I’m a classical philologist interested in ancient agriculture, sensory studies, and ancient magic, religion, and ritual; much of my work is at the intersection of these areas. My forthcoming book, The Scent of Ancient Magic, deals with intersections of scent and ritual in the ancient Mediterranean. My next book project will examine ancient farming and how Romans used agriculture as part of their public image.


PhD, University of Michigan, Classical Studies

BA, Kenyon College, Classics


  •  “Necromancy, Divine Encounters, and Erotic Magic in Cupid and Psyche,” American Journal of Philology 140.2 (2019): 317-43.

  • “Magic Perfumes and Deadly Herbs: The Scent of Witches’ Magic in Classical Literature,” Preternature 8.1 (2019): 1-34.

  • “Magic and Genre in Columella’s Caterpillar Charm,” Classical Philology 114.2 (2019): 197-217.

  • “Song Sweeter than Orpheus’: Euripides’ Medea 542-4,” Mnemosyne 67 (2015): 11-27.



The Scent of Ancient Magic, forthcoming 2022, University of Michigan Press

“The Semiotics of Ancient Tree Curses,” current project


Britta Ager

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