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Postgraduate Research in Classics


Recently completed PhDs


Recently 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

Joel is researching how the realm of the underworld was envisioned as a place and a space within archaic and classical Greek thought (from Homer until Plato). Of particular concern are references and allusions to Hades and its topography which are all too often overlooked in preference for the picture painted by Homer and other eschatological giants (e.g. Pindar’s Odes, Aristophanes’ Frogs and Plato’s dialogues). Special emphasis will also be given to the role played by real-world geographical locations associated with the underworld and the philosophies of the Presocratics. Joel seeks to challenge the dominant suggestion that there existed a single canonical eschatology which informed the underworld’s representation - topographical features served a variety of purposes dependent upon the author, their intent, and their audience, rather than simply mapping out a logical and consistent picture of the underworld.

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.

Klytaimestra frequently figures as the worst woman in Greek mythology, whose avenging act of husband-murder “splashed [...] shame on herself and the rest of her sex, on women / still to come, even on the one whose acts are virtuous” (Odyssey 11.433-4). Her story is one of the iconic narratives of innate female evil justifying a long tradition of Western misogyny. Ancient Greek society clearly demonstrates, in literature and history, cultural values that incorporate and privilege male biological mating strategy. The gender conflicts that are one of the central themes of Greek tragedy reflect this essential root of gender conflict in cross-cultural and diachronic human behaviour. Maria's thesis explores the characterization of Klytaimestra, primarily in fifth-century BCE tragedy, considering the Greek views of women that frame her depiction, the modern feminist interpretation of Klytaimestra, and how her narrative may be further understood through biopoetic analysis as expressing and resolving evolved gendered behaviours and conflict. The analysis of the character of Klytaimestra through the lens of a sociobiological methodology contributes to an understanding of the literary tradition of misogyny that underpins millennia of effective reproductive inequities, across human cultures.

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 BA Hons (Otago)

Laughter in Plato

Supervisor:  Dr Sean McConnell

Chloe Bray BA Hons (Otago)

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 BA Hons (Otago)

The Rhetoric of Incest in Senecan Drama and Histories of Nero

Supervisor: Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre

Will Harvey BA Hons (Otago)

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 BA Hons (Otago)

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 Os

Amanda Macauley

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

Supervisor:  Professor Jon Hall

John Matthews BA LLB (Natal), PGDipArts (Otago)

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

Jon Rolfe BA Hons (Otago)

The Politics and Social Prestige of Priesthoods in the Late Republic

Supervisor: Professor Jon Hall

Nathan Watson BA Hons (Otago)

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

Supervisor: Dr John Garthwaite

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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

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