I am a Latin literature specialist with a strong research interest in Roman cultural history. I have worked primarily on verse satire, the one genre for which the Romans considered themselves to be responsible. My Cambridge PhD, Lucilius and the Archaeology of Roman Satire, supervised by Emily Gowers, treated satire’s now-fragmentary inventor, Gaius Lucilius (c. 180-103/2 BCE); in it I argued that he was less aggressive in intent than he is usually supposed from the testimony of his follower Horace. I have published much of this research in journal articles and book chapters, and am continuing to work on satire and Republican literature.

My current major research project is a monograph under contract for Bloomsbury, Scipionic Family History in the Roman Republic and BeyondSFH (for short) is slated for publication in mid-2019. It is the first ever analysis of the family relations of the gens Cornelia, especially six generations of senators named Scipio Nasica. The work incorporates political history, topographical analysis, and the study of cultural memory.

I am also co-editing, with Alison Sharrock, a volume about the author Albius Tibullus, who wrote elegiac love poetry during the triumviral period at the end of the Roman Republic. The book is provisionally titled Practical Approaches to Tibullus the Elegiac Idealist. This is the result of a conference which I organised at the University of Manchester in June 2015. Tibullus wrote two books of poems, and there is a third (the Corpus Tibullianum) transmitted from antiquity under his name; this last includes poems which seem to be written by a female poet, Sulpicia, who also features in the book.

A future project of mine concerns vomiting in the ancient imagination and experience. It will also result in a monograph, tentatively called Roman Vomit: A Cultural History of Ancient Emesis.

I welcome any enquiries from prospective research students interested in these topics.

I was born in Melbourne, Australia and lived until I was 18 in Sydney, where I attended Sydney Grammar School. I did my undergraduate degree at Harvard University, then an MPhil and PhD at Trinity College in the University of Cambridge. I have taught at Cambridge, King's College London, the University of Manchester, Birkbeck, University of London, and the University of Exeter. In a past life I played the violin semi-professionally, and I am passionate about food.

Areas of Expertise

  • Roman satire and the rhetorical invective tradition
  • Latin fragmentary texts
  • Republican & early Augustan literature (esp. Horace, Virgil, elegy)
  • Roman political and intellectual history

Publications

  1. An Asianist Sensation: Horace on Lucilius as Hortensius. American Journal of Philology
  2. SCEPTICISM AT THE BIRTH OF SATIRE: CARNEADES IN LUCILIUS’ CONCILIVM DEORVM. The Classical Quarterly, 1-15.
  3. Living among Wolves, Acting like a Wolf: Lucilius’ Attacks on Lupus. Classical Philology
  4. Peacocks, Pikes and Parasites: Lucilius and the Discourse of Luxury. In Lucilius and Satire in Second-Century Rome, ed. B. Breed, E. Keitel & R. Wallace. (pp. 255-278). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Republican Satire in the Dock: Forensic Rhetoric in Lucilius. In Reading Republican Oratory: Reconstructions, Contexts, Receptions, ed. C. Gray, A. Balbo, R. Marshall & C. E. W. Steel. (pp. 33-48). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Teaching

  • CL-M28 Latin Texts 1

    This is the second of two master¿s level modules dedicated to the in-depth study, translation, criticism, and interpretation of a relatively complex and sophisticated Latin text in the original. A third of the classes will be devoted to the reading of unseen passages. It is appropriate for students who have studied Latin for three years or more.

  • CL-M58A Postgraduate Further Latin 1

    Consolidation an extension of Latin language skills for students who have successfully completed Intermediate Latin or equivalent. Study of one or more straightforward prose texts in the original language.

  • CLC102 Ovid's Metamorphoses. The Transformations of Mythology

    Ovid¿s 'Metamorphoses' is one the greatest texts of classical antiquity and a foundation for the history of art and literature in the western world. Ovid was a brilliant, witty, and entertaining story-teller who modernised ancient myth in his 'Metamorphoses' to create a work of dazzling genius. It includes approximately 250 short mythological stories, from the creation of the world to the apotheosis of Julius Caesar. Each story concerns or contains transformation, and Ovid is typically ingenious in varying his treatment of this theme. The stories range all over the spectrum, from tragic to comic, from erotic to grotesque, from extreme violence to idyllic tranquillity, and from the king of the gods to the lowliest peasant: Ovid keeps his readers on their toes with stunning shifts of tone and a constant sense of fun. In this module we explore a wide variety of episodes and analyse Ovid¿s literary techniques and creativity.

