Theodore Bedrick Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
Matt Sears earned his B.A. with honors in Classics and a minor in History from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Cornell University, working under the ancient historian Barry Strauss. During the academic year 2007-2008, Matt was a fellow of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, where he studied the material culture, topography and history of Greece from the Bronze Age to the present. His doctoral work focused on the inter-state and cross-cultural relationship between Athens and Thrace (roughly modern Bulgaria), particularly the experiences of a number of prominent Athenian military leaders, throughout the late Archaic and Classical periods (c. 550-338 BCE). Currently he is working on a project that explores what might be called the "Spartan tradition of imperialism," the central idea of which is that it is a moral good to force peoples and states to be free, even by military means. The important Spartan general Brasidas inaugurated this tradition during the Peloponnesian War, and its philosophy and rhetoric has continued on to the present day.
Aside from political, social and cultural history, Matt has interests in a broad range of topics pertaining to Classical Antiquity, especially ancient warfare and the works of Greek and Roman historians from Herodotus to Tacitus.
Matt has traveled widely in Classical lands, including Greece, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria and Malta. Soon he hopes to lead a Wabash immersion trip to Greece, introducing students not only to the topography of ancient battlefields, but also to the finer things in life, including mezedes in his favorite tavernas. Dr. Sears looks forward to Summer hiking along Sugar Creek with his wife Jenny, and kids Cara and Kallie. As a guitarist he is always searching for an excuse to play his Taylor or Telecaster.
Ph.D. in Classics, Cornell University, 2011
Thomas Day Seymour Fellow, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, September 2007-June 2008
BA, honors in Classics, minor in History, University of New Brunswick, May 2004
Elementary Greek I and II
Advanced Latin (Sallust, Livy, and Tacitus)
Greek and Roman Warfare
Greeks and Barbarians: Cross-Cultural Contact in the Ancient Aegean
"Mother and Son against the Persian Empire," Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of Canada, London, ON, May 2012.
“Experience Abroad and Military Innovation in Athens,” Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association, San Antonio, TX, January 2011.
“Strangers in the Land: Thracians in Athens,” graduate student conference at the City University of New York: “Living on the Edge: Perceptions of Liminality in Classical Antiquity,” April 2010.
“Iphicrates, exousia, aselgeia, and the Thracian Court,” Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association, Anaheim, CA, January 2010.
“Stifled Competition: Why Thrace Appealed to the Athenian Elite,” Annual Meeting of the Association of Ancient Historians, Vancouver, BC, May 2009.
“The Philaids and the Chersonese: A Study in Cross-Cultural Connections,” Ancient Mediterranean Colloquium and Mellon Interdisciplinary Writing Group, Cornell University, March 2009.
“Warrior Ants: Elite Troops in Homer and the Mythology of the Myrmidons,” Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Cincinnati, OH, April 2007.
Athens, Thrace, and the Shaping of Athenian Leadership. Forthcoming (December 2012) with Cambridge University Press.
“The Topography of the Pylos Campaign and Thucydides’ Literary Themes.” Hesperia 80.1 (2011) 157-168.
“Warrior Ants: Elite Troops in the Iliad.” Classical World 103.2 (2010) 139-155.
“A Note on Mardonius’ Emissaries.” Mouseion 9.1 (2009) 21-28.
“Athens (Influence and Interaction).” In C. D. Graninger, J. Valeva and E. Nankov, eds., A Companion to Ancient Thrace. Forthcoming with Wiley-Blackwell.
Robert D. Luginbill, Author of Illusions: Thucydides’ Rewriting of the Peloponnesian War, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2011; Journal of Hellenic Studies 132 (forthcoming, 2012).
Larissa Bonfante, ed., The Barbarians of Ancient Europe, Cambridge, 2011; Journal of Hellenic Studies 132 (forthcoming, 2012).
Richard A. Gabriel, Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander, Washington, 2010; Classical Review 61.2 (2011) 540-542.
Peter Krentz, The Battle of Marathon, New Haven, 2010; Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2010.11.02.
Townsend Fellowship, Cornell University, 2010-2011.
American Philological Association Outstanding Student Award, April 2010.
Sage Fellowship, Cornell University, 2009-2010.
Mellon Interdisciplinary Writing Group Grant, Cornell Society for the Humanities, Spring 2009.
LaFeber Research Assistance Fund Award, Cornell University, Summer 2008.
Thomas Day Seymour Fellowship, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2007-2008.
Graduate Student Assistantship, Cornell University, 2005-2009.
Sage Fellowship, Cornell University, 2004-2005.