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Dr Ashley Clements

Associate Professor in Greek Literature and Philosophy

I studied Ancient History and Social Anthropology at University College London, Classics at Cambridge, and taught at Durham University before joining the Classics Department at Trinity College Dublin in 2006.

Research Interests

I started off as an ancient historian and anthropologist (UCL 1998), trained in Classics (Greek literature and philosophy) at Cambridge (1999, 2007), and wrote a first book suggesting that a late fifth-century BC comic reception of the early Greek philosopher Parmenides informs Aristophanes' comedy Thesmophoriazusae (‘Women celebrating the festival of the Thesmophoria’). I have since circled from exploring why some ancient ideas mattered to some ancient respondents to asking why any ancient ideas should matter to any of us now, via a lifelong love of anthropology (in Tim Ingold's lovely adage 'philosophy with the people in'). My latest book tells the story of anthropology's Classical entanglements, exploring how the Classics have always been embroiled in anthropological conversations about our place in relation to others. It invites readers to consider positively the essential contingency of the Classical concepts that continue to inform our deleterious ways of relating to the world and think beyond them to address the vital challenges of our present.

Research Supervision

I am happy to supervise doctoral work in any of the following areas: Archaic and Classical Greek literature and/or philosophy (esp. from the Presocratics to Plato), the anthropology of the ancient Greek world, the past, present and future contribution of the Classics to anthropology.

Selected Publications

  • Clements, A. (2021) Humans, among Other Classical Animals. (Postclassical Interventions). Oxford University Press.
  • Clements, A. (2014) Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae: Philosophizing Theatre and the Politics of Perception. Cambridge University Press. (2020: paperback)
  • Clements, A. (2014) ‘The senses in philosophy and science: five conceptions from Heraclitus to Plato’, in J. Toner (ed.), The Cultural History of the Senses in Antiquity. Berg Press: 115-38.
  • Clements, A. (2014) ‘Divine scents and presence’, in M. Bradley (ed.), Smell and the Ancient Senses. Routledge: 46-59.
  • Clements, A. (2013) ‘”Looking Mustard”: Greek popular epistemology and the meaning of drimus’, in S. Butler and A. Purves (eds.), Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses. Acumen Press: 71-88.
  • Clements, A. (2009) ‘Thesmophoriazusae’s Two Dawns’, Mnemosyne 62: 535-67.


My teaching spans a range of Greek literary and philosophical authors and texts of the Archaic and Classical period. Recent topics have included: early Greek poetry, the Presocratics, Herodotus, Aristophanes, the Sophists, and Plato. I also teach Greek Language, and Final-year courses on Greek conceptions of wisdom from the sixth to the fourth centuries BC, on Greek Comedy, and on modern anthropological approaches to the ancient world.

Dr Clements on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Department of Classics
Trinity College
Dublin 2

Telephone: 00 353 1 896 4014
Fax: 00 353 1 671 0862