About David Schwei

As I walked through the Roman Forum, the streets of Pompeii, and museum after museum filled with ancient artifacts, I knew that I wanted to devote my life to the ancient world. This passion took me to graduate school at the University of Cincinnati, to a summer of archaeological work in Pompeii, and to a summer learning about ancient coins at the American Numismatic Society in New York City. These experiences and a fantastic education have lead me to research the development of minting infrastructure within the Roman Empire during the transition from the Roman Republic to the Early Principate, and I eagerly use these insights and my delight in reading Latin texts as I teach Latin, history, and about ancient cultures. In addition to the joy of teaching my own classes, participating in the University of Cincinnati’s outreach program, tutoring local middle and high school students, and developing online pedagogical resources have been incredibly rewarding.

Employment and Teaching

Fall 2017 – Present – Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Latin Instructor

Spring 2017 – University of Dayton, Department of History, Instructor

  • Introduction to the Ancient History of Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, and Asia
  • Rome as Empire (Roman History)

Fall 2016 – Ohio University, Department of Classics and World Religions, Instructor

  • The Wonders of the Ancient Mediterranean (Old Kingdom Egypt – Early Islam)
  • Roman Archaeology
  • Classical Mythology

2014-2016 – Private Latin Tutor for students grades 7-10 (Jenney’s First Year Latin and Ecce Romani)

2009-2016 – University of Cincinnati, Department of Classics, Graduate Student
Instructor

  • Intensive Latin (Wheelock’s Latin, 38 Latin Stories, Cicero’s In Catilinam I)
  • Greek Civilization
  • Roman Civilization
  • Greek History
  • Roman History
  • Introductory Latin (Wheelock’s Latin, 38 Latin Stories)

Teaching Assistant

  • Roman Cities
  • Introduction to Ancient History
  • Medical Terminology

Outreach

  • Latin, Classics, and Education in the 21st Century Blog (July 2014 – Present) — This site.
  • YouTube channel with videos for Latin and Classics Classes — This channel has many of my own videos, including an in-progress series of videos on Latin constructions and videos featuring Aulus the togate puppet, and playlists with other Classics videos
  • “Money, Money, Money! Ancient Greek and Roman Coins,” University of Cincinnati Classics Outreach Program – Delivered 13 times, January 2011 – May 2016 — We use money every day to purchase things we need or want, but how often do we stop to think about the coins or bills that pass through our hands? What do the designs on the bills and coins mean? Who or what do they honor? Currency provides a unique insight into a culture, and coins are an incredibly common artifact from ancient Greece and Rome. In this presentation we will discuss some of the ways in which Romans used coins as part of their propaganda machines (and which still continues today!), and ways in which we can learn about the ancient economy from the discovery of extraordinary coin hoards.
  • “The Roman Constitution of the United States of America,” University of Cincinnati Classics Outreach Program – Delivered 5 times, May 2015 – March 2016 — Democracy.  Americans have sought to spread this form of government throughout the world in the twentieth century, but how did we get it? The United States of America was born from one of many monarchies of the eighteenth century. In a rejection of monarchy, the Founding Fathers sought inspiration in the ideas of Montesquieu and especially in the ideas of the ancient Greeks and Romans.  The Fathers were steeped in classical education. They studied ancient Greek and Latin at school, assembled libraries of classical literature, and imitated ancient architecture, such as at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  This presentation will discuss the influence of ancient Greek and Roman authors on the American constitution: how the writings of the statesman Cicero and of the historian Polybius guided James Madison and the other Founding Fathers as they crafted a new Constitution and a new nation.
  • “Do You Have the Time? Ancient Concepts of Time and the Calendar,” University of Cincinnati Classics Outreach Program – Delivered 5 times, February 2011 – November 2013 — In our age of computers and atomic clocks, we divide our day minute by minute and rush not to be late by even a second.  Could we have done this 200 years ago? What about 2,000 years ago?  How did the ancient Greeks and Romans understand and tell time?  In this presentation, we will explore what technology and methods were available to the ancients to know what time of day it was and whether this even mattered to them.  The Roman calendar dictated not only during what times of day commerce could happen, but also on what days commerce, warfare, and government activities could take place.  Politicians manipulated the calendar to help themselves, their families, and the city of Rome.  But did their political opponents stop them from playing with and manipulating time?  Did the stars and the seasons?  Just how differently did the Greeks and Romans understand time than we do?- Dawn Fuller, “Do You Have the Time? A Look at How Time Was Perceived in Ancient History,”UC News, 3 Dec 2013
  • “Do you Have Change for a Denarius? Life in Pompeii through Coins,” University of Cincinnati Classics Outreach Program – Delivered 1 time, July 2011 — We use money every day to purchase things we need or want, but how often do we stop to think about the coins or bills that pass through our hands?  How often do we think about the coins that passed through the hands of the ancient Romans? In this presentation, we will discuss two groups of coins found in Pompeii and what they tell us about life in the city.  We will focus on the coins excavated both in the elite House of Menander and in a shop on a major street in Pompeii.  The gold and silver coins in the House of Menander reveal the owner’s immense wealth which was stored away before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.  The many bronze coins in the shop reveal how much change was needed to complete frequent sales of small items.  These two groups of coins reveal a wide gap in the wealth of the inhabitants of Pompeii.  Not only can the coins tell us about the economic status of the city, but they can also tell us about the political life of the city.  An examination of the images on the coins reveals what propaganda the mint at Rome distributed in Pompeii.
  • “Classics: Economic Crisis! Ancient coins and hoards,” Podcast, November 2012Historian David Schwei and Archaeologist Chris Cloke (UC Classics) report live while on-site in Greece, where they discuss coins found during excavation. Learn how ancient coins were made, how the Greek and Roman economies worked, and what we can learn from coins’ images as well as where they are found. The hosts discuss how the tradition of including rulers’ portraits on money began with Alexander the Great and continues even today with monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth II. They also explain how people in the ancient world hoarded their coins in times of strife or economic uncertainty, and unwittingly created some of archaeology’s most amazing finds.

Museum and Field Experience

Research
Interests
Empires; State formation; Roman politics, economics, numismatics; Ideology; Interplay between material culture and literature

Peer-reviewed publications

  • [Accepted] “Exchange Rates, Neronian Silver Standards, and a Long-term Plan to Unify the Empire’s Mints,” Numismatic Chronicle 2017.
  • [Accepted] “Forgers’ Misunderstanding of Coin Types?” Proceedings of the XVth International Numismatic Congress
  • The Reactions of Mint Officials to the Tumultuous Second Reign of Demetrius II Nicator,” American Journal of Numismatics, Second Series, vol. 28 (2016), pp. 65-104, pl. 22-35.

Conference Papers

Dissertation (Defended: 21 Apr 2016)

Education

  • Ph.D. in Classics, University of Cincinnati, 2016
  • M.A. in Classics, University of Cincinnati, 2013
  • B.A. in Classics, Emory University, 2009