David William Madsen, PhD

PhD, Classics

Professor Emeritus, History


Teaching and Research Interests

Classical & Hellenistic Greece; Late Republican & Early Imperial Rome; intersection of Hellenistic, Roman, Jewish & Christian history; and Latin language & literature. 


David W. Madsen was born in Everett, WA, and educated at Saint Edward’s Seminary, Seattle University (BA, Classics, 1969), and the University of Washington (MA 1974, PhD 1981). He served in the US Army from 1969-1972, including 18 months in Munich, Germany as an interrogator in the 18th Military Intelligence Battalion. He came to Seattle University and the Matteo Ricci College as a professor in the humanities in the fall of 1981. He began teaching in the University Honors Program in 1982, and he was granted a tenure track position in the Department of History in 1987. Promoted to Associate Professor in 1996, he assumed the Directorship of University Honors in 1997 and held the position until 2005. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he is the Moderator of the University’s Naef Scholars and he serves as the University’s Grand Marshal. His current teaching load includes coursework in Matteo Ricci College, University Honors, Latin and History. Professor Madsen is married and has two adult children as well as two grandchildren; his wife and both children graduated from Seattle University in 1995, 2000 and 2002 respectively. He lives in Ballard in Northwest Seattle where he enjoys his art collection, wine cellar, and library. He regularly attends the theater and is a particular fan of early music. Firmly convinced that a mens sana can only be found in corpora sano, he is an inveterate walker and the vice-president of a local walking club.