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


 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)