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Postgraduate research in Classics


Completed PhDs


Completed MAs

BA (Honours)

Classics PhD

Dean Alexander BA (Hons), MA (Otago)

Ultimus Romanorum: The Rise of Cassius the Tyrannicide

Supervisors: Professor Jon Hall and Professor Robert Hannah (Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato)

Kara Braithwaite-Westoby PgDip, BA (Otago)

Epameinondas and the Theban Hegemony

Kara is researching the famous general Epameinondas (c. 420-361 B.C.), who was instrumental in establishing Theban Hegemony during the early fourth century B.C. His Thesis will attempt to assess, in its entirety, his life and times with particular interest in his capacity as a statesman and general.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Pat Wheatley and Dr Sean McConnell

Charlotte Dunn BA (Hons), MA (Otago)

The Career of Demetrius Poliorcetes

Supervisors: Associate Professor Pat Wheatley and Professor Jon Hall.

Joel Gordon BMus, BA(Hons), MA (Victoria), GradDip (App Theol)

Imagining the Underworld:  Topography Versus Eschatology

Supervisors: Dr Arlene Allan and Dr Sean McConnell

Thomas Köentges BA, MA (Leipzig)

A Commentary on the "pre-Cena" Section of Petronius' Satyrica

Supervisors: Dr John Garthwaite and Professor William Dominik

Kyle Gervais BSc (Hons), MA Classics (Queen's University)

A Commentary of Statius, Thebaid 2

Supervisors: Professor William Dominik and Dr John Garthwaite

Maria Mackay BA, Dip Tchng, DCE, PGDipArts (English, Classics), Dip Grad (English, Classics), MA (Otago)

Klytaimestra: Gene and Gender Conflict in Greek Tragedy.

Supervisors: Dr Arlene Allan and Professor Brian Boyd (University of Auckland)

Cameron McPhail BA (Hons), MA (Otago)

The Continents and Panhellenism: From Homer to Herodotus.

Supervisors: Professor Robert Hannah (Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato) and Associate Professor Pat Wheatley

Stefan Pedersen BA (Massey), PGDipArts, MA (Otago)

Regularly Irregular Motion in Proclus’ Celestial Physics

Supervisors: Professor Robert Hannah (Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato), Dr Peter Anstey (Department of Philosophy)

Susan Pelechek BA (Coe College), PG Dip (Otago)

Representations and Receptions of Scipio Africanus

Supervisors: Professor William Dominik, Professor Jon Hall, and Associate Professor Pat Wheatley

Alessandra Pugliese BA, MA (Università Cattolica)

The Greek World and Rome in the Late Hellenistic Period

Supervisors: Associate Professor Pat Wheatley and Professor Robert Hannah (Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato)

Bill Richardson BA (Hons) (UTAS)

The Origin of Philip II's Panhellenism

Supervisors: Associate Professor Pat Wheatley and Professor William Dominik

Constance Sleeth BA (Hons) (Trent), MA (Royal Holloway, U. of London)

Euripides' Zeus, Seneca's Jupiter: The Tragic 'Father of Gods and Men'

Supervisors: Dr Arlene Allan and Professor William Dominik

Andrew Stopyra BA (Hons) (Otago), MPhil (Cambridge)

Diodorus Siculus on Alexander

A transalation and commentary of Diodorus Siculus Book 17 on Alexander the Great.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Pat Wheatley and Professor Jon Hall

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Classics MA

John Blackler

Laughter in Plato

Supervisor:  Dr Sean McConnell

Chloe Bray

The Many Faces of the Moon: Lunar Mythology and Religion in the Ancient World

Supervisors: Dr John Garthwaite and Professor Robert Hannah (Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato)

Campbell Calverley

The Rhetoric of Incest in Senecan Drama and Histories of Nero

Supervisor: Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre

Supun Ekanayake

‘Ruling “the other”: Roman provincial administration and its hegemony during the Late Republic as reflected in selected works of Cicero’

Provincial administration played a significant role in Roman expansion and imperialist propaganda. This thesis explores how Cicero’s portrayal of the provinces and provincials employs the notion of ‘the other’ and how this ideology functioned as a mechanism of control in the dissemination of Roman imperial propaganda. Furthermore, the thesis seeks to understand how alterity, while undeniably playing a key role in defining the relationship between Rome and her empire, also led to the ‘othering’ of the Romans themselves in the eyes of the provincials.

Supervisor: Jon Hall

Will Harvey

Reflections on the Enigmatic Goddess: The Origins of Hekate and the Development of her Character to the End of the Fifth Century B.C.

Supervisor: Dr John Garthwaite

Chelsea Johnston

Beware of that Cup!: The Role of Food-tasters in Ancient Society

Supervisor: Associate Professor Pat Wheatley

Lila Knight

From Commodus to Constantine: The Function and Administration of the Roman Imperial Mints in the Third Century CE

Supervisor: Dr Dan Osland

Amanda Macauley

Plutarch and the Virtues of the Roman matrona: Feminine First Person Discourse in the Parallel Lives

Supervisor:  Professor Jon Hall

John Matthews

Ovid's Tristia 2: a self-defence and contrite plea for mercy or a derisive critique of Augustan realpolitik?

