Christopher Simon

Christopher graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in Classics and a Certificate in Linguistics. After several years as a journeyman international rower, he entered the Department of Classics at Yale.

He is hard at work writing a dissertation that examines the interaction between Roman historiography and ancient etymology in accounts of early Rome. It considers their relationship not only from the perspective of etymologies in the role of historical evidence, but also from the perspective of etymology as interpretations providing historical contexts for the origins of words, names, and phrases such as the Remores aves. More broadly, his research engages the intellectual and cultural history of Rome and focuses on the manifold ways in which Roman history was integrated into other pursuits associated with Roman intellectual culture. He is especially interested in the intersection between Roman   history and literary genres that are traditionally concerned with other categories of knowledge — ancient lexicons, encyclopedic texts, and commentaries.


  • "ʺAncient etymology and the early history of Rome"ʺ (supervised by Christina S. Kraus)

Select Presentations

  • "An historian’s friends: Republican historiography in light of Varro and Festus” (Fall 2013) omnium annalium monumenta: HISTORICAL EVIDENCE and HISTORICAL WRITING in Republican Rome (British Academy at Rome, 31 October–1 November 2013)
  • "Image and etymology in Republican coinage"
    ‘Art in the Round’: New approaches to Ancient Coin Iconography (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Institut für Klassische Archäologie 15–16 November 2012)
  • "De originibus verborum: ancient theories and modern science"
    Lost in Time Colloquium (Yale University, 16 September 2011)
  • "Archaeologia and etymologica before and after Varro"
    Historiography and Antiquarianism Conference (University of Sydney, 12–14 August 2011)
  • "Original Etymologies and Roman Historiography"
    The Classical Association Annual Conference (Durham University, 15–18 April 2011)
  • "Crafting evil plans: a semitic thread in an Indo–European trope?”
    Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association (Anaheim, CA, 6–9 January 2010)  

Recent Teaching

  • Latin 110a: Beginning Latin – Elements of Latin Grammar (Fall 2013)
  • Greek 120b: Review of Grammar and Selected Readings (2013)  
  • Latin 131a: Latin Prose – An Introduction (Fall 2012)  
Simon photo