Robert Knapp, ’68, is a distinguished scholar who continues his active involvement with his alma mater. Robert is an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught Roman history, culture and Latin for more than 30 years.
In addition to graduating from CMU, Robert also attended the lab school here. His father, Austin, was a political science professor at Central and his mother, Gail, was the history department secretary; his grandmother was in the Class of 1909. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish as Valedictorian of his class in 1968, Robert taught high school before earning his Ph.D. in Ancient History at the University of Pennsylvania. Following short teaching experiences at Colby College and the University of Utah, he accepted a faculty position at U.C. Berkeley.
While at Berkeley, Robert served as a professor as well as in a variety of leadership roles including assistant dean, associate dean, dean of undergraduate services and chair of the classics department and chair of the Faculty Academic Senate. He retired from active teaching, but not scholarship, in 2006.
Robert is the author, co-author, or editor of eight books on Roman history and many journal articles presented in international publications. His books have been widely and favorably reviewed by scholarly specialists in the most important classics journals. His recent book – Invisible Romans –was featured in The New Yorker magazine.
While Knapp is retired and lives with his wife in California, he still is closely connected to his home state of Michigan and to CMU. He regularly visits northern Michigan to restore an 1888 log home built by his great- grandfather as well as makes extensive use of the Clarke Historical Library to conduct much of his research on Clare, his father’s hometown.