Department of History

Cynthia J. Bannon

  • Asssociate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Classical Studies
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of History


  • B.A. at Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges, 1984
  • M.A. at the University of Michigan, 1987
  • Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, 1991

Contact Information

Ballantine Hall, Rm. 554
(812) 855-6651


My interest in Roman law continues to open fascinating avenues of research for me.  In my first book, I studied the Roman family—in particular, the relationship between brothers, starting from inheritance law and further investigating how ideas about fraternal devotion shaped brothers’ private decisions and public perceptions of them.  My second book, on private water rights, analyzes the role of law in mediating relationships between neighbors and in managing natural resources; because water was critical to agricultural productivity, my study of water rights also contributes to our understanding of the Roman economy.  In my ongoing research, I examine rhetoric and historiography, conceptions of nature, and the legal culture of Roman society.

Research Interests

  • Roman Law
  • Roman History
  • Latin Prose

Courses Recently Taught

  • Roman Law
  • Roman Historians - Livy
  • Cicero
  • Latin Prose Composition

Publication Highlights


Gardens and Neighbors.  Private Water Rights in Roman Italy. University of Michigan Press, 2009.

The Brothers of Romulus:  Fraternal Pietas in Roman Law, Literature, and Society. Princeton University Press, 1997.


“Servitudes for Water Use in the Roman Suburbium.” Historia 50 (2001) 34–52.

“Self-Help and Social Status in Cicero’s Pro Quinctio.” Ancient Society 30 (2000) 71-94.