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Current Research Students

Susannah Ashton

Susannah Ashton

Cosmos and Crisis: Re-evaluating Conceptions of Time and Space in Archaic and Classical Greece

Prior to undertaking my PhD, I completed an MPhil at Trinity College Dublin and my BA at the University of Birmingham. My current research seeks to reassess conceptions of time within the earliest surviving cosmological records from ancient Greece, spanning the mythological narratives of Hesiod and Pherekydes, to the ‘proto-scientific’ accounts of the pre-Socratic philosophers. Through implementing the methodology of anthropology and scientific philosophy, this research challenges the application of modern understandings of time to ancient texts and attempts to reconstruct its meaning in this formative period in ancient thought.

Supervisor: Ashley Clements
Funding: IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2019-21), Ferrar Memorial Studentship in Ancient Philology (2018-19)

Alastair Daly

Susannah Ashton

A New Epic Humour: The Influence of Comic Literature on Apollonius’ Argonautica

I studied for a BA in Ancient Greek and English Literature here in Trinity before completing an MPhil in Classics (also in Trinity), with my research focusing on Herodas' Mimiamb 2. My current research as a PhD student is concerned with the influence of Greek comic literature on Apollonius' Argonautica
https://tcd.academia.edu/AlastairDaly

Supervisor: Martine Cuypers
Funding: IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2019-23)

Lisa Doyle

Susannah Ashton

Margins of Learning: Exploring the scholia on Apollonius’ Argonautica

The objective of this research project is to explore the scholarly commentaries, which survive mainly as scholia, written about Apollonius Rhodius' 3rd century BCE epic, Argonautica. By investigating the nature of textual criticism in these scholia, and establishing the scholarly interests in Apollonius’ work, I hope to shed light on an important source for ancient intellectual history.
https://tcd.academia.edu/LisaDoyle

Supervisor: Martine Cuypers
Funding: Provost’s Project Award (2019-2023)

Judith Finlay-McAlester

Bringing it All Back Home: Repatriation, Restitution and the Healing Museum

Supervisor: Christine Morris

Ellen Finn

Susannah Ashton

Tomb-readers: Anthropological Approaches to the Funerary Archaeology of Prepalatial Crete

Turning the lens on the interdisciplinary approach in its own right, my current research focuses on the discourse surrounding early Bronze Age tombs in Crete, in order to examine how anthropological models such as those related to death, religion and cultural cohesion have been applied to the archaeological record, in addition to the interpretative influence these methods exert. https://tcd.academia.edu/EllenFinn

Supervisor: Christine Morris
Funding: IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2015-19)

Elizabeth Foley

Susannah Ashton

The Nesiotic Leagues: Island Cooperation and Connectivity in the Hellenistic Aegean (c.314–166 BCE)

After my BA in Jewish and Islamic Civilisations and Classical Civilisation at TCD and an MPhil in Ancient History at Oxford, I am pursuing a PhD on the political, economic and social histories the Cyclades after Alexander. I explore the ways in which the islands engaged one another and hegemonic powers and expressed that engagement individually and at a group level. I am interested in the confluence of landscapes and political communities in ancient history. I love Greek inscriptions of all periods and am particularly excited by Classical and Hellenistic Athens as well as the cities of Karia in Asia Minor.
https://tcd.academia.edu/ElizabethFoley

Supervisor: Shane Wallace
Funding: IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2017-21)

Delphine Geoghegan Culligan

Susannah Ashton

The Concept of ‘Placefulness’: a heritage tool to safeguard spirit of place

Place is complex; we build on what has gone before. Connecting to the past whilst projecting forwards – in landscapes, towns and cities – a woven social fabric of meaning exists in the physical materiality and the transcendent longings that devised it. This project reconsiders place heritage, explores the critical layer between authorised tangible and intangible values, and proposes a methodology to decipher the unique qualities of spirit of place.

