MemberThomas J. Nelson

Tom Nelson is a Research Fellow in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. In 2018, he completed his PhD at Trinity College, supervised by Professor Richard Hunter (‘Early Greek Indexicality: Markers of Allusion in Archaic Greek Poetry’). His thesis explores the so-called “Alexandrian footnote” and markers of intertextuality in Latin and Greek Literature, with a particular focus on archaic and classical Greek poetry. It examines the manner in which these poets self-consciously signalled their interactions with other texts and traditions. He completed the MSt in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford, writing a dissertation on the various analogies and allegories employed to conceptualise victories over the Galatians in Hellenistic Literature and Art. From 1 October 2018, he will be a Research Fellow in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He has recently co-organised a conference on Hellenistic Poetry Beyond Callimachean Aesthetics, 1-3 September 2016 (, and was also a member of the organising committee for the Cambridge AHRC DTP’s Conference on Time and Temporality, 14-16 September 2016. Teaching materials for his undergraduates is available at He is very open to any kind of collaborative research and happy to be contacted about any ideas for collaboration, however preliminary.

MemberZachary Margulies

I am a doctoral candidate at New York University, studying the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East under the advisement of Mark S. Smith. My dissertation is a study of the poetic laments over fallen warriors in the Homeric Epic tradition and the Hebrew Bible. Dissertation “David, Achilles, and the Women’s Laments: Lamentation over the Fallen Warrior in the Hebrew Bible and Homer” Interests Hebrew Bible, Biblical Poetry, Early/Archaic Greek Poetry, Oral Poetics, Eastern Mediterranean Cross-cultural Interaction, Levantine Archaeology

DepositOedipus of many pains: Strategies of contest in Homeric poetry

In this paper we analyse Oedipus’ appearance during Odysseus’ tale in book 11 of Homer’s Odyssey in order to outline and test a methodology for appreciating the poetic and thematic implications of moments when ‘extraneous’ narratives or traditions appear in the Homeric poems. Our analysis, which draws on oral-formulaic theory, is offered partly as a re-evaluation of standard scholarly approaches that tend to over-rely on the assumed pre-eminence of Homeric narratives over other traditions in their original contexts or approaches that reduce such moments to instances of allusions to or parallels with fixed texts. In conjunction with perspectives grounded in orality, we emphasise the agonistic character of Greek poetry to explore the ways in which Odysseus’ articulation of his Oedipus narrative exemplifies an attempt to appropriate and manipulate a rival tradition in the service of a particular narrative’s ends. We focus specifically on the resonance of the phrases algea polla and mega ergon used by Odysseus as a narrator to draw a web of interconnections throughout Homeric and Archaic Greek poetry. Such an approach, in turn, suggests to what extent the Homeric Oedipus passage speaks to the themes and concerns of Homeric poetry rather than some lost Oedipal epic tradition and illustrates the importance of recognizing the deeply competitive nature of Homeric narratives vis-à-vis other narrative traditions.

MemberAlison Traweek

I am a sixth generation Texan, though I have now officially lived half of my life outside of Texas. Pennsylvania seems to have accepted me, though, and I at least think it’s going reasonably well. Teaching and writing were all I ever wanted to do for a living, and, fortunately, I have found a few people willing to pay me for the former and a few people willing to give me some white space for the latter. For six years I combined my interests by teaching writing at the University of Pennsylvania, which was both stimulating and fun. In that program I designed and taught classes on everything from ancient magic to race in antiquity to the politics of belonging to fairy tales, and learned a great deal about pedagogy. After a surprising and exciting semester teaching Shakespeare in film at Temple University, I have recently returned firmly to the field of classical studies, and am teaching Greek, Latin, and classics courses at the University of Pennsylvania and at Temple. My research explores poetry and poetics in archaic and classical Greece, mythology, and reception. I am currently (and probably foolishly) working on two book projects: one is on the development and significance of the figure of the Gorgon in Greco-Roman literature and art, and the other is an annotated translation of the Iliad for readers new to the poem and unfamiliar with the tradition. I have also published and/or presented on Medusa, dreams in ancient literature, Homer, Greek tragedy, teaching classics through writing, and – stretching my expertise, but responsibly – women’s suffrage in America, for the Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, admiring my cats, and dancing – I began studying Middle Eastern dance in 2005, picked up ballet in 2012, and went up on pointe in 2015. Other hobbies include sewing, quilting, studying Russian, playing classical piano, traveling, and creative writing.

DepositAthenian Black Gloss Pottery: A View from the West

Excavation of archaic Morgantina (c.700–450 BC), Sicily, has brought to light a significant pattern in the distribution of imported Greek pottery. This pattern, which shows a preference for imports with features that referred to metal vessels, is echoed at sites around the western Mediterranean. We argue that the preference for certain types was communicated back to Greek producers, and that it also reflects the particular local interests of non-Greeks, who associated metallic features not only with wealth, but also with their own ancestral traditions.