Susan Rahyab

Susan joined the Classical Studies PhD program in 2020. Trained as a historian, she's interested in Roman administration and imperialism during the High Empire, particularly in Egypt. Born and raised in New York City, she received both her BA (2018) and MA (2020) in history from Hunter College (Manhattan, New York). Her research has considered topics such as Greek magistracies and urban administration in imperial Egypt, state archives across the ancient Mediterranean, and the process of municipalization throughout the Roman Empire. Her work integrates papyrological and epigraphic evidence in an effort to enhance our understanding of the ancient Mediterranean without boundaries between the two disciplines. Her undergraduate thesis explored the evolution of the office of agoranomos in Greco-Roman Egypt and has been published in the New England Classical Journal (2019), and her master’s thesis considered censorship and book-burning in imperial Rome and Egypt. Returning to the agoranomoi, Susan’s master’s thesis at Columbia (2022) explored the important role of these urban officials in two strategies commonly implemented by Roman authorities in the provinces of the empire: municipalization and the establishment of state archives. In addition to her historical work, Susan received training in Greek documentary papyrology and has edited papyri and ostraca from Roman Egypt. Inspired by an ongoing interest in writing and power in the Roman Empire, her PhD thesis examines the censorship of writing in imperial Rome and Egypt.

At Columbia, Susan has served as an instructor and teaching assistant in the History and Classics departments for Greek, Roman, and Egyptian history and Ancient Greek language courses.

For Susan’s publications and conference presentations, see her page. Email Susan Rahyab.