This Week in Core presents Dr. Sarolta Takács with Part 2 of “Pandemic, Epidemic, and Plague in Ancient Rome.” The lecture is available on YouTube.

In this lecture, Dr. Takács provides a historical background to better understand the impact of “plagues” that befell the Roman Empire (e.g., the Antonine Plague) and how the descriptions of them echoed those of ancient Greek authors. Thus, without additional information, it remains very difficult to determine the actual disease. Whatever these “plagues” were, they impacted human lives (physically and emotionally) as well as undermined societal structures and economic well-being. Despite it all, the Roman Empire adapted, transformed, and continued.

A PDF of the PowerPoint slides that accompany this lecture is available upon request.  Please email Donna Scimeca [] to have it sent to you.

Bio Sketch:

Dr. Takács holds a BA in Classics from the University of California, Irvine, and an MA and PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a graduate student, she was a recipient of the DAAD, a German Academic Exchange Service fellowship, that allowed her to do her PhD research at the university in Heidelberg and at the Free University in Berlin. While a professor at Harvard, she was a recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, sponsored by the Federal Republic of Germany, which allowed her to spend a research year at the University of Heidelberg.

Before coming to the College of Staten Island – CUNY, she taught at the University of Oregon; at the University of California, Los Angeles; Harvard University; and Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Dr. Takács held decanal positions at Harvard University, the Russell Sage College, and Rutgers University. A​t the latter institution, she served as the Director of the Modern Greek Studies Program and also was the founding dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program.  Dr. Takács is a tenured professor in the Department of History and is Dean of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at the College of Staten Island.

By the Division of Academic Affairs