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Postgraduate research in Classics

PhDs

Completed PhDs

MA


Completed MAs

BA (Honours) archive

Classics PhD

Dean Alexander BA (Hons), MA (Otago)

Ultimus Romanorum: The Rise of Cassius the Tyrannicide

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

Kara Braithwaite-Westoby PgDip, BA (Otago)

Epameinondas and the Theban Hegemony

Supervisors: Pat Wheatley and Sean McConnell

Ben Clarkson

The Chimeric Nature of Belief: A Cognitive Examination of Homeric Myth, Oracles and Occultism

The principal aim of this research is to examine Homer's Iliad from a cognitive perspective, and to use approaches from the field of cognitive science in an attempt to elucidate how features of the narrative structured the engagement of the individual in the classical context. I hope to examine both the roles of the narrator and the audience of the text in this regard, and aim to pay special attention to the piece as a performative work - viz. as a spoken text and a piece of (originally) oral composition. As an extension of this I intend to examine the role of seers and oracles in the Iliad, as there are several interesting passages dealing with manteis that warrant examination.

Supervisors: Arlene Allan and Joseph Watts (Religion)

Charlotte Dunn BA (Hons), MA (Otago)

The Career of Demetrius Poliorcetes

Supervisors: Pat Wheatley and Jon Hall.

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

Imagining the Underworld:  Topography Versus Eschatology

Supervisors: Arlene Allan and Sean McConnell

Karl Hart

Primary supervisor: Arlene Allan

Christopher Hext

The Character and Origin of the Early Christian Computus

Supervisors: Sean McConnell and Paul Trebilco (Theology)

The computus is the system used by the Christian church to determine the date of its most important festival, Easter Day. It is an elaborate calculation involving, in particular, predicting occurrences of the full moon. In the early centuries it was a remarkable preoccupation of church leaders and scholars, and it generated substantial controversy. It is an extremely interesting and unusual fusion of theological and scientific thought. The object of this research is to achieve a better appreciation of the principles underlying the character and origin of the computus, and an understanding of why it developed the way it did. I am especially interested in researching the connection between the computus and Jewish calendrical practices ; the extent to which the computistical ideas of Bede and his successors can safely be projected back to the early period (the beginning of the third century onward) ; and the relationship between what I call the “calendric parameters” of the computus system, which are i) the range of dates on which Easter Day can possibly fall, ii) the range of dates on which relevant full moon can possibly fall, and iii) the range of the number of days which are allowed to intervene between the two. Other lines of research may well emerge as the project proceeds.

Thomas Köentges BA, MA (Leipzig)

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

Supervisors: John Garthwaite and William Dominik

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

A Commentary of Statius, Thebaid 2

Supervisors: William Dominik and 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: Arlene Allan and Brian Boyd (University of Auckland)

Cameron McPhail BA (Hons), MA (Otago)

The Continents and Panhellenism: From Homer to Herodotus.

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

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

Regularly Irregular Motion in Proclus’ Celestial Physics

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

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

Representations and Receptions of Scipio Africanus

Supervisors:William Dominik, Jon Hall, and Pat Wheatley

Alessandra Pugliese BA, MA (Università Cattolica)

The Greek World and Rome in the Late Hellenistic Period

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

Bill Richardson BA (Hons) (UTAS)

The Origin of Philip II's Panhellenism

Supervisors: Pat Wheatley and Sean McConnell

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

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

Supervisors: Arlene Allan and 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: Pat Wheatley and Jon Hall

Matt Watts

Primary supervisor: Pat Wheatley

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Classics MA

Scott Bezett

Searching for the Graecian Gesamtkunstwerk : The aesthetics of ancient tragedy as a model in opera from the Renaissance to Wagner

Since its origins in the late Renaissance, composers, librettists and scholars have widely considered the operatic genre to derive its form from the tragedies of the ancient Greeks. Despite the apparent ubiquitousness of this opinion, there is a general lack of rigorous analysis in regards to just how the ancient Greek art form has influenced the development of opera. This project will attempt to remedy some of this lack of research by showing the ways in which Greek tragedy has played a fundamental role in a number of key moments in opera's history. While most authors who have explored the relationship between tragedy and opera have focused on the use of plots from ancient tragedy in opera or individual composers' responses to the Greek tragic tradition, this project will seek to show how elements of Greek tragedy have influenced opera's development at three key moments in operatic history: the development of the earliest operas by members of the Florentine Camerata (c. 1598-1643), the operatic reforms of Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787), and the music dramas of Richard Wagner (1813-1883). What will ultimately be shown is that the composers at these pivotal moments in operatic history drew from their understanding and appreciation of the aesthetics of Greek tragedy to inspire their revolutions within the operatic genre. The focus of the project will be on the reception of the Greek tragic tradition and how this reception informed the artistic endeavours of these operatic composers, while also seeking to understand and investigate what it is that made the aesthetics of Attic tragedy so appealing to operatic composers throughout history.

