Photo by Isaia Crosson.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, I recently received my PhD from the interdepartmental Classical Studies (CLST) program at Columbia University (NY, USA), where I wrote a dissertation on elite male youth entitled, Youth and Power: Roman Performances of Age and Ageing from Plautus to Nero (May 2019: Abstract). I am currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.). Beyond Roman history (cultural, social, political) and the various ways I approach the history of youth and age(ing), I am also interested in:

  • Displacement, migration and place in the ancient Mediterranean

  • Space and identity in Roman urban contexts

  • Oratory and politics in the Roman Republic, especially Cicero

  • Roman art and architecture (portraiture, wall painting, somatology, viewership)

  • Roman colonization

  • Ancient gender, performance theory

  • Roman villa culture

  • Memory studies

For the 2018-19 academic year I was based in Rome as a Mellon International Travel Fellow, both to finish the dissertation and to conduct research in the museums and archaeological sites of Italy and Europe that allowed me to build up a substantial corpus of art historical material, such as certain types of sculpted portraits. Currently I am at work on my first monograph, based on the dissertation, which will focus on the history of elite male youth from 149 BCE down to 68 CE. My project takes age, specifically youth, as something that can be performed (i.e., “acting your age”, or not), much like gender, and traces how these performances changed over two hundred years, due to a whole range of historical factors, from demographic conditions to legal and artistic developments.

A second project, currently in its early stages (a pilot study will be presented at NACGLE in 2020), will look at non-elite spatial identities and modes of spatial perception in Roman urban contexts, as represented in both non-elite (primarily graffiti and inscriptions) and elite texts in conversation with archaeological contexts and visual media.

Previous to my graduate studies at Columbia and in Rome, I received my Bachelor of Ancient History (Honours) degree with a high first (= summa cum laude) and the University Medal at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where I wrote a thesis on Ciceronian oratory and the politics of memoria under the supervision of Associate Professor Tom Hillard (now emeritus) and Associate Professor Lea Beness

In my spare time, I enjoy exploring my American roots, taking photos of the ancient and modern places (and people) I visit, cycling around NYC to beachside taco stands and architectural gems (among other places!), experimenting with new recipes, hiking in the Hudson Valley, and, of course, enjoying the cultural cornucopia of the city. 

You can find me at the Columbia CLST directory,, and you can follow me on Twitter where I tweet under @quidamabo . Check out my blog, if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to and thinking about lately!