Ryan Wilkinson, PhD
I am broadly trained as an ancient and medieval historian, but my specialty is the complex story of the “fall of the Roman Empire” during late antiquity. My research has ranged from the role of private armies in Roman society, to the influence of different Latin translations of the Bible and the archaeology of barbarian kingdoms at the dawn of the Middle Ages. My primary research project examines how political changes (the shift from Roman to barbarian control) affected social networks and ties between distant communities in what is now France.
That project informs my interest in teaching about “Collapse” scholarship – a conversation between historians, archaeologists, network theorists, and environmental scientists, who want to understand how and why complex societies sometimes (at least appear to) fall apart. Beyond that specific interest, I enjoy guiding students through the full sweep of pre-modern history, from the ancient Near East to medieval Europe. I’m also passionate about teaching church history and the history of Christian doctrines. Before coming to Ambrose, I taught history and academic writing in various roles at Harvard.