MA, DPhil

Academic background and research interests

I was an undergraduate and graduate student at Worcester College, Oxford, and joined Christ Church as a Research Lecturer (a JRF in today’s terms) in 1981, before being appointed Tutor in Greek and Latin Literature in 1982. Over the next four decades I taught a wide range of authors and subjects and lectured on Homer, Greek Tragedy, Thucydides, Plato (literary aspects), and others. I also regularly gave a lecture series on ‘Four Key Concepts for the Classicist’ and one on ‘Looking at Style’.  I valued the cross-fertilisation between tutorial teaching, lecturing and publication, and many of my published works grew out of lectures. In recent years I have become increasingly fascinated by Herodotus.

I was Curator of Pictures from 1995 to 2000 and again in 2004-6. Later I held the Censorship in 2007–11 and was Censor Theologiae for much of 2019. In the Faculty I held various offices including Subfaculty chairman.

I retired at the end of September 2023, and it will be a relief no longer to have to deal with the ever-growing demands of administration and bureaucracy. I hope to retain an active interest in classical scholarship and research while also broadening my reading beyond the bounds of the subject (vast though these are!).

Featured publications

Homer, Iliad 18 (Cambridge 2019) see: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1107067774/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_IrWrCbNHBZJP7

Greek Tragic Style: form, language and interpretation (Cambridge 2012), see:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Greek-Tragic-Style-Language-Interpretation/dp/0521848903/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338736513&sr=1-1, where you can see the dustjacket (showing Fuseli’s painting of Oedipus cursing his son Polynices, a scene from Sophocles' 'Oedipus at Colonus') and also look inside the book.

Classical Literature: a Concise History (Blackwell 2004) You can see the cover of this book and read some sections by going to https://www.amazon.co.uk/Classical-Literature-Concise-Blackwell-Introductions/dp/0631231331

Homer (Greece and Rome New surveys in the Classics 26, 1996; revised version in preparation). You can see the cover of this book and read some sections by going to

The Art of Plato (Duckworth, London 1995)

Homer, Odyssey 19 and 20, with introduction and commentary (Cambridge 1992)

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: a Study (Oxford 1989)

Articles in journals and collected volumes, on a variety of authors including Homer, Thucydides, Virgil, Horace, Tacitus.

Numerous reviews in periodicals. For an example online, see my review of A. J. Woodman’s translation of Tacitus’ Annals in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, at https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2005/2005.07.15/