I’m a social and cultural historian who has focussed on the comparative study of small groups or “associations” in the ancient Mediterranean world, with important implications for our understanding of Judeans (Jews) and Jesus adherents scattered throughout that world. My teaching and research often juxtapose literary, epigraphic, papyrological and archeological evidence to better understand the lives of people in antiquity. While my research had previously included some attention to diasporas and immigrant groups in that context, now that I have received a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, most of my energies are devoted to the new title of this website: Ethnic Relations and Migration in the Ancient World. The project aims to shed new light on the perspectives and experiences of subject peoples, immigrants, and minorities in the Mediterranean world, including Pontic peoples, Egyptians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, Syrians, Judeans, and Jesus adherents. Alongside this research, I have an ongoing interest in literary and other representations of violence at the imperial, civic, and domestic levels.
I received my BA from the University of Waterloo in History and Religious Studies (1993) and both my MA (1994) and PhD (1999) from the University of Toronto. I began my career teaching at Concordia University in Montreal and now I am in Humanities and Ancient History at York University in Toronto.
For a list of publications and to download my articles and books for free, go to publications.
For my teaching and recent courses, go to courses.
You can contact me at: pharland – at – yorku – dot – ca.