Classics > People > Faculty Members > Christopher Metcalf

Dr Christopher Metcalf
MA Edin, MPhil DPhil Oxf


Associate Professor in Classical Languages and Literature, Faculty of Classics
Fellow and Tutor, The Queen's College


The Queen's College


Dr Christopher Metcalf


Born to Anglo-German parents, I grew up in continental Europe and west Africa. In 2003 I came to Britain to study classical and ancient Near Eastern languages in Edinburgh, Oxford and London, graduating with a DPhil in Classics from the University of Oxford in 2013 (the thesis has been published as The Gods Rich in Praise: Early Greek and Mesopotamian Religious Poetry, OUP 2015). Thinking that I might become a journalist, I got some work experience at the BBC’s French-language African radio station in London and at a German broadsheet, the F.A.Z., in Frankfurt. But my interest in teaching and research prevailed, and my first academic appointment was at SOAS, University of London, where I taught as a substitute for the Professor of Babylonian, A R George, in 2012-13. I returned to Oxford as Junior Research Fellow in Lesser Known Languages and Scripts of the Ancient World at Wolfson College (2013-16), and held a postdoctoral research fellowship awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany, before joining Queen's in October 2016.

Research Keywords:

Early Greek poetry; literatures of ancient Mesopotamia and Anatolia; history of religion

Research Interests:

My research interests concentrate on early Greek literature and on the languages of the ancient Near East. I am currently completing an edition of unpublished Sumerian literary texts of the early second millennium BC, and am planning a study of comparative approaches to the Homeric epics. In the longer term I have agreed to write a new history of Hittite literature for the 'Handbuch der Orientalistik'-series (Brill).

Selected Publications:

'Old Babylonian Religious Poetry in Anatolia: From Solar Hymn to Plague Prayer', Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, Vol: 105, (2015), 42-53.

The Gods Rich in Praise: Early Greek and Mesopotamian Religious Poetry, (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015).

'Babylonian Perspectives on the Certainty of Death', Kaskal: Rivista di storia, ambienti e culture del Vicino Oriente antico, Vol: 10, (2013), 255-67.

'New Parallels in Hittite and Sumerian Praise of the Sun', Die Welt des Orients, Vol: 41, (2011), 168-76.