Frank Russell

My philosophy for teaching is not so much to convey knowledge. It’s really to be a catalyst for the students to participate in their own pursuit of knowledge.

Professor of History and Bingham Endowed Chair Frank Russell

About Frank Russell’s Work

Frank Russell teaches both history and classics at Transylvania. His background is in ancient history and languages, and he is particularly interested in the margins of empire in the ancient world.

“I think that going beyond the assigned text and taking the information as the starting point rather than the ending point helps people make decisions about what text signifies — what it means in terms of actionability,” Russell explains. “In my scholarship and my personal life, I try to take information and translate it into intelligence. And that’s what I’m trying to have my students do in the classroom, so they can move from having information to using knowledge.”

Russell also focuses on learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Beginning this summer, Transylvania students will be helping unearth an ancient Roman commercial center along the southern coast of Turkey. Russell developed the student opportunity in partnership with several universities following his own research at the Antiochia ad Cragum archeological site for two years.

“Some field schools dump you on site and don’t give you much training,” said Russell, who laid the foundation for the project through a faculty grant from Transylvania. “We train them not only in the techniques, but we also have seminars on historical and cultural context.”

Russell’s book “Information Gathering in Classical Greece” focuses on political and military intelligence, and he has published shorter pieces on Greek and Roman military history. He is currently working on a study of the Rhodian watchtower system in the southeast Aegean.

Russell teaches courses in ancient history, Greek and Latin and contributes to Transylvania’s common core courses.

frank russell portrait
Frank Russell — download this portrait