Public Appearances In and Out of the Classroom

I teach undergraduates classical and medieval history at the University of Mary Washington, a nice little public liberal arts college in the commonwealth of Virginia.  I also give public talks on my areas of research, usually to academic audiences, but sometimes to the general public.  Once in a while, I get the opportunity to address an even larger (though invisible) group via video or audio.  

Here you’ll find a sampling of all of these.


I have been teaching since 1983, first as a teaching assistant at Yale and, starting in 1988, as professor of my own courses. In my years at Mary Washington (1990-) I have tried in all my courses to teach students about the value of evidence, and the hard work you need to do to sort out good from bad. I have also explored with them everything from Sargon's Akkadian empire and viking DNA to 21st-century Biblical forgeries. Here is a list of courses along with syllabi for some.


Public Talks

Here is a list of talks I have given over the years. The image to the left is the audience at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, where I was invited to speak about the long lead-up to Magna Carta. It is possible that some of the people pictured here may have been in my audience.

On C-Span for the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta

I was invited to take part in a panel discussion of the history and significance of Magna Carta, the charter of liberties which King John was forced to confirm for his barons in 1215. The event, sponsored by the Constitutional Project, was held at the National Archive in Washington DC. It was chaired by Royce Lamberth, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The other panelists were Jennifer Paxton of Catholic University and Robert Pallitto of Seton Hall University.

An interview by Sarah McConnell for NPR's With Good Reason

After the launch of our Early English Laws project in 2012, I was interviewed by Sara McConnell for the Public Radio program she hosts, 'With Good Reason.'

Nightline: Special Millenium Program

Back in 1999, I was asked by ABC Nightline to help design a series of programs about the Y1K problem, in honor of the looming Y2K catastrophe. One program was produced, and I was actually on the screen for a couple of minutes worth of wisdom.

Op-Ed: Magna Carta still a bulwark against tyranny

Op-Ed, “Magna Carta still a bulwark against tyranny,” appearing in the Washington Times, 15 June 2015.