Professor Costas Panayotakis
- Professor of Latin (Classics)
My research interests are on Latin fiction, especially of the Neronian period, and on Roman comic theatre of the Republic. My interest in the latter is not confined to the scripts of Plautus and Terence, but focuses especially on the literary mime and the Atellane comedy of the first century BC, types of low and popular theatrical entertainment which flourished in the important era of Cicero and Caesar but have not received the scholarly attention they deserve. My publications combine traditional philological methods and a literary approach, and examine drama both from a theatrical and from a socio-political perspective, thus providing the foundation for a full assessment of the influence of popular theatre on other literary genres and its interaction with them in the Roman Republic and the Empire. My colleague Ian Rufell and I have recently run at Glasgow a series of research seminars on Roman popular drama and we plan to follow these up with an international conference in 2012.
My first book, Theatrum Arbitri (Leiden, 1995), was a comprehensive study of the influence of Roman popular theatre on the novel of Petronius. Soon after its publication I was commissioned by The National Bank of Greece to translate into Modern Greek P. G. Walsh’s The Roman Novel (Cambridge, 1970), and to become Review Editor of Ancient Narrative, the pre-eminent international periodical for ancient fiction, based in The Netherlands. I continue to publish on Petronius and I have a contract to produce a new edition of the part of Petronius’ novel conventionally known as Cena Trimalchionis for the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts.
My studies in comic fiction led me to the field of low drama: in 1997 I published an article on the Christian mime, in 1998 a short book in Modern Greek on the mimographer Publilius, and in 2006 one more article on mime-actresses in the Republican and the Early Imperial periods. My most recent book, entitled Decimus Laberius: The Fragments, appeared in February 2010 in the prestigious series ‘Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries’. It contains a survey on the development of the Roman mime as a theatrical genre, a new critical text with apparatus criticus and (the first-ever English) translation of the fragments of the important Roman mimographer Decimus Laberius, and a detailed literary commentary on these fragments.
My future research plans include the following volumes:
(i) Fabula Atellana: The Fragments. This is a new critical edition of the fragments of all the Roman playwrights (Pomponius, Novius, Mummius, and Aprissius) who composed the greatly popular (and indecent) literary fabula Atellana; the edition will be accompanied by the first-ever English translation of the corpus of the Atellane playwrights and a detailed literary, philological, metrical, and theatrical commentary, which will both contextualise Atellane comedy in the culture of the early first century BC and relate it to the pioneering works of Plautus and Terence. No such volume exists in English.
(ii) The sententiae of Publilius and others: edition, translation, and commentary.The Syrian mime-writer Publilius (first century BC) was highly influential in pagan times as a comic dramatist and in the Christian era as a moralist. In spite of his importance and the discovery of new manuscripts containing sententiae attributed to him, no major monograph has dealt with him in a comprehensive manner that examines issues of text, context, and dramatic interpretation. I am working towards establishing a new text (through collation of about 50 manuscripts) and a new translation of the 734 maxims conventionally attributed to Publilius (last edited in 1880), in order to situate his work against the background of Roman drama, and examine, as far as possible, the comic potential of the sententiae.
- 2013 The Royal Society of Edinburgh—CRF European Visiting Research Fellowship
- 2013 The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
- 2013-2014 Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship
- 2012 The British School at Rome, Balsdon Fellowship
- 2011 All Souls College, Oxford, Visiting Fellowship
- 2009 The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
- 2009 St. John’s College, Oxford, Visiting Scholarship
- 2008 British Academy Small Research Grant
- 2005 British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
- 2005 John Robertson Bequest Grant
- 2004 British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
- 2001 British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
- 2000 British Academy Travel Grant
- 1999 Arts and Humanities Research Board, Research Leave Scheme Grant
- 1999 British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
- 1999 Glasgow University Snell Visitorship for research at Balliol College, Oxford
I am particularly interested in supervising in the following areas:
- editing Latin texts, through direct or indirect transmission
- Roman drama (comedy and tragedy), including its reception and translation
- Roman fictional narrative, including its reception
- the interaction between high and low culture in the Republic and the Empire
At present I have one research student for whom I am the primary supervisor (her one-year research degree is on Macaronic Latin poetry), but I am also in the supervisory panel of two students working in research fields unrelated to mine (editing and commenting on late Greek medical texts; the office of the pontifex maximus), and I chair the progress review annual meeting for all postgraduate research students in Classics.
Previously I was the sole supervisor for a one-year research degree on Apuleius (successfully submitted in December 1996) and for a PhD on the exploitation of epic in Roman satire (successfully submitted in December 2002).
At undergraduate level I currently convene the first-year Latin language classes and six Honours Latin/Classics courses. I have taught and assessed Latin language classes (including Latin metre, Latin prose composition, and Latin Unprepared Translation) in large groups and small tutorials from Beginners to Honours levels.
