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 Failure and Family History in the Roman Republic and Beyond. 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 particularly interested in how resilient the family was in the face of failure both military and political.
I am also editing 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 Ancient Vomit: A Cultural History of Greek and Roman Emesis.
I welcome any enquiries from prospective research students interested in these topics, or Latin literature and culture generally.
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, as my Instagram account @iandudum might make clear.