BA (Hons) in Classics (Ancient Greek and Latin ab initio) - 1st Class - at King's College, Cambridge. MSt in Greek & Latin Languages and Literature at Trinity College, Oxford.
Thesis: Communicative failure and characterisation in Latin civil war epics
My doctoral project analyses communicative failures in three lengthy Latin poems: Virgil's Aeneid (composed c. 29-19 BCE), Lucan's Bellum Ciuile (c. 62-65 CE), and Statius' Thebaid (c. 80-92 CE). In the Aeneid, Aeneas escapes from the horrors of the Trojan War only to face another war in Italy as he attempts to found a city for the future Roman people. The Bellum Ciuile describes the historical civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, particularly the events of 49 to 48 BCE, while the Thebaid relates the myth of the war between Polynices and Eteocles, the two sons of Oedipus and Jocasta, for the throne of Thebes. Both of these epics therefore develop the theme of civil war and internal divisions which underlies the second half of the Aeneid.
Although classical scholars have catalogued and categorised the speeches in these poems, the issue of communicative failure (and how this creates a paradigm of problematic heroism, and heroes who show a range of weaknesses) has been particularly neglected. My thesis will analyse the interaction between communication and the experience of civil war, to argue that these epics present warfare as both creating and being created by a failure of communication on personal, political and religious levels.
Supervisors: Prof. Helen Lovatt (University of Nottingham) and Dr Henriette van der Blom (University of Birmingham).