Reception and classical tradition research cluster

Photograph of Rome's Trevi fountain at night

Andrew Bayliss works on the use and abuse of the Ancient Greek past during the Enlightenment, and its influence on the modern discipline of Classics. This work focuses on way in which political commentators employed models from antiquity in their debates about how the modern nation state should be governed. Key publications: “Greek but not Grecian? Macedonians in Enlightenment Histories”, in Reinventing History: The Enlightenment Origins of Ancient History, J. Moore, I. Macgregor Morris and A.J. Bayliss (eds), (University of London Press, 2008): 219-246; “The Reception of Hellenistic Athens: the origins of a negative image”, in After Demosthenes: the Politics of Early Hellenistic Athens, (Contiuun, 2011), 10-48.

Gideon Nisbet researches in how ancient Greece and Rome are represented to reading and viewing publics, from the nineteenth century to the present day. He has particular interests in contemporary popular media, and in the role of translation and non-fiction in explaining antiquity to non-elite audiences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – often in carefully filtered versions. Key publications: Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture (2nd ed. 2008); Epigram (2010, with Niall Livingstone); ‘Imperial Satire Revoiced’, in S. Braund and J. Osgood (eds.) A Companion to Horace and Juvenal (2013); Greek Epigram in Reception: J. A. Symonds, Oscar Wilde, and the Invention of Desire (2013).

Diana Spencer works on Rome’s reception of Greece (including language and genre translation issues), and on the reception of Rome in the post-Classical world. This takes in topics from the late medieval city’s uneasy appropriation of antiquity, through to Rome’s place in the transformation of Enlightenment and modern Europe, up to continuing developments in Rome’s post-twentieth-century exploration of multiple, often contentious, versions of the past. Key publications: (with David H. J. Larmour) The Sites of Rome: Time, Space, Memory (2007); Roman Landscape: Culture and Identity (2010); ‘Horace and the con/straints of translation’, in S. McElduff and E. Sciarrino (eds.) A Sea of Languages: Complicating the History of Western Translation (forthcoming).

Elena Theodorakopoulos works on the reception of classical literature and culture in contemporary film and literature. She has written on the representation of Rome in popular historical films, and in the films of Federico Fellini.  Her most current and forthcoming research explores aspects of classical reception in contemporary women’s writing. Key publications: Ancient Rome at the Cinema: Story and Spectacle in Rome and Hollywood (2010); ‘The sites and sights of Rome in Fellini’s films: not a human habitation but a psychical entity’ in D. Larmour and D. Spencer (eds), The Sites Of Rome (2007). ‘Catullus and Lesbia translated in women’s historical novels’ in Hardwick and Harrison (eds), Classics in the Modern World: A Democratic Turn (forthcoming); ‘Female Transgressions: Classical Receptions and Contemporary Women’s Writing’. Special issue of Classical Receptions Journal (forthcoming).