Classics > People > Faculty Members > Rebecca Armstrong

Dr Rebecca Armstrong
BA MSt DPhil Oxf


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


St Hilda's College

Tel No: (01865) 276855
Fax No: (01865) 276855

Dr Rebecca  Armstrong


Rebecca Armstrong teaches Latin literature and language, as well as some Greek literature. Her main research interests lie in Latin poetry of the late Republic and early Empire. Her first book offers a thematic examination of Ovid's love poetry, looking at the changing persona of the poet-lover in the Amores, Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris and the characters of the beloved, the go-between, and the rival, as well as representations of the city of Rome and adaptations of mythology within Ovid's erotic verse. In her second book, the myths of three badly behaved Cretan women, Pasiphae, Ariadne and Phaedra, are the focus. This dysfunctional family, whose stories involve bestiality, elopement, murder and incest, held great appeal for Latin poets, and this study explores the variety of ways in which they appear: as 'intertextual' heroines, with a self-conscious emphasis on their position in the poetic tradition; as symbols of the wildness that can persist even in the most civilized societies; as fascinating and exciting figures through which to explore ideas and preconceptions of virtue and vice. She is currently working on a new book for OUP which assesses the poetic and cultural significance of plants and trees in the Eclogues, Georgics and Aeneid of Vergil. She is also researching various other aspects of the Aeneid, and the themes of travel and nostalgia in the poetry of Catullus.

Research Keywords:

Latin poetry, especially Vergil, Ovid and Catullus

Selected Publications:

'Against Nature' Some Augustan Perspectives on Man-Made Marvels' in P Hardie (ed.) Paradox and the Marvellous in Augustan Literature and Culture, (Oxford University Press 2009).

'Vergil's Cucumber: Georgics 4.121-2', (Classical Quarterly 2008), 366-8.

'The Aeneid: Inheritance and Empire' in M Clarke, B Currie and ROAM Lyne (eds.) Epic Interactions: Perspectives on Homer, Virgil and the Epic Tradition, (Oxford University Press 2006).

Cretan Women: Pasiphae, Ariadne and Phaedra in Latin Poetry, (Oxford University Press 2006).

Ovid and His Love Poetry, (Duckworth 2005).

'Retiring Apollo: Ovid on the Politics and Poetics of Self-Sufficiency', (Classical Quarterly 2004), 528-50.

'Crete in the Aeneid: Recurring Trauma and Alternative Fate', (Classical Quarterly 2002), 321-40.