Who We Are


Barbara Graziosi

Barbara Graziosi is Principal Investigator of Living Poets: A New Approach to Ancient Poetry. She is Professor of Classics at Durham University, and Director – for the Arts and Humanities – of the Institute of Advanced Study. She is the author of Inventing Homer: The Early Reception of Epic (Cambridge, 2002), and co-author with Johannes Haubold of Homer: The Resonance of Epic (London, 2005) and Iliad 6: A Commentary (Cambridge, 2010). Together with Emily Greenwood she edited Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (Oxford, 2005); and, together with G. R. Boys-Stones and P. Vasunia, she edited The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies (Oxford, 2009). Her latest book, The Gods of Olympus: A History, will appear in 2013 (in British, American, German, Dutch and Italian editions). She regularly reviews for The Times Higher Education Supplement, and writes for the London Review of Books.

Nora Goldschmidt

Nora Goldschmidt is Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at Durham University and Research Fellow in Latin Literature and its Reception on the ‘Living Poets’ project (2012-15). She holds degrees in English and Classics and has strong interests in Latin poetry and classical reception. Her first book, based on a DPhil from Magdalen College, Oxford, Shaggy Crowns: Ennius’ Annales and Virgil’s Aeneid, is published by OUP (2013). Her current monograph project, Afterlives of the Roman Poets: Biofiction and the Reception of Latin Poetry, examines biofictional receptions of the Roman poets from antiquity to modernity through a series of case studies ranging from a medieval 'autobiography' of Ovid purportedly found sealed in his tomb to the modern 'The Death of the Author' in Hermann Broch's Der Tod des Vergil.

Nick White

Nick White is the IT research consultant for the Living Poets project. His background is in the social sciences, holding a BA and MA in Anthropology from the Universities of Lampeter and Sussex respectively. Since then he has done a variety of web development and system administration jobs. He has been involved in the free and open source software community for some years, regularly contributing code to a wide variety of different projects, and maintaining several. Since joining Living Poets he has started to learn Ancient Greek, developed Optical Character Recognition for the language, and published an article about training the Tesseract OCR program to recognise Ancient Greek in Eutypon 28-29 (2012).

Erika Taretto

Erika Taretto is a doctoral research student at Durham University, and holds BA and MA degrees in Classics from the University of Turin. Her doctoral dissertation, Poets and Places of Ancient Greece, focuses on a selection of sites linked to the biographies of the ancient Greek poets, such as Thebes (Pindar), Paros (Archilochos), and Alexandria (Homer). Since antiquity poetic landscapes have played a central role in shaping the relationship between poets and their admirers. Erika collects and analyses evidence for the cult of poets, and for (pseudo-)biographical stories involving poets in specific landscapes. The aim of her research is to investigate the role of landscape in the formation and transmission of the biographical poetic traditions.

William Wallis

William Wallis is a doctoral research student at Durham University. He studied Classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and graduated with a first-class BA in 2011. William is interested primarily in ancient sculpture and its reception and re-use from antiquity to the present day. His doctoral dissertation, Looking at Portraits, Reading Biographies: The Relationship between Lives and Images, focuses on how ancient portraiture was related to the biography and re-imagination of its subjects, on how this relationship between representation and biography changed over time in the classical world, and on how it has affected the modern study of iconography since the Renaissance. This has led to a particular interest in the collections and publications of Fulvio Orsini, whose work is fundamental both for the reception of ancient portraiture and for the development of modern iconography.

Paola Bassino

Paola Bassino is ERC Research Fellow at Durham University. She holds a PhD from Durham University, and MA and BA degrees from the University of Turin. Her research interests lie in archaic Greek epic, and its ancient reception and transmission. Her doctoral dissertation, a revised version of which is currently under review by De Gruyter, was a critical edition and commentary on the Certamen Homeri et Hesiodi. She is also co-editing a volume on Confict and Consensus in Early Hexameter Poetry with Lilah Grace Canevaro and Barbara Graziosi (Cambridge University Press). She has written an article on the textual transmission of the Certamen (ZPE 180) and one on the epic poet Lesches (Classics@, the online journal of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, Harvard), as well as the Guide to Homer on this website. For her next book project - inspired by and inspiring a module she had designed and taught at Durham - she plans to work on Sophistic approaches to the epic tradition.

Nicholas Freer

Nicholas Freer is an ERC Research Fellow at Durham University. After completing his undergraduate studies at Oxford and UCL, he remained at UCL for his Masters and PhD degrees in Classics. His research interests lie in Latin literature and its reception, with an emphasis on the poetry of the late Republican and Augustan era. His AHRC-funded doctoral dissertation explored Virgil’s engagement with the works of his teacher, the Epicurean poet and philosopher Philodemus, and his current research examines the reception of Roman poetry within the ancient biographical tradition. He is also co-editing a volume on Virgil’s Georgics, which investigates the poem’s contribution to the history of Western art, thought, and literature. His next major research project will be a book-length study of Epicureanism in Virgil’s Aeneid.

Senior Collaborators

  • Dr. Peter Heslin
  • Prof. Andrew Laird
  • Prof. Verity Platt
  • Dr. Divya Tolia-Kelly

Editorial Board

  • Prof. Barbara Graziosi
  • Prof. Andrew Laird
  • Prof. Verity Platt

Research Assistants

Francesca Richards
Francesca is a doctoral research student at Durham University. She studied for BA in Ancient World Studies at UCL, followed by a MA in Classical Civilisation at Birkbeck, with a dissertation on the Perseus myth in British and American children's literature. Her AHRC-funded doctoral project investigates the reception of Homer's Odyssey in post-1800 English-language children's literature, with a particular focus on the ways in which authors have engineered first encounters with the poem, and the legacy created through their interventions. Francesca is primarily responsible for public engagement activities based on Living Poets research. She is currently working with the theatre company Changeling Productions, who deliver theatre workshops in local schools and community centres focusing on how Homer can be reimagined and relocated in their own experiences.