Supervisor: Christine Morris
Funding: Trinity College Postgraduate Studentship (2018-21)

Graham Gwozdecky

Susannah Ashton

Hero and Exile: Plutarch’s Life of Sertorius

I received my BA from Queen’s University, Kingston before travelling to Dublin, Ireland to do my MA at University College Dublin. My PhD thesis from Trinity College Dublin concerns exile in Plutarch’s Parallel Lives. My research interests include ancient biography, Republican Rome, exile practices, ostracism, and Classical Athens. https://tcd.academia.edu/GrahamGwozdecky

Supervisor: Brian McGing
Funding: Trinity College Postgraduate Studentship (2017-19)

Andrew Hill

Susannah Ashton

The Libyan Wars: Crisis, Climate, and Conflict in Carthaginian North Africa

I received my BA from University College Cork (2015) and my MPhil from Trinity College Dublin (2016) and have a research background in ancient North African revolt from Ptolemaic Egypt to Carthage. My doctoral thesis investigates the relationship between explosive volcanism, climate forcing, and conflict in Carthaginian North Africa, and whether the sensitivity of Tunisian grain production to drought-induced failure was a factor contributing to the outbreak of the ‘Mercenary War’ (241-237) – Carthage’s most brutal conflict.

Supervisors: Shane Wallace, Francis Ludlow
Funding: IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2020-22); Ussher Postgraduate Award (2019-20), Trinity College Postgraduate Studentship (2018-19)

Publications:
(Forthcoming) Hill, A. M. (2020) ‘Hamilcar of Barce? Discerning Barcid proto-history and Polybius’ mixellēnes’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 140

Sean McGrath

Susannah Ashton

Teach a man to fish? The moral relationship between humans and animals in Oppian’s Halieutica

Before coming to Trinity, I received my bachelor and master in Greek and Latin Language and Culture at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. My current research focuses on the moral relationship between humans and animals in Oppian’s Halieutica, a largely neglected Greek didactic epic about fishing from the second century AD. Despite its subject matter, this poem at many times paints its fishermen in a more ambivalent light. I especially explore how the Halieutica integrates elements from the poetic tradition, Imperial Greek philosophy and ancient zoology to portray and comment on the natural world.
https://tcd.academia.edu/SeanMcGrath

Supervisor: Martine Cuypers
Funding: IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2018-22)

Alexandra Madela

Susannah Ashton

The Argonautica of Orpheus and the Epic Tradition in Late Antiquity

I received my B.A. in Classics at Trinity College. My PhD research focuses on the “Orphic Argonautica”, a mysterious Greek poem dating from the end of antiquity. She attempts to shed new light on this usually disregarded piece of literature by investigating different aspects of it, especially its language. She hopes to put the poem into context by highlighting both its traditional nature and its connections with contemporary poetry.

Supervisor: Martine Cuypers
Funding: Trinity College Non–Foundation Scholarship (2016–18), IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2017-20)

Ralph Moore

Susannah Ashton

Roman Impact on Social Stratification and Mobility in the Rhône Basin c.125– 10BCE

I came to Dublin from the UK in 2012 to pursue an undergraduate degree at TCD. My PhD research evolves around the influence and impact of the Roman Empire on Gaul c.125–10BCE. It looks at how the inhabitants of Gaul engaged with their increasingly powerful neighbour to maintain, increase, and sometimes lose power, status, and wealth in their own societies. Such an analysis of inter-cultural interaction, especially between the powerful and those living on their margins, has a great deal of applicability to many other areas, past and present.

Supervisor: Hazel Dodge
Funding: IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2018-21)

Kathryn Murphy

Susannah Ashton

“Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My” (The Wizard of Oz – 1939 film) An interdisciplinary Study of Animals and Spectacle Management in the Roman Empire

I am a PhD candidate from New Zealand researching animal behaviour in Roman spectacles. I completed my Undergraduate and Honours degrees at The University of Auckland where I majored in Classics and Ancient History. My interest is human-animal relations in antiquity, specifically the exploitation of animals for warfare and entertainment. I integrate zoological methodologies in my research by applying my practical experience in wildlife management at Auckland and Dublin Zoo.

