Classics > People > Faculty Members > Lydia Matthews

Dr Lydia Matthews
BA, MA University of KwaZulu-Natal, DPhil Oxf


Lecturer in Ancient History, Oriel College
Member, Faculty of Classics


Oriel College


Dr Lydia Matthews


I began my education in South Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where I completed my Honours and Master’s degrees in Classics. I then came to Brasenose College for my DPhil in Roman History, in which I looked at the idea of Fortune in Rome. Since then I have held a College Lectureship in Ancient History at Worcester College, Oxford, and a Teaching Fellowship in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester. I am now a college lecturer at Oriel College.

Research Keywords:

Roman History, Ancient Sexuality and Gender, Ancient Medicine, Ancient Ethnography

Research Interests:

I have two main research interests: Roman Imperial history and the history of gender and sexuality. My current project looks at the history of sexuality as it relates to ancient medical ideas of the body. I am interested in how medicalization, the process by which some human behaviours and bodies come to be understood as medically diagnosable and treatable, affected the way that people thought about 'deviant' behaviour in antiquity.

Selected Publications:

'Cursing Prayers and Female Vengeance in the Ancient Greek World', in Female Fury and the Masculine Spirit of Vengeance: Revenge and Gender from Classical to Early Modern Literature, L. Dawson and F. McHardy (eds.), Co-author: I. Salvo, (forthcoming).

'Pax Augusta: The Roman State and the Violent Suppression of the Salassi', in Political Management of Humanitarian Crises in Classical Antiquity., D. Gómez-Castro, T. Ñaco del Hoyo, and R. Riera-Vargas (eds.), (forthcoming).

'Xanthus of Lydia and the Invention of Female Eunuchs', Classical Quarterly, (forthcoming).

'Veiled or Unveiled? (Plut. Quaest. Rom. 267B-C)', Classical Quarterly, (2008), 336-342.