Fanny Dolansky

Faculty of Humanities

Fanny Dolansky

Department of Classics

Associate Professor, Roman Social History, Latin Literature, and Roman Religion
BA Honours (Trent), MA (Victoria), PhD (Chicago)

Mailing Address:
Department of Classics
Brock University
St Catharines, ON  L2S 3A1

Phone: 905 688 5550 ext 5372
Fax: 905 984 4859

Teaching 2015-2016:

  • LATI 1F00: Introductory Latin (fall and winter)
  • LATI 4P05: Latin Biography (fall)
  • LATI 5V02: Cicero and Sallust on Catiline (winter)
  • CLAS 4V68: Children and Childhood in the Ancient Mediterranean World (winter)

2011 recipient of the Brock University Award for Excellence in Teaching for Early Career Faculty 


My research mainly concerns the customs and practices of the Roman family, especially religious rites, in Italy and the provinces during Rome’s central period (c. 200 BCE to 200 CE). I have published on several family festivals including the Parentalia and Saturnalia, as well as the toga virilis ceremony which marked freeborn boys’ coming of age. I am also interested in the history of children and childhood in Greco-Roman antiquity and have published studies on the relationship between dolls, gender, and identity formation, and education in the Roman world. My interests in Roman social and cultural history are broad and touch upon areas such as gender and sexuality, religious minorities, death and commemoration. Among literary authors, I have worked on Ovid’s Fasti, Cicero's Verrine Orations, and Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities specifically; a study of the rape narratives in Book 2 of the Fasti will soon appear in a volume on Roman literary cultureI have been and currently am involved in a variety of graduate student theses and major research papers on historical and literary topics related to Roman family life, childhood in antiquity, and Latin poetry and prose, and would be happy to discuss with students future projects in any of these areas.

Recent Publications:

  • 2013. "Roman Education," in M. Gibbs, M. Nikolic, and P. Ripat (eds.), Themes in Roman Society and Culture: An Introduction to Ancient Rome. Toronto. 117-138.
  • 2012. "Playing with Gender: Girls, Dolls, and Adult Ideals in the Roman World," Classical Antiquity 31.2: 256-292.
  • 2011. "Honouring the family dead on the Parentalia: ceremony, spectacle, and memory," Phoenix 65.1-2: 125-157.
  • 2011. "Reconsidering the Matronalia and women’s rites,” Classical World 104.2: 191-209.
  • 2011. "Celebrating the Saturnalia: Religious Ritual and Roman Domestic Life," in B. Rawson (ed.), A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Malden, MA. 488-503.
  • 2008. "Togam virilem sumere: Coming of Age in the Roman World," in J. Edmondson and A. Keith (eds.), Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture. Toronto. 47-70. 

Select Recent Papers:

  • 2015. "Strained relations, gender differences, and domestic ideals: the significance of two Roman family festivals," Classical Association of the Canadian West Annual Meeting, Winnipeg, MB, March 2015.
  • 2014. "Roman children at play: realities and representations,” Tracing the Children’s Perspective. Children and Everyday Life in the Roman World (1st cent. BC-6th cent. AD), University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
  • 2014. "Disasters and their impacts on Roman families," Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting, Montreal, PQ.
  • 2013. "Illness and anxiety in elite Roman households," Department of Classical Studies, University of Western Ontario, London, ON.
  • 2013. "Learning letters and forming characters: educating upper-class children in Roman society," 24th Annual BUAS Symposium on Paidagogos: Education in Classics, Ancient and Modern, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON.
  • 2012. "Verres, Freud, and the Collector's Libido," Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting, London, ON.

Professional Service:
Program Co-ordinator, Niagara Peninsula Society of the Archaeological Institute of America
Member, Classical Association of Canada Council
Vice-president (Ontario), Classical Association of the Middle, West, and South
Member of the Board of Correspondents, Mouseion
Advisor, Ontario Classical Association


Association of Ancient Historians
Classical Association of Canada
Classical Association of the Middle, West, and South
Ontario Classical Association