Supervisor: Hazel Dodge
Funding: Government of Ireland Global Excellence Scholarship (2018-19), Postgraduate Studentship Award (2020-21)

Eleanor Neil

Susannah Ashton

Inclusion and Multivocality: Evaluating Community Archaeology

I am originally from the US, but have been living in Ireland since 2013. I first studied Ancient History and Archaeology for my Bachelors and then went on to an MPhil in Public History and Cultural Heritage, both at TCD. My project will be examining community archaeology in Cyprus, looking at inclusive methodologies such as multivocal narrative creation and the use of digital spaces as methods of outreach.

Supervisor: Christine Morris

Tyler Nye

Susannah Ashton

Rome’s First Port-of-War? Archaeology, Historiography, and Monumentality of the Portus Iulius complex

I hold an M.A. in History and Archaeology of the Greek and Roman World from Cardiff University and an M.Phil in Classics from TCD. My thesis, partially funded by The Kittredge Fund, explores how the artificial naval base of Portus Iulius represents the material conjunction of advances in hydraulic engineering with monumental projection of power. Through a synthesis of the archaeological record alongside the literary recreation of the harbourworks, I reconstruct the built environment and how the ancients reacted to such technological innovation.

Supervisor: Hazel Dodge

Rory O'Sullivan

Rory O'Sullivan

The notion of connecting and coherence in Manilius' Astronomica

I’m from Cork and have a B.A. in Greek & English Literature and an M.Phil in Medieval Literature, both from Trinity College. My PhD is on the philosophical influences and commitments of Thucydides. Effectively, I'm applying the ontological turn to him. Many people have discussed Thucydides's distance from ‘proto-positivism’ in the way he ordered his text, but I think this is also true of how he understood the reality he writes about. As well as Thucydides and Greek philosophy I like German philosophy, social anthropology, and I write & sometimes publish poetry.   

Supervisor: Ashley Clements
Funding: Trinity College Dublin Foundation Scholarship (2017-22), Ussher Fellowship (2019-23)

George Prekas

Susannah Ashton

The notion of connecting and coherence in Manilius' Astronomica

I have completed my Master’s in Latin Philology in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (title of dissertation: “The Stories that the Stars Tell: The Role of Myth in Manilius’ Astronomica”). My current research focuses on the language of the poem and the lexical items Manilius employs to convey the notions of connection, unity, and coherence inside the work (philosophy, structure), as well as the relationship-connection of the Astronomica with other literary works of the past.
https://tcd.academia.edu/GeorgePrekas

Supervisor: Monical Gale
Funding: Ferrar Memorial Studentship in Ancient Philology (2019-22)

Mnemosyne Rice

Mnemosyne Rice

Decolonising Minoan Archaeology: Museum Perspectives Past and Present

I received my BA in Ancient History and Archaeology and Latin from Trinity, and recently completed an MSc in Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture in University College Dublin. My PhD research analyses the display of Minoan artefacts in major museums, with a focus on how these exhibitions privilege dominant cultural narratives. I employ postcolonial theory and museum studies to explore the reception and exploitation of Minoan material culture.

Supervisor: Dr Christine Morris
Funding: Provost's Award

Giulia Roncato

Susannah Ashton

Space and Communication: Proxemics in the Iliad and Odyssey

I have completed my Master in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Padua (title of dissertation: "Rites of Closure. Iliad, Book XXIV"). My current PhD project focuses on spatial relationships in the Homeric poems and the way in which they are embedded in the Homeric language. I am particularly interested in the application of cognitive science to the Homeric linguistics.
My main research interests include early Greek epic poetry (particularly Homer), neuroscience, cognitive linguistics, pragmatics.

Supervisor: Ahuvia Kahane
Funding: Trinity College Postgraduate Studentship (2019-22)

William Strigel

 

Plato and Aristophanic Comedy

https://tcd.academia.edu/WilliamStrigel

Supervisor: Ashley Clements

Guy Walker

Susannah Ashton

Neoplatonic Thought in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca

My project examines Neoplatonic influences on Nonnus' Late Antique poem, the Dionysiaca. In Nonnus' lifetime, he wrote a hexameter paraphrase of the Gospel of John, and a forty-eight book epic about the pagan god Dionysus. Until relatively recently scholars used this as evidence that Nonnus had been born a pagan, and converted to Christianity during lifetime. Now, it has been shown that both poems were composed simultaneously, and together they reflect the remarkable cultural syncretism between Christianity and the Roman Empire's Hellenistic heritage and identity.

