Ryan Culpeper

BA, University of California, 2017
rl [dot] culpeper [at] berkeley [dot] edu

I received a B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2017, where I double majored in History and Classical Languages.  In my undergraduate thesis (titled Communis Hostis Omnium: A Reinterpretation of Cilician Piracy), I examined the socio-political history of Cilicia during the Hellenistic period.  I primarily focused on the traditional administrative structures (known as dimorphic chiefdoms) of Cilicia, the ways in which these chiefdoms allied themselves against Rome’s eastward expansion, and finally some possible motivations for labeling Cilicia’s chiefdoms as piratical.  For my work, I received Highest Honors, the Friends of Cal History Thesis Prize, and a Departmental Citation from the Department of History.  Additionally, I received the Chair’s Book Prize from the Department of Classics for outstanding work in the major.

My research is mainly focused on the Eastern Mediterranean during the late Hellenistic period, specifically as it concerns Cilicia, and more broadly, Anatolia as a whole. My desire to understand the role that topography plays on the socio-political behaviors of historical agents initially led me to Cilicia due to its relatively unique geopolitical history.  However, my research interests have since grown to include the disparate provincial policies of Rome; resistance movements in the ancient Mediterranean; religious and intellectual diffusion between neighboring states; aristocratic iconography and its use in legitimizing local elites; and Greek epigraphy.

Before attending UC Berkeley, I served as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps (2003-2008), and worked in program management (2009-2015).