Julia Wilker

Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Chair, Graduate Group in Ancient History

Cohen Hall 234
Office Hours: 
Thursday, 3:00-4:00 pm (send me an email for Zoom link)


Dr. phil. (Ancient History), Freie Universität Berlin 

M.A. (History, Classical Archaeology), Freie Universität Berlin

I’m  an ancient historian working primarily on the Near East in Hellenistic and Roman times, with a focus on the history of Judaea from the Maccabean revolt to the second century CE. I’m particularly interested in the political and cultural changes during this period and the interaction between local elites and imperial powers, both literally in regard to foreign relations and political integration and figuratively with a focus on the adoption and adaptation of cultural features. In a broader sense, my research focuses on evolving concepts of identity and normativity and how these changes influenced local societies. My first book dealt with the integration of the highest strata of Judean elites into Roman imperial rule and their role as mediators between Jews and Romans. Since then, I have become interested in dynastic structures and the organization and legitimation of dynastic rule. My second book (forthcoming with Oxford University Press) analyzes the role of women in the Judaean dynasties from the Hasmoneans to the later Herodians  (2nd century BCE to 1st century CE). I have also worked and published on the Roman institution of client kingship, the integration of dependent dynasties into the imperial elite, and the impact on their home regions. 

My second field of research is the history of another period of profound changes: late classical Greece. I’m particularly interested in the interstate relations of this period, among the Greek poleis and with Persia and the kingdom of Macedonia. My main focus is on how concepts of foreign relations and key terms, such as peace, autonomy, and hegemony, evolved and were redefined during this period and how this process was reflected in political affairs, treaties, and alliances, and I'm currently working on a monograph on how the definition and understanding of autonomy (autonomia) changed between the end of the Peloponnesian War and the reign of Alexander the Great. 



Research Interests: 
  • Hellenistic and Roman Near East
  • Jewish history in the Greco-Roman period
  • Dynastic rule
  • Late Classical Greece
  • Interstate relations


Selected Publications: 


“Peace and Religion in Ancient Greece and Rome.” In Bloomsbury’s Cultural History of Peace, edited by Sheila Ager. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020. 71-88, 165-169.

"Between Empires and Peers. Hasmonean Foreign Policy under Alexander Jannaeus." In Diplomatic and Interstate Relations in the Hellenistic World, ed. by Edward Dabrowa. Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press, 2018. 127-145.

“Noble Death and Dynasty. A Popular Tradition from the Hasmonean Period in Josephus.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 48 (2017): 1-23.

“’…that all your Security Depends on the Sea.’ Concepts of Hegemony at Sea in the 4th Century BCE.” In Seemacht, Seeherrschaft und die Antike, edited by Ernst Baltrusch, Hans Kopp, and Christian Wendt. Historia Einzelschriften, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016, 131-147.

“A Dynasty without Women? The Hasmonean Dynasty between Jewish and Seleucid Traditions.” In Seleukid Royal Women. Roles and Representations, edited by Altay Coskun and Alex McAuley. Historia Einzelschriften, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016: 235-257.

together with Christian Wendt and Monika Schuol (eds.), Exempla imitanda. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016.

together with Ernst Baltrusch (eds.), Amici - Socii - Clientes? Abhängige Herrschaft im Imperium Romanum. Berlin: Edition Topoi, 2015.

ed., Maintaining Peace and Interstate Stability in Archaic and Classical Greece. Mainz: Verlag Antike 2013.

Für Rom und Jerusalem. Die herodianische Dynastie im 1. Jahrhundert n.Chr. Frankfurt: Verlag Antike 2007.


Work in Progress:

Autonomy and hegemony: Concepts of interstate relations in late classical Greece

Client kings and their descendants in the Roman Empire (networks, perception, self-presentation)

Patterns of communication between center and periphery in the Roman Near East




Courses Taught: 

undergraduate: Ancient Mediterranean Empires, Hellenistic and Roman Near East, History of Macedonia, Cleopatra, Paradox of Monarchy among ancient Jews, Greek, and Romans (co-taught with Natalie Dohrmann), Foreigners in Rome

graduate: Revolts in the Roman Empire, Problems in Roman History, Jews in the Greek and Roman World, Livy and Hellenistic History (co-taught with Cynthia Damon), Provincial Perspectives, Problems in Hellenistic History, The Flavian Era (co-taught with Cynthia Damon)

CV (file):