Richard John Alexander Talbert (born 1947) is a contemporary British-American ancient historian and classicist on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Ancient History and Classics. Talbert is a leading scholar of ancient geography and the idea of space in the ancient Mediterranean world. Connected to this spatial research is a major project on the Tabula Peutingeriana (Peutinger table), a copy of an ancient Roman map preserved in a Medieval version once owned by Konrad Peutinger. He is the head of the advisory board of the Ancient World Mapping Center, an interdisciplinary research unit based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Talbert is also a senior editor of the Pleiades Project, a joint digital humanities venture focused on ancient world geography coordinated by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and New York University.
Talbert received his education at The King's School, Canterbury and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he gained Double First Class Honours in Classics (1968), followed by a Ph. D. (1972). Cambridge granted him a Litt. D. in 2003. He is also a Corresponding Member of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut. Talbert has been on the faculties of the Queen's University, Belfast and McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. He was Herodotus Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, (1978–79). His study The Senate of Imperial Rome (Princeton University Press, 1984) won the American Philological Association's Goodwin Award of Merit in 1985.
For 2000-01 Talbert was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Senior Fellowship, and the inaugural Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Fellowship at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. Talbert has served on the Council of the Classical Association of Canada, and was President of the Association of Ancient Historians (1999-2002). He was awarded the American Philological Association's Medal for Distinguished Service in 1999. He was Resident professor at the American Academy in Rome (1991), and currently chairs the Advisory Council to its School of Classical Studies. He taught at the University of Alabama in Huntsville as Eminent Scholar in the Humanities (spring 1993), and has been Visiting Professor of Classics at Princeton University (spring 1997). In 2011/12 he was the Archaeological Institute of America’s Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecturer, and Directeur d’études invité at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris. For Fall 2012 Talbert was named the first Suzanne Deal Booth Scholar-in-Residence at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, Italy. Talbert has directed a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute on the early Roman empire (Chapel Hill, 1991), and co-directed (with Michael Maas of Rice University) three National Endowment for the Humanities Seminars at the American Academy in Rome (2000, 2006, 2012).
Significant among his scholarly work is the compilation of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, which won the 2000 Association of American Publishers Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Multi-volume Reference Work in the Humanities.
- Fagan, Garrett G. 1993. Three studies in Roman public bathing: Origins, growth, and social aspects. Ph.D. Diss. McMaster University (Canada), ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Donahue, John F. 1996. Epula publica: The Roman community at table during the Principate. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Crews, Rex Bailey. 1998. The handbooks "De officio proconsulis": Authorship and audience. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Perry, Jonathan Scott. 1999. A death in the familia: The funerary colleges of the Roman Empire. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- King, Peter V. 2000. The cognitio into insanity. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Hansen, John Claire. 2001. Euboea under Roman rule and the consequences of imperial incorporation (c. 200 BCE to c. 200 CE). Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Bablitz, Leanne Eileen. 2003. Courtroom dynamics in Rome during the early Empire. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Brice, Lee L. 2003. Holding a wolf by the ears: Mutiny and unrest in the Roman military, 44 B.C.--A.D. 68. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Elliott, Tom. 2004. Epigraphic evidence for boundary disputes in the Roman Empire. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Rocovich, Elizabeth Holden. 2004. Exile in Roman life and thought from Augustus to Constantine. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Slootjes, Danielle. 2004. Late Roman rule and provincial expectations: The governor and his subjects. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Fuhrmann, Christopher J. 2005. Keeping the imperial peace: Public order, state control and policing in the Roman Empire during the first three centuries AD. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Golden, Cheryl L. 2005. The role of poison in Roman society. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Turner, Brian David. 2010. Military defeats, casualties of war and the success of Rome. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Bond, Sarah E. 2011. Criers, Impresarios, and Sextons: Disreputable Occupations in the Roman World. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Ward, Graeme A. 2012. Centurions: The practice of Roman officership. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- Kent, Patrick Alan. 2012. The Roman army's emergence from its Italian origins. Ph.D. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.
