Ian is a Latin literature specialist with a strong research interest in Roman cultural and literary history. His Cambridge PhD, Lucilius and the Archaeology of Roman Satire, supervised by Emily Gowers, treated the inventor, Gaius Lucilius (c. 180-103/2 BCE), of Roman Verse Satire. This research has been published in numerous journal articles and book chapters, and Ian has continued to research and teach satire and other ancient literature, mostly Roman poetry. In 2021 Ian received an Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award from Swansea University. He is an External Examiner for Latin at the University of Sheffield, and a Council Member of the Roman Society.
Ian’s current major 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, historiography, and the study of cultural memory. A particular interest is how resilient the family was in the face of failure both military and political. Ian is also working on various other topics in Latin poetry, including (separately) the elegist Tibullus, Virgil’s Eclogues, and Horace’s Odes and Ars Poetica. Another project focuses on 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.
Ian was born in Melbourne, Australia and lived until the age of 18 in Sydney, where he attended Sydney Grammar School. He did his undergraduate degree at Harvard, then an MPhil and PhD at Trinity College, in the University of Cambridge. He taught at Cambridge, King's College London, the University of Manchester, Birkbeck, University of London, and the University of Exeter. In a past life he played the violin semi-professionally, and he is passionate about food, which is an important feature of Roman satire, as his ongoing series for the Department YouTube channel, ‘The Food of Roman Verse’, available here, should make clear.