Caitlin Gillespie

Lecturer in Classics

Columbia University

Caitlin Gillespie joined the Department in 2016. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Temple University, and a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her Ph.D. in Classical Studies (2012). She received her Master of Studies in Greek and Latin Languages and Literatures from the University of Oxford (2006) and her B.A. in Classics from Harvard University (2005).

Gillespie’s research centers on the intersection of historiography and material culture, and explores the relationship between exemplarity, authority, and agency in the portrayals of women of the early Roman Empire. Past and present research projects examine the representations of women of the imperial household in the Julio-Claudian era, analyzing the impact of these women on the definition of the feminine ideal. She is also interested in the ways in which non-Roman women influence our perception of the intersection of gender and power, particularly those featured in Tacitus’ Annals. Her current book project, Boudica: Warrior Woman of Roman Britain, introduces readers to the life and literary importance of Boudica through comparing her to other female leaders and rebels in the Roman Empire. This work illustrates how Tacitus and Dio use Boudica as a powerful internal commentator on the failures of Nero and the lack of imperial models: her revolt epitomizes ongoing conflicts at the end of the Julio-Claudian era.