Gregory Smith

Gregory Smith received his B.A. (1996) in classics and history from Case Western Reserve University and his A.M. (1999) and Ph.D. (2005) in history from Harvard University. In 2005–2006 he served as lecturer in the department of classics at Case Western Reserve. He joined the faculty at CMU in fall 2006.

Office: Powers 207
Office Hours: (pdf)

Research and Teaching Interests

Trained as a western medievalist, a Byzantinist, and a historian of Roman and late antiquity, Professor Smith specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of the second, third, and fourth centuries AD. At the moment he is interested above all in ideas about the human soul, its physical composition, and its constitutional relationship to things like demons, air, smoke, breath, “spirit,” angels, and God. When not thinking and writing about very thin things he also thinks and writes about computers, problems of authorship in late antiquity and the middle ages, and how computers ​might help solve the problems. He has taught a wide range of courses at Harvard, CWRU, and CMU, from ancient Greek democracy to “the Christian revolution” to all periods of medieval history. Despite his fondness for history lectures and seminars he secretly likes teaching ancient languages just as much, and sometimes more.

Recent Publications

“Physics and Metaphysics in Late Antiquity,” in The Oxford Handbook to Late Antiquity, ed. Scott F. Johnson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

How Thin Is a Demon?Journal of Early Christian Studies 16.4 (2008), 479–512.

The Myth of the Vaginal Soul,” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 44 (2004), 199–225.

Sine Rege, Sine Principe: Peter the Venerable on Violence in Twelfth-Century Burgundy,” Speculum 77 (2002), 1–32.

Current Courses​

Fall 2015

  • HST 101WI - The Development of Western Civilization: From Ancient Times to 1700 A.D
  • HST 301 - The Craft of History
  • LAT 101 - Elementary Latin I​​​