Ovid's Tristia comprises 5 books of elegiac verse letters, written after Augustus relegated him to Tomis on the west coast of the Black Sea in AD 8, apparently for teaching adultery in his Ars Amatoria and for an undisclosed misdemeanour. All the verse letters in the Tristia, except one, are addressed to unnamed recipients. The interesting exception is the second book which contains a single and lengthy poem of 289 couplets (578 lines) addressed to the emperor Augustus. This thesis will accept that on one level, Ovid is in this poem merely defending himself and his poetry to Augustus, particularly his Ars Amarotia, and making a plea to Augustus for a reduction of his sentence of relegation. It will argue, however, that on another level, Ovid is bringing his familiar ironic wit to bear (although without the irreverent and amusing flippancy of his pre-exilic writing) to expose to a wide readership the deception, hypocrisy and even brutality that Augustan policy, based on power rather than ideals, demanded. It will further argue that in doing this, Ovid demonstrates a fresh understanding of the values for which the practice of monarchy and empire stood.

Supervisor: Professor Jon Hall

Jacqui Moate

'Alleviating Death Anxiety in Epicureanism'

Epicurus famously claimed that “death is nothing to us” and not to be feared. The Epicureans were also hedonists, believing that pleasure was inherently good and pain inherently bad. Fears and anxieties were viewed as a form of mental pain, and were thus seen as a threat to human happiness. The eradication of the fear of death was therefore a core component of Epicurean ethical theory.

The Epicureans employed a multitude of arguments in order to demonstrate that death is not harmful, and therefore need not be feared. This thesis will map out such arguments and engage with modern scholarship on the subject. Of particular focus is the ‘Symmetry Argument’, which equates post-mortem and pre-natal non-existence. The practical consistency and psychological effectiveness of the arguments against the fear of death will also be examined.

Supervisor: Sean McConnell

Jon Rolfe

The Politics and Social Prestige of Priesthoods in the Late Republic

Supervisor: Professor Jon Hall

Nathan Watson

From Philosophising Ass to Asinine Philosopher: Satire in Book 11 of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses

Supervisor: Dr John Garthwaite

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Classics BA (Honours) 2019

Tyler Broome

‘Moral decline in Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae and Bellum Iugurthinum

Supervisor: J. Hall

Madeleine Fountain

‘Life on the Northern Frontier of Roman Britain’

Supervisor: D. Osland

Pia Huston

‘Gender in the Underworld’

Supervisor: A. Allan ​

Helena Jones

‘Aristophanes’ wives and lovers’

Supervisor: A. Allan

Sarah MacManus

‘On the side of man: Athena as a civilizing force’

Supervisor: G. McIntyre

Jacqui Moate

‘Homer and the Presocratics on the soul’

Supervisor: S. McConnell

Classics BA (Honours) 2018

Samantha Ball

‘“...the Macedonians would never tolerate being governed by a woman” (Plut. Alex. 68.4). The Macedonian royal women as successors’

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

John Blackler

‘Deface the philosopher: a consideration of Lucian’s contribution to Cynicism’

Supervisor: Sean McConnell

Robyn Cooper

‘The archaeological evidence of Roman household religion’

Supervisor: Dan Osland

Heather Hutchings

‘Form and function in Vergil’s Georgics’

Supervisor: Sean McConnell

Charlotte Murray

‘Mistresses, priestesses, and wives: an analysis of female power in fifth century Athens’

Supervisor: Arlene Allan

Jessy Ruiter

‘The development of the Roman military shield’

Supervisor: Dan Osland

Matthew Watts

‘Silver and sand: economic policies of Ptolemy I Soter’

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

Classics BA (Honours) 2017

Tom Brown

Creating an Emperor:  Examining the Augustan Persona through Time and Author

Supervisor:  Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre

Mallory Heslop

‘Dying with Artemis: Greek women’s lives, liminality, and encounters with death’

Supervisor:  Dr Arlene Allan

Lila Knight

Perceptions of Caligula's Relationship with the Roman Army on Imperial Coinage

Supervisor:  Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre

Tabitha Moe

Minoan Prowess

Supervisor:  Dr Dan Osland

Classics BA (Honours) 2016

Serena Gold

Deciphering Lost History: Arrian’s τὰ μετὰ Ἀλέξανδρον and its Historical Significance

Supervisor:  Associate Professor Pat Wheatley

Gene Haggie

Origins of felicitas in Sulla’s Reign

Supervisor:  Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre

Libby Neumann

Seen but Not Heard: An Exploration of Childhood and the Role of Children in the Art and Archaeology of Campania

Supervisor:  Dr Dan Osland

Rowan Newton

Cognitive Spectatorship in Greek Theatre and Performative Ritual

Supervisor:  Dr Arlene Allan

Classics BA (Honours) 2015

Campbell Calverley

A Woman Scorned:  Literary Representations of Phaedra

Supervisors:  Professor William Dominik and Professor Jon Hall

Katie Greene

Iambic Invective:  The Protest Music of Archaic Greece

Supervisor:  Dr Arlene Allan

Christopher Hawtin

An innovative proof of concept webpage featuring the first one-hundred lines of Virgil's Aeneid with digital annotations

Supervisor:  Dr Dan Osland

Ruth Tae'iloa

The Value of a Virtue:  Homeric Masculinity in Traditional Tonga

Supervisor:  Dr Sean McConnell