construction of the Second Sophistic.”  Classical Philology 103 (2008): 395-413.

"Becoming Heretical: Affection and Ideology in Recruitment to ‘Heretical’ Christianities.” Harvard Theological Review 104 (2011): 191-216.

The Social World of Intellectuals in the Roman Empire: Sophists, Philosophers, and Christians. Cambridge University Press 2012.

“Then Our Symposium Becomes a Grammar School”: Grammarians in Plutarch’s Table Talk.” Syllecta Classica 24 (2013): 145-71.

Departmental Activities

I am currently Chair of the Classics Department and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Classics. I run the Classics department's brown bag series of lunchtime talks by faculty, students, and outside visitors. Please email me your suggestions or requests.