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Sulochana Asirvatham

Professor, Classics and General Humanities

BA, Barnard College
MA, Columbia University
PhD, Columbia University
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Hello! My name is Dr. Sulochana R. Asirvatham ( I received my PhD from Columbia University in Classics (ancient Greek and Latin language and literature) in 2000 and have taught at MSU full-time since 2002. My research specialty is Greek historiography--that is, the study of not only "what happened" in Greek history but also how ancient writers chose to present their past--and more specifically the early historiography of Alexander the Great, the extant examples of which were produced by Greek writers living in the Roman empire. I also love teaching Latin and Greek--as far as I'm concerned, there is no better way of building general language and writing skills as well as building vocabulary in English as well as numerous other languages-- and have taught one or both pretty much every year at the Beginning to Advanced level since I arrived at MSU.


My main focus in Classics has been on the reception of Alexander the Great and the Macedonians, especially in imperial Greek literature, the subject of my monograph-in-progress. My interest in Alexander historiography has also led me to work on the Greek Alexander Romance and its Persian, Arabic and Ethiopic offshoots. Alexander's involvement in questions concerning Greek identity or self-identification in Roman Greek literature (from 1st century BCE- 3rd century CE) has, furthermore, led me to consider such questions outside of the context of Alexander and in a variety of authors ranging from Plutarch to Cassius Dio (who show wildly different perspectives on the matter). I am also broadly interested in Greek historiography from the Classical through the Imperial periods, and have published commentaries for Brill's New Jacoby, a massive compilation of fragments from ancient history written in Greek, on a number of Hellenistic Jewish authors, writers on Hellenistic Syria, and Greek mythographers. Here is a link to many of my publications!