- 1971. Studies on Timoleon and the revival of Greek Sicily from 344 to 317 B.C. (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge. Faculty of Classics)
- 1974. Timoleon and the Revival of Greek Sicily (Cambridge).
- 1984. The Senate of Imperial Rome (Princeton University Press). ISBN 9780691102382. Reviews: American Journal of Philology 108.3 (1987).
- 1985. Atlas of Classical History (Routledge). ISBN 9780029331101. Japanese-language edition 1996. Girishia rōma rekishi chizu ギリシア。ローマ歴史地図 / Richiādo·J·A·Tarubāto hen ; Nonaka Natsumi, Oda Kenji yaku./リチァード·J·A·タルバート編 ; 野中夏実, 小田謙爾訳.
- 2010. Rome's World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered (Cambridge). ISBN 9780521764803; online content. Reviews: BMCR 2012.04.14; TLS; Journal of Roman Archaeology 24.831; Elijah Meeks (2011).
- 2000. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (Princeton, 2000). ISBN 9780691031699. Reviews: Journal of Roman Archaeology 14.454; Athena Review 2.4; JRS 94 (2004): 183-90; additional reviews. 2013 app version.
- 2004. with Kai Brodersen. Space in the Roman World, its Perception and Presentation (LIT, Munster). ISBN 9783825874193. Reviews: BMCR 2005.09.41
- 2004. with M.T. Boatwright and D. Gargola. The Romans: From Village to Empire (Oxford). ISBN 0195118758. Review: BMCR 2006.04.29. Czech edition (2012). Dějiny římské rise: od nejranějších časů po Konstantina Velikého ISBN 978-80-247-3168-1.
- 2005. trans. Plutarch on Sparta new ed. ISBN 9780140449433.
- 2006. with M.T. Boatwright and D. Gargola. A Brief History of the Romans (Oxford). ISBN 9780195187151.
- 2008. with R.W. Unger Cartography in antiquity and the Middle Ages: fresh perspectives, new methods (Brill). ISBN 9789004166639. Reviews: BMCR 2009.06.07.
- 2010. with Kurt A. Raaflaub.Geography and Ethnography: Perceptions of the World in Pre-Modern Societies (Wiley-Blackwell). ISBN 9781405191463. Reviews: Journal of Roman Archaeology 25.763.
- 2011. with David S. Potter. Classical Courts and Courtiers (American Journal of Philology vol. 132.1, special issue).
- 2012. with M.T. Boatwright, N. Lenski and D. Gargola The Romans: From Village to Empire: A History of Rome from Earliest Times to the End of the Western Empire 2nd expanded edition (Oxford). ISBN 978-0199730575.
- 2012. with Susan E. Alcock and John P. Bodel. Highways, Byways, and Road Systems in the Pre-Modern World. (Wiley-Blackwell). ISBN 9780470674253.
- 2012. Ancient Perspectives: Maps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. (University of Chicago Press). ISBN 9780226789378. Reviews: BMCR 2013.10.63; AJA 117.4 (2013)
- 2013. New introduction to re-print of William Smith. An atlas of ancient geography, biblical and classical: maps of the ancient world. London: I. B. Tauris. ISBN 9781848853522.
- 2013. Boatwright, M. T., D. J. Gargola, N. Lenski, and R. Talbert. A Brief History of the Romans Second Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN13: 9780199987559
- Forthcoming. Oxford Handbook of Communications in the Classical World (co-edited with Fred Naiden).
- Forthcoming. Travel in the Roman Mind (with Grant Parker).
- Forthcoming. Moses Finley in America: The Making of an Ancient Historian (2014).
- 2011. ed. Routledge Wall Maps for the Ancient World (7 maps).
- 2012. "Maps" for Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics.
Journal articles and chapters
- 1980. "Pliny the Younger as Governor of Bithynia-Pontus." In C. Deroux, ed., Studies in Latin Literature and History II. Brussels: 412-35.
