Richard J. A. Talbert
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College, Cambridge|
|Occupation||Ancient historian, classicist|
|Known for||Roman Senate, Tabula Peutingeriana, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World|
Richard John Alexander Talbert (born 26 April 1947) is a British-American contemporary ancient historian and classicist on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Ancient History and Classics. Talbert is a leading scholar of ancient geography and the idea of space in the ancient Mediterranean world.
Connected to his spatial research is a major project on the Tabula Peutingeriana (Peutinger table), a copy of an ancient Roman map preserved in a Medieval version once owned by Konrad Peutinger. He is the head of the advisory board of the Ancient World Mapping Center, an interdisciplinary research unit based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Talbert is also a senior editor of the Pleiades Project, a joint digital humanities venture focused on ancient world geography coordinated by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and New York University. Cambridge granted him a Litt. D. in 2003. He is also a Corresponding Member of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut. Talbert has been on the faculties of the Queen's University, Belfast and McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. He was Herodotus Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, (1978-79). His study The Senate of Imperial Rome (Princeton University Press, 1984) won the American Philological Association's Goodwin Award of Merit in 1985.
For 2000-01 Talbert was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Senior Fellowship, and the inaugural Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Fellowship at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. Talbert has served on the Council of the Classical Association of Canada, and was President of the Association of Ancient Historians (1999-2002). He was awarded the American Philological Association's Medal for Distinguished Service in 1999. He was Resident professor at the American Academy in Rome (1991), and currently chairs the Advisory Council to its School of Classical Studies. He taught at the University of Alabama in Huntsville as Eminent Scholar in the Humanities (spring 1993), and has been Visiting Professor of Classics at Princeton University (spring 1997). In 2011/12 he was the Archaeological Institute of America's Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecturer, and Directeur d'études invité at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris. For Fall 2012 Talbert was named the first Suzanne Deal Booth Scholar-in-Residence at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, Italy. Talbert has directed a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute on the early Roman empire (Chapel Hill, 1991), and co-directed (with Michael Maas of Rice University) three National Endowment for the Humanities Seminars at the American Academy in Rome (2000, 2006, and 2012.). In 2017 Talbert and Maas directed an NEH summer program focused on "Migration and Empire: The Roman Experience From Marcus Aurelius to Muhammad".
Significant among his scholarly work is the compilation of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, which won the 2000 Association of American Publishers Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Multi-volume Reference Work in the Humanities. He has also completed path-breaking research on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a Medieval manuscript containing a copy of a likely ancient Roman map. Talbert's work, including both print and digital components, analyzes the map in an effort to situate it in terms of Roman world view.
Talbert has trained many ancient historians during his tenure at the University of North Carolina.