Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Professor Tim Whitmarsh

Tim Whitmarsh

Fellow and Tutor, University Lecturer (CUF) in Greek, EP Warren Praelector, Professor of Ancient Literatures


Tim Whitmarsh is the College's tutor in ancient Greek; his formal title is E.P. Warren Praelector, named after the early twentieth-century American collector of ancient art. He co-edits the series Classics in Theory and Ancient Culture and Representation for Oxford University Press; he also advises the journal Ancient Narrative. He has appeared on BBC2 and BBC Radio 4 (including In Our Time). He writes periodically for the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, and the Guardian. In 2011 he held a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship, and was an Alexander S. Onassis Foundation Senior Visiting Scholar at Princeton, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Stanford.


Much of his work has focused on Greek literature and culture of the Roman era. More recently he has focused narrowly on the ancient Greek romances written in the first four centuries of our era. During 2009 he ran a research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, called The Romance between Greece and the East, exploring points of contact between Greek and near-eastern fiction. He is also interested in the reception of ancient literature (particularly Samuel Butler and his circle), and in literary and cultural theory. His next book will be called 'Battling the gods: the struggle against religion in ancient Greece and Rome', and will be published by Faber and Faber (UK and rest of the world) and Knopf/Vintage (USA).

Teaching and supervision

At undergraduate level, he teaches most things. At Masters and DPhil levels, he supervises students working on imperial Greek literature and culture, as well as the Literary Theory option for the MSt. He also teaches and helps to run the interdisciplinary Women's Studies MSt. He believes that a university education is not just about delivering knowledge and skills, but about transforming the whole person.

Major Publications

Greek literature and the Roman empire: the politics of imitation (Oxford University Press, 2001; paperback ed. 2004), pp. viii + 370.

Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon, trans. with notes (Oxford University Press, 2001; paperback, 2002), pp. 164.

Ancient Greek literature, Cultural History of Literature series (Polity Press, 2004), pp. viii + 284. Repr. 2008.

The second sophistic, Greece & Rome New Surveys in the Classics (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 106.

(ed. with Jason König) Ordering knowledge in the Roman empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. xiii+ 304.

(ed.) The Cambridge companion to the Greek and Roman novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. xvi + 392.

Narrative and identity in the ancient Greek novel: returning romance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), Pp. xii + 299.

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