  • CLC200 Roman Love Poetry

    Love elegy was a short-lived, vibrant poetic genre that flourished at Rome during the late Republic and early Empire. More personal in its style than the grand narratives of epic, love elegy focuses on steamy extra-marital affairs, seduction techniques, and the social roles of men and women. This module examines, in English translation, selections from Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid. Through close reading of these texts, we shall discuss the conventions and development of love elegy as a poetic genre, as well as addressing its themes of gender, sexuality, loss, violence, poetic persona, and urban sophistication. A common trait of Roman love poetry is the provocative stance it adopts towards conventional morality, especially in the wake of the Emperor Augustus¿ marriage reforms. In order to evaluate such political and social engagement, this module will situate love elegy carefully within its historical context, and consider the possible implications of its rebellious worldview.

  • CLC206 Reading Classical Civilisation

    An introduction to some central themes and approaches in the study of Classical Civilisation.

  • CLC300 Roman Love Poetry

    Love elegy was a short-lived, vibrant poetic genre that flourished at Rome during the late Republic and early Empire. More personal in its style than the grand narratives of epic, love elegy focuses on steamy extra-marital affairs, seduction techniques, and the social roles of men and women. This module examines, in English translation, selections from Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid. Through close reading of these texts, we shall discuss the conventions and development of love elegy as a poetic genre, as well as addressing its themes of gender, sexuality, loss, violence, poetic persona, and urban sophistication. A common trait of Roman love poetry is the provocative stance it adopts towards conventional morality, especially in the wake of the Emperor Augustus¿ marriage reforms. In order to evaluate such political and social engagement, this module will situate love elegy carefully within its historical context, and consider the possible implications of its rebellious worldview.

  • CLD300 Classics, Ancient History, Egyptology Dissertation

    Dissertation module for students doing single honours or joint honours degrees in Classics, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or Egyptology. The aim is for students to do detailed research, to work on a project for several months and to produce a scholarly study of c. 8000-10000 words. The dissertation topic can be chosen freely, in consultation with a member of academic staff and subject to compatibility with a student's degree scheme and availability of supervisors and library material. This is a chance for students to pursue an area in which they are especially interested, and to deal with it in depth. Students may choose to do museum-based research. There are two preparatory pieces of assessment: an abstract, outline and bibliography, and an analysis of crucial source material and/or secondary literature. Work on the dissertation itself takes up most of the two semesters. Students are expected to do research independently, but there is a series of lectures in the first semester to provide advice on research and scholarly writing, Every student will be assigned a supervisor who will be organising group sessions with his/her supervisees and who will also be available for one-to-one supervision sessions.

  • CLL125 Further Latin 1 (Level 1)

    Consolidation and extension of Latin language skills for students entering the University with an A level (or equivalent) in Latin. Study of one or more relatively straightforward texts in the original language.

  • CLL225 Further Latin 1 (Level 2)

    Consolidation and extension of Latin language skills for students who have completed Intermediate Latin at Level 1. Study of one or more relatively straightforward texts in the original language.

  • CLL227 Advanced Latin 1 (Level 2)

    Consolidation and extension of advanced Latin language skills for students who have completed Further Latin at Level 1. Study of one or more relatively complex and sophisticated prose texts in the original language. A third of the classes will be devoted to the reading of unseen passages.

  • CLL325 Further Latin 1 (Level 3)

    Consolidation and extension of Latin language skills for students who began the study of ancient Latin at Level 1. Study of one or more relatively straightforward texts in the original language.

  • CLL327 Advanced Latin 1 (Level 3)

    Consolidation and extension of advanced Latin language skills for students who have completed Further Latin at Level 2. Study of one or more straightforward relatively complex and sophisticated prose texts in the original language.

  • CLL329 Advanced Latin 3

    Consolidation and extension of advanced Latin language skills for students who have completed Advanced Latin 1 and 2 at Level 2. Study of one or more relatively complex and sophisticated prose texts in the original language.