De me paucaI recently joined the Department of Classics at Dartmouth College as a Visiting Lecturer. For the 2016–2017 academic year, I will be teaching Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies courses, beginning with Classical Mythology in Summer 2016.
Areas of Special Interest
My research focuses on issues of genre, aesthetics, and literary inheritance in the Roman poetic tradition. I explore the vital importance of imitation and rivalry to the Latin poets of the first century BCE, whose intense engagement with Greek models and Roman contemporaries led to the emergence of poetic innovations that shaped centuries of literary development. In my published works, for example, I draw connections between Horatian lyric and Vergilian epic, reveal Ovid’s commitment to the pastoral tradition in the Metamorphoses, and demonstrate that Vergil articulates the themes of love and death through the language of the elegiac genre.
Taking Love Seriously: Elegiac Love and Death in Aeneid 7–12
My current book project explores the importance of elegy within the generic strata of the second half of Vergil’s Augustan epic. Previous scholarship has focused on Vergil’s elegiac experimentation in narratives with strong amatory themes, particularly the depictions of alienated and suffering lovers in the Bucolics, Orpheus and Eurydice in Georgics 4, and Dido in Aeneid 4. By contrast, I explore the vital, yet previously unrecognized, presence of elegiac expressions within the explicitly martial epic narrative of Vergil’s ‘Italian Iliad.’ I argue that Vergil mediates the epic tradition through the specialized vocabulary of Latin elegy, creating a new, Roman epic mode that retains its Homeric and Apollonian provenance, while embodying current artistic trends and cultural sensibilities.
Other Research Projects
In a recent study, “Primus Pastor: The Origins of Pastoral Programme in Ovid’s Metamorphoses,” I demonstrate the revolutionary programmatic importance of pastoral to Ovid’s epic project. The unifying theme of the Metamorphoses is transformation, as indicated by the phrase mutatas dicere formas in its first line (Met. 1.1). More implicitly, Ovid’s entire epic project is an act of poetic transfiguration, the systematic reshaping of sources that exemplify the concept of “changed forms.” Ovid’s reception of the Eclogues in the Metamorphoses, I suggest, reflects his interest in the poetics of change. My forthcoming analysis of the tale of Mercury and Battus will not only provide additional evidence for Ovid’s programmatic commitment to pastoral but will also read his engagement with the Eclogues as a nuanced response to the collection’s inherently transformative nature.
With Gwynaeth McIntyre (University of Otago), I am also co-editing Instability and Permanence: Uncovering Anna Perenna, an interdisciplinary study that will be of great interest to scholars of Roman archaeology, history, literature, mythology, and religion. The complex and multifaceted figure of Anna has received surprisingly little scholarly attention, despite her presence in a wide range of sources. A comprehensive study of Anna Perenna provides us with a unique opportunity to shed new light on various facets of the Roman world, from its religious practices and politics to its legendary history and poetic production. My own contribution to the volume focuses on Ovid’s response to Vergil’s treatment ‘literary love triangle’ between Dido, Anna, and Aeneas in his elegiac aetiology of Anna Perenna in Fasti 3.
Please see my curriculum vitae for a comprehensive list of my recent publications, works in progress, and delivered papers.