Skip to main content

Taco Terpstra

Associate Professor of Classics

Ph.D., Columbia University, 2011


Geographic Field(s):  Medieval and Early Modern European History

Thematic Field(s):  Economic and Labor History

Principal Research Interest(s):  Socioeconomic history of the Roman Empire, comparative history, and Roman archaeology and material culture


Taco Terpstra (Ph.D., Columbia University, 2011) is a member of the Department of Classics with a courtesy joint appointment in the History Department. He specializes in Roman socioeconomic history and is the author of Trading Communities in the Roman World (Leiden: Brill 2013) and Trade in the Ancient Mediterranean: Private Order and Public Institutions (Princeton: Princeton University Press 2019). In 2017-18, he was involved in a combined research and exhibition project at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, which resulted in the edited volume Portrait of a Child: Historical and Scientific Studies of a Roman Egyptian Mummy (Block Museum, 2019, coeditors: E. Rönkkö and M. Walton). His teaching includes courses on Roman sociopolitical and economic history, methodologies of historical research and the archaeology of Roman Campania.

Affiliated Programs 


Teaching Interests

  • 101: The Ancient Economy.
  • 330: The Roman Economy: The Preindustrial Economy as a Historical Perspective.
  • 310: The Archaeology of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae.
  • 400: Classical Reception Studies Workshop (co-taught with Prof. S. Monoson).

Recent Awards and Honors

  • 2016-17: Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship (Harvard University).
  • 2015-16: Faculty Fellowship, Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities (Northwestern University).