College of Arts and Sciences

Classical Studies

Christina Zarifopol-Illias

Christina Zarifopol-Illias

Senior Lecturer, Department of Classical Studies
Senior Lecturer, Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures
Ballantine Hall, Room 560


  • B.A./M.A. at University of Bucharest, 1967
  • M.A. at Indiana University, 1987
  • Ph.D. at Indiana University, 1994

Research Interests

  • Latin literature
  • Ancient rhetoric
  • Romanian literature


Teaching, whether it is Latin or Romanian, has always been a way of life for me: my vocation is my avocation. In all my years of teaching at Indiana University, my primary concerns have always been the intellectual growth, welfare, and academic advancement of the students. Although the two languages I teach require somewhat different pedagogical techniques, I have used both of them equally to create the most suitable and most productive environment for achieving what I consider to be the main goals of the educational process:

  • empowering students with knowledge
  • cultivating respect for education and fostering love for learning
  • developing and sharpening students’ critical thinking and constantly improving their speaking and writing abilities
  • stimulating students’ intellectual curiosity and broadening their world view through understanding and appreciation of other cultures and peoples, ancient and modern alike
  • preparing students to become responsible, productive, and successful members of society

The opportunity to teach both Latin and Romanian, combining in such a harmonious way my expertise as a classicist with my Romanian heritage, has proven to be a tremendously rewarding and enriching experience for me and, consequently and most importantly, a highly beneficial one, I dare say, for my students as well.

Selected Awards

  • IU Trustees Teaching Excellence (2002)
  • Teaching Excellence Recognition Award (1998, 1999, 2000)
  • Romanian National Order “Faithful Service” (2000)
  • Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize (1999)
  • Rated A+ as teacher by the IU students (1994)

Courses Recently Taught

  • Elementary Latin
  • Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Romanian 

Publication Highlights


New Correspondence: Mihai Eminescu-Veronica Micle. Polirom, 2000.

Portrait of a Pragmatic Hero: Narrative Strategies of Self-Presentation in Pliny’s Letters. Polirom, 2000.

Translations from Romanian poetry.