Professor Schmitz teaches primarily about the history of religions and historical methodology. His research concerns the history of ancient Lebanon, Syria, Palestine (especially the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their later descendants), and North Africa. He is a specialist in the Phoenician language and the history of Phoenician expansion westward into the Mediterranean prior to Greek and Roman domination of these areas.
Since 1990 he has taught at Eastern Michigan University, first as a Lecturer, later as Assistant and Associate Professor. From 1998 to 2002 he served as Faculty Associate for Course and Program Development in the Academic Affairs division. During academic years 2004-2006 he was Interim Department Head of History and Philosophy. He has recently been an Academic Service-Learning fellow.
Before coming to EMU, he was assistant editor of the Anchor Bible Dictionary and editor of the Index to Book Reviews in Religion. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of Carthage Studies (Ghent), and is currently at work on a Dictionary of Ancient Phoenician Civilization.
“Phoenician PRMN ‘Pomegranate Fruit’: An Unrecognized Compound Noun.” Submitted to Vicino Oriente (Rome).
“The spr š lḥ ‘Tablet Scribe’ at Phoenician Kition (CIS I 86 A 14).” Submitted to Journal of the American Oriental Society.
“Archaic Greek Names in a Neo-Assyrian Cuneiform Tablet from Tarsus.” Journal of Cuneiform Literature (in press).
“Phoenician KRNTRYŠ, Archaic Greek *ΚΟΡΥΝΗΤΉΡΙΟΣ, and the Storm God of Aleppo.” KUSATU (Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner Umwelt) 11 (in press).
“Deity and Royalty in Dedicatory Formulae: The Ekron Store-Jar Inscription Viewed in the Light of Judg 7:18, 20 and the Inscribed Gold Medallion from the Douïmès Necropolis at Carthage (KAI 73).” Maarav (in press).
“The Owl in Phoenician Mortuary Practice.” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 9.1 (2009): 51-85.
“Archaic Greek Words in Phoenician Script from Karatepe,” American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy Newsletter 12, no. 2 (1 October 2008): 5-9.
“Punic Graffiti on Pottery.” In R. Docter, ed., Carthage Bir Messaouda: Excavations by the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) in 2000 and 2001 [final report], Chap. 8.1.7, in press.
The Phoenician Diaspora: Epigraphic and Historical Studies (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, in press).
“Religion of the Phoenicians in North Africa: Punic Religion.” In The Cambridge History of Religions in the Classical World, vol.1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, in press.
“Punic Texts.” In New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007)
"The Phoenician-Punic Personal Name z‛zbl." Accepted by Dutch Studies: Near Eastern Languages and Literatures (University of Leiden, Netherlands) 6, no. 2 (2007): 1-2.
"A Fifth-Century BCE Phoenician Graffito from Ghizène (Jerba)." Co-authored with Roald Docter (University of Ghent) and Sami Ben Taher (Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunis), Orientalia (Rome) 76 (2007): 64-72. This is a special issue of honoring the retirement of M. G. Amadasi from the University of Rome.
“Adonis in the Phoenician Text from Pyrgi? A New Reading of KAI 277.5.” Etruscan News 8 (2007). Etruscan News is an online journal sponsored by Columbia University.
“Procopius' Phoenician Inscriptions: Never Lost, Not Found.” Palestine Excavation Quarterly (London) 139, no. 2 (2007): 99-104, with a rejoinder by Anthony Frendo.