Dr Elena Theodorakopoulos PhD (Bristol)

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Senior Lecturer in Classics

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research interests are in two main areas: Roman poetry of the Republic and Principate, and the reception of classical culture and literature in contemporary film and literature.


I teach courses on Roman poetry and prose, Athenian Drama, Latin language, Classics and contemporary/20th century literature, Classics and film.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome research proposals on women’s writing and classical reception, and on any aspect of Roman republican or Augustan poetry.

Current supervision:

  • Elizabeth Cook’s Achilles as a model for feminist reception
  • Ali Smith, gender, and the reception of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Research topics I have supervised in the past include:

  • Tacitus’ Agricola and the politics of fama
  • Romulus and Numa in Ovid’s Fasti
  • Speech and Silence in Ovid’s Heroides
  • Postmodernism and Classical Reception

Find out more - our PhD Classics and Ancient History  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


 My current projects are:

  • the reception of classical literature and myth in contemporary writing by women, and the translation/adaptation of classical literature by women writers.
  • a book on Catullus with particular emphasis on the performative aspects of his work

Past research

I have written on forms of closure in Roman and Hellenistic poetry, on the representation of Rome in film, and on Catullus.


Selected publications in chronological order:

  • ‘Closure: The Book of Virgil' in The Cambridge Companion to Virgil, C.A. Martindale (ed.), Cambridge University Press 1997.
  • ‘Epic Closure and its discontents in Apollonius' Argonautica’ in ‘Genre in Hellenistic poetry’ Hellenistica Groningana vol. 3, A. Harder , G.C. Wacker, Regtuit, R.F. (eds.). Groningen 1998.
  • ‘Closure and Transformation in Ovid’s Metamorphoses’ in Cambridge Philological Society, Supplementary Volume no. 23: 'Ovidian Transformations: Essays on Ovid's Metamorphoses and its Reception', Alessandro Barchiesi, Philip Hardie, Stephen Hinds (eds.). pp. 142-161. Cambridge 1999.
  • 'Catullus 64: Footsteps in the Labyrinth ' in Intratextuality, A.R. Sharrock (ed.), pp. 115-41. Oxford University Press 2000.
  • ‘Classical Closure and the continuity of things’ in Vergilius 48 (2002)
  • The Name of the Game: The Troia, and History and Spectacle, in Aeneid 5’ in Proceedings of the Virgil Society 25 (2004)
  •  (ed) Attitudes to Theatre from Plato to Milton, NCLS 7. 2004.
  • Diana Spencer and Elena Theodorakopoulos (eds) The Rhetoric of Advice in Greece and Rome, NCLS 9. 2006
  • ‘The sites and sights of Rome in Fellini’s films: not a human habitation but a psychical entity’ in D. Larmour and D. Spencer, The Sites Of Rome (2007).
  •  ‘Poem 68: Love and Death, and the Gifts of Venus and the Muses’ in M. Skinner (ed) Companion to Catullus. 2008
  • Ancient Rome at the Cinema: Story and Spectacle in Rome and Hollywood (2010);
  •  ‘Catullus and Lesbia translated in women’s historical novels’ in Hardwick and Harrison (eds) Classics in the Modern World: A Democratic Turn (forthcoming)
  • Fiona Cox and Elena Theodorakopoulos, ‘Female Voices: the democratic turn in Ali Smith’s classical reception in Hardwick and Harrison (eds) Classics in the Modern World: A Democratic Turn (forthcoming) 
  • Fiona Cox and Elena Theodorakopoulos (eds) ‘Female Transgressions: Classical Receptions and Contemporary Women’s Writing’. Special issue of Classical Receptions Journal (forthcoming).
  • Catullus, a Roman Poet. Duckworth (forthcoming)

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