- 1984. "Augustus and the Senate." Greece & Rome (Second Series) 31:55-63.
- 1989. "The Role of the Helots in the Class Struggle at Sparta." Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 38.1:22-40.
- 1992. "Mapping the classical world: major atlases and map series 1872-1990." Journal of Roman Archaeology 5:5-38.
- 1994. "Carl Muller (1813-1894), S. Jacobs, and the Making of Classical Maps in Paris for John Murray." Imago Mundi 46:128-150.
- 1997. "Maps for the Classical World: Where Do We Go from Here?" The American Journal of Philology 118.2:323-327.
- 1999. "Tacitus and the Senatus Consultum de Cn. Pisone Patre." American Journal of Philology 120.1:89-97.
- 2002. with Thomas Elliott. “Mapping the Ancient World.” In Anne Knowles (ed.), Past Time, Past Place: GIS for History, ESRI Press. ISBN 9781589480322.
- 2008. with Thomas Elliott. “Bringing an Ancient Map of the Roman World into Modern GIS: Cartographic and Historical Perspectives Revealed.” In A. Knowles and A. Hillier (eds.), Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS are Changing Historical Scholarship, ESRI Press. ISBN 9781589480131.
- 2013. Bevan, G., D. Lehoux, R. Talbert. "REFLECTANCE TRANSFORMATION IMAGING OF A ‘BYZANTINE’ PORTABLE SUNDIAL." Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 187:221–9.
- Review of David Johnston. The Roman Law of Trusts. New York: Clarendon Press of Oxford University Press. 1988. Pp. xiii, 306. $64.00. The American Historical Review (1990) 95 (5): 1506-1507.
- Review of Bengt E. Thomasson: Legatus: Beiträge zur römischen Verwaltungsgeschichte. (Skrifter Utgivna av Svenska Institutet i Rom, 8.18.) Pp. 173. Stockholm: Paul Åstroms, 1991. Sw. Kr. 200. The Classical Review (New Series) 43.02:(October 1993):346-347.
- Review of Kai Brodersen 1997. Terra Cognita. Studien zur roemischen Raumerfassung. Imago Mundi 49: 177.
- Review of Colin Adams and Ray Laurence, eds. Travel and Geography in the Roman Empire. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. x + 202 pp. 48 black-and-white figures. American Journal of Philology 123.3:529-534 .
- Review of Susan P. Mattern. Rome and the Enemy: Imperial Strategy in the Principate. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999. xxi + 259 pp. Cloth, $35.00. American Journal of Philology 122.3 (2001) 451-454
- Review. "Germanicus and Piso Princes and Political Cultures. The New Tiberian Senatorial Decrees by G. Rowe." Review by: Richard J. A. Talbert The Classical Review, New Series, 54.1:180-182.
- Review of Trevor Murphy, Pliny the Elder's Natural History: The Empire in the Encyclopedia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. BMCR 2004.12.23.
- Review of A. Powell, S. Hodkinson (edd.). 2002. Sparta: Beyond the Mirage. Pp. xx + 354, maps, ills. Swansea and London: The Classical Press of Wales and Duckworth. ISBN 0-715631-83-7. In Classical Review 55.1 (2005).
- Review of C. Edwards, G. Woolf (edd.). 2004. Rome the Cosmopolis. In The International History Review 27.1 (Mar., 2005) 108-110
- Review of John Matthews, The Journey of Theophanes: Travel, Business, and Daily Life in the Roman East. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. Pp. 244. BMCR 2007.02.31.
- Review of Anne-Maria Wittke, Eckart Olshausen, Richard Szydlak, Historischer Atlas der antiken Welt. Der Neue Pauly. Supplemente Band 3. Stuttgart/Weimar: Verlag J. B. Metzler, 2007. BMCR 2009.07.22.
- Review of Daniela Dueck, Geography in Classical Antiquity. Key themes in ancient history. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Pp. xvi, 142. ISBN 9780521120258. $29.99 (pb). Contributors: With a chapter by Kai Brodersen. BMCR 2012.12.29.
- Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World