Supervisors: Gwynaeth McIntyre and Terence Dennis (Music)

John Blackler

Laughter in Plato

Supervisor: Sean McConnell

Chloe Bray

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

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

Tyler Broome

Ventriloquism in Ciceronian Oratory

Supervisor: Jon Hall

Campbell Calverley

The Rhetoric of Incest in Senecan Drama and Histories of Nero

Supervisor: Gwynaeth McIntyre

Ben Clarkson

Magic, Marriage and the Maiden: Love Magic and the Individual in the 5th and 4th Centuries B.C.E.

Supervisor: Arlene Allan

Jen Copedo

There’s something in the Water: Personified dangers of the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic.

Supervisor: Alene Allan

Supun Ekanayake

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

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: John Garthwaite

Chelsea Johnston

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

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

Lila Knight

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

Supervisor: Dan Osland

Amanda Macauley

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

Supervisor:  Jon Hall

Andy MacManus

Roman Glass in the Otago Museum

In the basement of the Otago Museum is a collection of ancient Roman glass hidden away in boxes, ignored for decades. This research will explore some of the relevant glass vessels in an attempt to more fully understand the modern journey of these items prior to their acquisition by the museum, but also to investigate the original contexts and uses of these items. The investigation into the modern history of the items would attempt to trace the sites from which they were procured. Donors of ancient items are frequently recorded in the Museum’s catalogue, however the provenance is rarely present or precise. In the absence of a traceable history for these items, looking into the archaeological practices and sites of the late 19th and 20th century may provide context for the procurement of comparable items. Finally, the items should be contextualized in their classical setting. This will include dating the items, as well as determining their original uses, both in everyday and ritual contexts. Further research would include looking into the process of glass making with a focus on the Roman Imperial period.

Supervisor:  Dan Osland

Rhys Maurer

Agis III: Rebellion and Resistance – A historiographical account of Agis' rule and revolt in the context of Alexander's empire

Ruling in the time of Alexander's Persian expedition, King Agis III was king of Sparta at one of the lowest points in the famed city-states’ history. Yet, during his eight years as ruler, he was able to mount an enormous rebellion with over 30,000 soldiers and numerous city states and threaten Alexander’s hegemony over Greece in the early stages of his empire. His rule and rebellion saw many remarkable events and calls into question the true level of unity amongst the Greeks and their views on Alexander’s Macedonian expansions in a way that is not often considered. However, despite these feats, Agis’ place in the formation of Alexander's empire and legacy is seemingly obscured by the mists of antiquity. This lapse in the records has received sparse attention in recent decades, and it is obvious that the situation requires a perspective not marred by the sycophantic historical tropes that often accompany Alexander’s legacy in order to truly understand the socio-political landscape of Greece under the looming shadow of Macedonian control. For this to be a successful analysis, the parameters surrounding the events must be redrawn in order to understand the situation from a truly “Greek” perspective. This project shall attempt to do this by engaging directly with the primary sources to both hypothesise an accurate chronology of the events as well as understand the attitudes and contextual factors responsible for Agis lacking a lasting legacy of his own.

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

John Matthews

Doctor Ovid: Teaching what to whom in Tristia 2?

Supervisor: Jon Hall

Jacqui Moate

'Alleviating Death Anxiety in Epicureanism'

Supervisor: Sean McConnell

Jon Rolfe

The Politics and Social Prestige of Priesthoods in the Late Republic

Supervisor: Jon Hall

Jessy Ruiter

Cultural Influences on Roman Burial Practices in the West

For those who could afford it creating a burial monument that would bear the deceased’s name long after they had passed was a way of granting life after death for Roman people. As such Roman burial monuments were highly personal and subject to cultural norms. In this thesis I will attempt to analyse changes to burial conventions in the western provinces in the second century AD and assess to what extent these changes can be explained by the influence of indigenous culture. This will be done primarily through the assessment of inscriptions and monument style, but will be supplemented by grave goods, trends in inhumation and cremation, and contemporary literature.

