• Julius Caesar and the fall of the Roman Republic: Reflections on the Roman example in a fraught election year

    Robert Morstein-Marx, Professor of Classics, UC Santa Barbara
    For centuries, Julius Caesar has usefully served modern democracies and republics as a focus for fears of authoritarian takeover from within. This simplistic view of Caesar as aspiring tyrant is mistaken. A more historically accurate assessment of Caesar’s role in the final crisis of the Roman Republic should instead caution us against rash partisan overreaction and its potential for a ‘death spiral’ of norm-breaking that risks destroying a republic in the name of saving it.

    Axinn Center 229

    Open to the Public
Student during the Classics department marathon reading each spring.

Marathon Readings

Our annual marathon readings take place outside the Davis Family Library each October during Fall Family Weekend. Baklava is provided for everyone, but you must register beforehand if you wish to wear the laurel wreath and read. (Togas absolutely not required.)

Please contact Trish Dougherty at if you would like to be on the mailing list for our annual marathon reading.


To celebrate the achievements of our students (both majors and nonmajors) and the vibrant classics community on campus, the Classics Department sponsors several gatherings each year. Each year includes a Saturnalia, an end-of-school-year BBQ on the lawn behind Twilight Hall, and a Commencement reception (together with the Philosophy Department) for our graduating majors and their families. Please contact Trish Dougherty at for more information.

Winners of the 2020 Greek History Simulation

Any excuse for a laurel wreath.