Cynthia BannonCynthia Bannon

  • Associate Professor, Department of Classical Studies
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Classical Studies


  • A.B. at Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges, cum laude, 1984
  • Ph.D. at University of Michigan, 1991

Research Interests

  • Roman Law
  • Roman History
  • Latin Prose

Contact Information

Ballantine Hall, Room 554


My interest in Roman law continues to lead in new directions. Currently I am working on legal cases relating to the real estate market as well as economic attitudes and their impact on status identity. Both projects grow out of my second book, on private water rights, which investigated the role of law in mediating relationships between neighbors and in managing natural resources; because water was critical to agricultural productivity, my study of water rights also contributes to our understanding of the Roman economy. In my first book, I studied the Roman family—in particular, the relationship between brothers, starting from inheritance law and further investigating how ideas about fraternal devotion shaped brothers' private decisions and public perceptions of them. I have served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department since 2000, and I enjoy meeting with students to discuss their plans and questions about classical studies. This year I complete a three year term on the College Policy Committee through which I have deepened my understanding of both research and teaching on the Bloomington campus. I have also served on doctoral dissertation committees for students in a variety of disciplines and have benefited from these opportunities to learn more about the intersections between Classics and such fields as Italian historiography, art history, and nineteenth-century British drama.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Latin Prose Composition
  • Livy/Roman Historians
  • Cicero
  • Roman Law
  • Classical Mythology

Publication Highlights


Gardens and Neighbors.  Private Water Rights in Roman Italy. University of Michigan Press, 2009.

The Brothers of Romulus:  Fraternal Pietas in Roman Law, Literature, and Society. Princeton University Press, 1997.

Selected Articles

" Pipes and Property in the Sale of Real Estate (D." In New Frontiers: Law and Society in the Roman World. University of Edinburgh Press (in press).

“Servitudes for Water Use in the Roman Suburbium.” Historia 50 (2001) 34–52.

“Self-Help and Social Status in Cicero’s Pro Quinctio.” Ancient Society 30 (2000) 71-94.