Supervisor: Dan Osland

Hannah Schmierer

‘Men Who Conform to the Will of God’: The Judaean Experience under the Early Ptolemies, According to Josephus

In his Judaean Antiquities and Against Apion, Josephus presents the first three Ptolemies as showing particular respect for their Judaean subjects. This thesis intends, firstly, to examine to what extent this presentation aligns with other evidence for Judaean experiences under Ptolemies I-III. Secondly, factors that could have influenced Josephus’ accounts will be considered – in particular, the context in which he was writing, and the intended audience(s) and purpose(s) of his work. Lastly, if Josephus’ presentation is found to be supportable – that is, if there is evidence of these Ptolemies having chosen to treat their Judaean subjects benevolently or grant them unique privileges – the context and outcome of their policies will be explored. Ultimately, a clearer picture should emerge of both the significance of such policies to the early Ptolemies’ governance, and the significance of these historical examples to Josephus and what he was seeking to do.

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

Nathan Watson

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

Supervisor: John Garthwaite

Matthew Watts

India and South East trade with the Greek West: an examination of cross-cultural trade relations in the 4th Century BCE

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

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Classics BA (Honours) 2021

Samuel W E Gamble

Fit For A God: The Emergence of the Greek Temple

Supervisor: Dan Osland

Taichi Kojima

The Man of Many Turns: The Heroism, Suffering, and Intellect of Odysseus

Supervisor: Gwynaeth McIntyre

Michael Mckenzie

The Arms and Armour of Alexander the Great’s Macedonian Army

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

Alessandro Pezzuto

The Golden Statesmen: Augustus and Pericles?

Supervisor: Gwynaeth McIntyre

Hannah Schmierer

Everywhere but His Back: The Injuries and Illnesses of Alexander the Great

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

Morgan Page-Browne

Airs, Waters, Places: Ethnography or Medicine

Supervisor: Jon Hall

Lauryn Hortle

The Lion, the Witch, and the Weaver: A study in Modern Receptions of Homer’s Odyssey

Supervisor: Gwynaeth McIntyre

Classics BA (Honours) 2020

Scott Bezett

Xenophon’s Spartan Fabrication: The Construction of an Ideal State in Xenophon’s Constitution of the Lacedaemonians

Supervisor: Sean McConnell

Ben Clarkson

Binding and Demons: δαίμονες in Ancient Greek κατάδεσμοι

Supervisor: Arlene Allan

Kiri Lenagh-Glue

Paene potius puer: The use and manipulation of age identifiers in Cicero’s Philippicae

Supervisor: Jon Hall

Lydie Leurquin

To what extent did the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures influence the Late Bronze Age Aegean? A preliminary study of eastern Aegean tombs and the origins of the material culture.

Supervisor: Dan Osland

Rhys Maurer

The Tragic Rule of Lysimachus: A Thematic Study of the Exclusion of Lysimachus’ Rule in the History of the Diadochi

Supervisor: Pat Wheatley

Megan Snell

The Roman Empire and Gaul, 260–476

Supervisor: Dan Osland

Eliza Thompson

Ideological change in Athenian Funerals: A Case Study of the Lekythoi Vases in the Otago Museum

Supervisor: Dan Osland

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Classics BA (Honours) 2019

Tyler Broome

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

Supervisor: Gwynaeth McIntyre

Madeleine Fountain

‘Life on the Northern Frontier of Roman Britain’

Supervisor: Dan Osland

Pia Huston

‘Gender in the Underworld’

Supervisor: Arlene Allan ​

Helena Jones

‘Aristophanes’ wives and lovers’

Supervisor: Arlene Allan

Sarah MacManus

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

Supervisor: Gwynaeth McIntyre

Jacqui Moate

‘Homer and the Presocratics on the soul’

Supervisor: Sean McConnell

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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

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Classics BA (Honours) 2017

Tom Brown

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

Supervisor:  Gwynaeth McIntyre

Mallory Heslop

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

Supervisor:  Arlene Allan

Lila Knight

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

Supervisor:  Gwynaeth McIntyre

Tabitha Moe

Minoan Prowess

Supervisor:  Dan Osland

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Classics BA (Honours) 2016

Serena Gold

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

Supervisor:  Pat Wheatley

Gene Haggie

Origins of felicitas in Sulla’s Reign

Supervisor:  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:  Dan Osland

Rowan Newton

Cognitive Spectatorship in Greek Theatre and Performative Ritual

Supervisor:  Arlene Allan

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Classics BA (Honours) 2015

Campbell Calverley

A Woman Scorned:  Literary Representations of Phaedra

Supervisors:  William Dominik and Jon Hall

Katie Greene

Iambic Invective:  The Protest Music of Archaic Greece

Supervisor:  Arlene Allan

Christopher Hawtin

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

Supervisor:  Dan Osland

Ruth Tae'iloa

The Value of a Virtue:  Homeric Masculinity in Traditional Tonga

Supervisor:  Sean McConnell

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