Jonathan Roth


Professor and Director of the Burdick Military History Project

Columbia University, 1991.

Columbia University.

University of California at Berkeley.

Office: Business Tower
(BT) 561
Phone: 408-924-5505

Areas of Interest

Roman Army
Military History
World History
Race and Ethnicity in Antiquity


  • Roman Warfare, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • "Hellenistic and Republican Roman Warfare" in Philip Sabin, Hans van Wees and Michael Whitby (eds.), The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare. Volume I: Greece, the Hellenistic World and the Rise of Rome, vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 368–398.
  • "Jews and the Roman Army. Perceptions and Realities" in Lukas de Blois and Elio Lo Cascio, (eds.), The Impact of the Roman Army (200 BC – AD 476): Papers of the 6th Workshop on the Impact of Empire: The Roman Army, held in Capri, Italy, March 29–April 2, 2005, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2007, pp. 409–420.
  • "Siege Narrative in Livy: Representation and Reality," in S. Dillon and K. Welch, Representations of War in Ancient Rome, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • "Distinguishing Jewishness in Antiquity" in J.-J. Aubert and Zsuzsana Varhelyi (eds.), A Tall Order: Writing the Social History of the Ancient World. Essays in honor of William V. Harris, Munich: K. G. Saur Verlag, 2005.
  • "The Army and the Economy in Judaea and Palaestina" in Paul Erdkamp (ed.) The Roman Army and The Economy, Amsterdam: Gieben, 2002, pp. 375–397.
  • "Masada" and "Josephus," in Magill's Guide to Military History, John Powell (ed.), Salem Press, 2001.
  • Revision of "Early Kingdoms of Western Asia and Northern Africa" and "Greece," in P.N. Stearns (ed.), Langer Encyclopedia of World History, Houghton Mifflin, 2001, 25–41, pp. 56–62.
  • "Logistics and the Legion," in Yann Le Bohec and Catherine Wolff (eds.) Les Légions de Rome Sous le Haut-Empire: Actes du Congrès de Lyon (17–19 septembre 1998), vol. 2, Paris: Diffusion de Bocard, 2000, pp. 707–710.
  • The Logistics of the Roman Army at War (264 B.C.–A.D.235), Leiden/New York: E.J. Brill, 1999 [= Columbia Series in the Classical Tradition, XXIII].
  • "George Willis Botsford," in M.R. Kornegay (ed.), American National Biography, Oxford University Press, 1998, vol. 3: pp. 232–33.
  • "P. Col. 263–264, Sales of Donkeys" in R. Bagnall and Dirk Obbink (eds.), Columbia Papyri X, Columbia University Press, 1997: pp. 57–63.
  • "The Length of the Siege of Masada" Scripta Classica Israelica 14 (1995): pp. 87–110.
  • "The Size and Organization of the Imperial Roman Legion," Historia 43/3 (1994): pp. 346–62.
  • "Greek Ostraka from Mons Porphyrites" (with J. Sheridan), Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 29:3-4 (1992): pp. 1-10.
  • "Nine Unpublished Inscriptions in the Collection of Columbia University" (with J.-J. Aubert, J. Lenz & J. Sheridan), Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 73 (1988): pp. 91-97.
  • "Hannibal," "Hamilcar," "Cato," "Scipio Africanus," Dictionary of African Biography, (forthcoming)
  • "War and World History," 48-part lecture series for The Great Courses, The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA: 2009

Selected Awards

  • San José State University Outstanding Professor 2005–2006
  • Outstanding Professor, Golden Key Honor Society (1999)
  • Dorot Post-doctoral Teaching Fellowship at New York University (1991–94)
  • President's Fellow, Columbia University (1985–87)
  • Fulbright/Hayes Scholar in the Federal Republic of Germany (1979–80)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of California, Berkeley (1979)
  • Near Eastern Languages Department Student of the Year, UC Berkeley (1979)


I was born in Redwood City, California in 1955, was raised in Sunnyvale, and attended Homestead High School in Cupertino. My first year in college was at U.C. Davis, but I left to travel in Europe for a year, then completed my B.A. in Near Eastern Studies at U.C. Berkeley. I then spent a year studying Assyriology at the Georg-August Universitaet in Goettingen, Germany under a Fulbright scholarship. After my studies in Germany, I moved to New York City.

In New York I also enlisted in the New York Army National Guard, in which I served six years, mainly with the 69th Infantry Regiment. I earned my commission as a second lieutenant from the Empire State Military Academy.

After a few years hiatus from the academy, working in publishing and advertising, I enrolled in Columbia University's History program, where I earned my Ph.D. in Ancient History. My dissertation "Logistics of the Roman Army in the Jewish War, 66 to 73 A.D." was supervised by Prof. William V. Harris and deposited in 1991. An expanded version of my thesis was published in 1999 as The Roman Army at War, Leiden: E.J. Brill.

I taught as a visiting professor at Tulane University in New Orleans for one year, then spent three years as a Dorot Teaching Fellow at New York University, before coming to San José State, in 1994 as an Assistant Professor. I was promoted to Associate Professor in 1999 and Full Professor in 2005. From 2005 to 2008, I served as Chair of the History Department. Since 1999, I have been the Director of the department's Burdick Military History Project.