Kenneth S. Sacks Professor of History, Professor of Classics

I received my Ph.D. from California, Berkeley in Ancient History. I taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1976-1995, at which time I came to Brown as Professor of History and Dean of the College. I've been full time in the history department since 1998. My area of specialty is Greek intellectual history, which led me to study American Transcendentalism and to questions of Classical Reception

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

The Political Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson for The Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. Cambridge University Press, 2008

Understanding Emerson: "The American Scholar" and His Struggle for Self-Reliance (Princeton University Press, May 2003) Major reviews include the Times Literary Supplement 25 July, 2003, pp. 3-4, and the New Yorker 4 August, 2003, pp. 77-80 (by John Updike). Second printing ordered in July, 2003.

Diodorus Siculus and the First Century (Princeton University Press, 1990) Listed among "Outstanding Academic Books of 1991," by Choice

Polybius on the Writing of History (University of California Press, 1981)

research overview

Co-PI (with Baruch Halpern, Penn State University) for $105,000 Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar Program Award for "Cultural Exchange and Appropriation in the Mediterranean World." This work is under contract with Brill Press, in one or two volumes.

research statement

I am currently working on a book-length project, Emerson's Civil War