Supervisor: Martine Cuypers
Funding: Trinity College Postgraduate Research Studentship (2016–19), IRC Postgraduate Scholarship (2017-20)

Matthew Ward

Matthew Ward

Vehicles of Meaning: Ships, Materiality, and the Boundaries of The Iliad



Ships are the most prominent material objects in the world of epic and the lemma ‘ship’ (νηῦς) is the third-most-common substantive in the Iliad. Despite this, there has never been a sustained account of what ships do in the poem beyond either questions of archaeological construction or metrical quantification. My PhD thesis addresses this gap and is the first attempt to consider the literary role and function of ships in the Iliad. I argue that ships are significant material objects that help to articulate key structures of narrative, temporality, space, and the relational axes of ethnicity, politics, gender, theology, and ethics in the poem's discursive universe.

To make this argument, this thesis draws on the emerging attention to objects in the field of New Materialisms. I argue that ships are prevalent and significant material objects that enact, encode, and structure the organising systems of the Iliadic world. To say something about ships is thus to say something about the Iliad itself.

My thesis thus aims to offer a new interpretation of an under-recognised phenomenon in the Iliad, and, therefore, a new framework for reading the poem itself. Ships, I argue, are a productive interpretive prism that expose the broad spectrum of the poem's conceptual underpinnings. What is an ostensibly inanimate ‘background’ object can help us to understand significant structures of time, space, societal dynamics, and mortality in Homer's poetry.

Research Areas
In addition to my main focus on Homeric epic (and the ships of the Iliad), I am also interested in textual criticism, the role of the textual critic, and the production of meaning in Classical texts. I am interested in both the work of ancient ‘critics’ – in particular the great scholars of Alexandria – and their modern ‘descendants’ since the 19th century. I am particularly excited by work on reconciling the fields of textual criticism and reception studies, which offers the potential to both expose the subjectivities that lurk beneath the textual critic’s rhetoric of objectivity and to move towards a more critical and self-conscious text-critical practice that sees irregularities and problems as interpretative opportunities rather than as grounds for standardisation. I have already attempted to contribute to this conversation in an article to appear in JHS (below), and hope to do so more systematically in future.

The broader theoretical underpinnings of my work are drawn from a diverse range of modern positions, in particular the ongoing return to ‘form’ in critical inquiry under the broad rubric of ‘New Formalism’. One of my side projects at the moment is to explore how the return to form can allow us to say something new about metrical form (particularly the hexameter) and the meaningful role that metre – and its disruptions – can play in articulating thematic, narrative, and dictional aspects of Homeric epic.

Publications
Ward, M. forthcoming (2021). ΓΑΜΕΣΣΕΤΑΙ / ΓΕ ΜΑΣΣΕΤΑΙ: Hom. Il. 9.394 and the Constituative Role of Irregularity. JHS 141
Ward, M. 2019. Glory and Nostos: The ship-epithet ΚΟΙΛΟΣ in the Iliad. CQ 69 1: 23–34

Teaching


2020/21 - TE000381 Ancient Culture Lab: Homer’s Experience and the Greek Language

Supervisor: Ahuvia Kahane

Rongzhen Xue

Rongzhen Xue

“The Concept of hamartia in Sino-Hellenic Comparison: A Comparative Study on a Specific Ethical Concept of Error“



I acquired a Master's Degree in Ancient World History at Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China (the title of dissertation: Semantic Analysis and Interpretation of Greek Word ἁμαρτία). Now I am pursuing a Ph.D. on the concept of hamartia in ancient Greek and its parallel concepts in ancient Chinese to explore a comparative study on this concept. My research focuses on the Greek tragedy and philosophy concerning hamartia in Aristotle's Poetics, as well as sino-hellenic comparative study.
https://tcd.academia.edu/RongzhenXue

Supervisor: Ashley Clements