Rachel Meyers

Associate Professor of Classical Studies


Dept:World Languages And Cultures
Office:2236 Pearson
505 Morrill Rd.
Ames IA

Area of expertise: Roman Art and Architecture, Roman Social History, Sex and Gender in the Ancient World

Topics of interest: Greek Mythology, Roman Archaeology, Sex and Gender in the Ancient World, Study Abroad in Rome


Rachel Meyers (Ph.D, Duke University) is Associate Professor of Classical Studies in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Dr. Meyers teaches a variety of courses in the Classical Studies Program, including Roman Archaeology; Sex, Gender, and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean; and Greek and Roman Mythology. She co-directs Roman Italy, a summer study abroad program that centers on the art, culture, and history of ancient Rome and Italy. Meyers is also an affiliate faculty member in the program Women’s and Gender Studies.

Meyers has diverse research interests in the material culture and social history of the ancient Roman world. Her scholarship is centered broadly on Roman art, architecture, and social history and, more specifically, on women in the Roman world and imperial representation and propaganda. In addition, Meyers explores the processes, functions, and values of the practice of benefaction (philanthropic activity including endowments, bequests, financing construction and public works, entertainment, or other goods). Her research encompasses a large body of evidence, including marble portraits and portrait statues, coinage, architectural monuments, written documents, and inscriptions. She is currently working on projects that document and examine benefactions by women across the Roman world and sculptural displays of the imperial family in Roman Hispania.

Grants and Awards

  • Center for the Excellence in Arts and Humanities at Iowa State University Research Grant, 2019

  • Liberal Arts & Sciences Shakeshaft Master Teacher Award, 2016

  • James Huntington Ellis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Introductory Teaching, 2016

Recent / Major Publications

  • “Exceptional Female Benefactors in Roman Hispania.” Classical Journal 117.2 (2021): 182 – 210.

  • “On her Own: Practices of Female Benefaction in the Western Roman Empire.” Ancient Society 49 (2019): 327–350.

  • “The Economic and Cognitive Impacts of Personal Benefaction in Hispania Tarraconensis.” In The Extramercantile Economies of Greek and Roman Cities: New Perspectives on the Economic History of Classical Antiquity, edited by John Fitzgerald et al. Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies. New York: Routledge Press (2019).

  • “A New Analysis of Antonine Statuary Groups in Roman Spain.” American Journal of Archaeology 123.1 (2019) 127–155.