My undergraduate courses on literature focus mainly on Latin texts, which I teach either in the original or in translation. I structure them thematically or through literary genres as represented by individual authors. At Honours level I have taught (and convened) popular courses (in translation) on
- Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Rome
- The History of the Roman Stage from the Early Republic to the Late Empire (Menander, Plautus, Terence, fragmentary Roman comic playwrights, Seneca, and the fragmentary tragic playwrights of the Republic)
- The Novel in Antiquity: Impotent Heroes and Damsels in Distress (Petronius, Apuleius, Achilles Tatius, Longus)
I also offer (and convene) the following courses in Latin (subject to demand):
- Roman Satire (selections from Horace, Persius, and Juvenal)
- Roman Drama (selected plays of Plautus and Terence)
- Roman Fiction (selections from Petronius and Apuleius)
At pre-Honours level, I teach on Classical Civilisation 1B: Republican Rome (‘Plautus and the origins of Latin literature’) and on Classical Civilisation 2B: Imperial Rome (‘Petronius’ and ‘Juvenal’). My emphasis is on the appreciation of the literary qualities of the text and the contextualisation of the author who composed it. I greatly enjoyed giving tutorials on topics outside my research fields, namely Homer’s Iliad, selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, Virgil, Ovid, Pompeian material culture, Cicero’s Catilinarians,Augustan Rome, and Neronian society.
My contribution to the present taught postgraduate syllabus includes courses on Roman Fiction (Petronius and Apuleius), Roman Drama in Performance (selected plays of Plautus, Terence, and Seneca), and Greek and Roman Mime (Sophron, Herodas, Decimus Laberius, and Publilius). The last two options (Roman Drama in Performance and Greek and Roman Mime) form part of the taught MLitt programme in Ancient Drama, which I set up in 2003.
Invited lectures or research seminars
I have regularly addressed audiences at research seminars and international colloquia
- in the UK (Leeds 1994, 2007; Newcastle 2000; Maynooth 2000; Cambridge 2003; London 2003, 2010; Edinburgh 2003, 2007; Manchester 2005, 2008; Swansea 2006; Cork 2007; Lampeter 2008; Nottingham 2010, Oxford 2011),
- elsewhere in Europe (Groningen 1995, 2000; Nicosia 1998, 2002; Munich 2004, Limassol 2007, Rome 2009),
- and abroad (Pretoria 2000; Philadelphia 2002; Gainesville, Florida, 2004, 2006; Boston 2005; Montreal 2006; Tallahassee, Florida 2011);
- and at Classical Association Annual Meetings (Oxford 1992; Durham 1993; Exeter 1994; St Andrews 1995; Liverpool 1999; Manchester 2001; Reading 2005)
2001 Co-organiser (with D.L. Cairns and R.A. Knox) of “Athenian Law and Life” (30/6—2/7/2001), an International Conference organised in honour of D. M. MacDowell, FBA. As Treasurer of the conference I was awarded a grant from the British Academy to cover expenses of overseas speakers.
2007 Co-organiser (with G. Manuwald) of ‘Meaningful remains: working with literary fragments from early Rome’, an international colloquium held on 10/3/2007 at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, under the auspices of the Corpus Christi College Centre for the Study of Greek and Roman Antiquity.
2009 Chief organiser of the joint meeting of The Classical Association and The Classical Association of Scotland, held in Glasgow at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 6-9 April 2009. There were 59panels, over 230 speakers, and 384 participants from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Estonia, South Africa, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. As a result of my co-operation with the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau during the preparations for this widely-publicised event I was awarded the title of Glasgow Ambassador.
My most effective involvement with Classics Outreach is the network I have built up with Classics teachers and a number of state and independent schools in Scotland and England.
- My seven-year teaching career at the JACT Greek Summer School in Bryanston, where I have also given invited talks on Aristophanic Comedy and Greek New Comedy to audiences of about 300 pupils from schools all over the UK, and I have co-directed student-led productions of Aristophanes’ plays, has given me the opportunity to meet about 50 teachers from a number of both state and independent schools in England and Scotland.
- Through this network I have often been invited to address school audiences or the general public: such visits include talks I gave at the Festival of Greek Drama in University College London (2006), at Fettes College in Edinburgh (May 2005 and October 2006), at the North London Collegiate School (November 2006), and at the Greek and Latin Breakfast Club of the Godolphyn & Latymer School (April 2010).
- I also attended as an invited resident academic the most recent three-day meeting of ARLT, The Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching, at Sheffield (July 2010). The list of participants comprised teachers from state and independent schools, and I greatly profited from a series of twelve sessions I gave on teaching teachers how to teach Latin language and Petronius to pupils.
- As the Glasgow University representative in The Gilbert Murray Essay School Competition and a frequent participant in the Greek and Latin Prose and Verse Annual School Competition, both of which attract entries from schools all over Scotland, I have got to know many school teachers who make a point of bringing their students to Open Days and Classics events at the University.