Dr Emma Greensmith

Academic Background

Before coming to Oxford, I held a Research Fellowship at Jesus College, Cambridge. Before then, I was Visiting Assistant Professor of the Classics at Colgate University, New York (2017-18). I completed both my undergraduate and postgraduate work at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and wrote my doctorate as part of the AHRC-funded collaborative project ‘Imperial Greek Epic: A Cultural History’ (University of Cambridge, 2014-17). 

Research Interests

My research centres on two areas: Greek epic in the broadest sense, and the poetics and politics of the Greek imperial period. I am particularly interested in the continuation and transformation of epic in Late Antiquity, the effects of religious change on literary culture, and the relationship between ‘classical’ and ‘Christian’ canons. My first book – The Resurrection of Homer (CUP 2020) – explored the reception of Homer in imperial Greek epic and the impact of this reception on Greek identity politics during Roman rule.  My new book, entitled Homer and the Bible: Essays on Christian Greek Epic, continues and expands this work into new literary spaces. It focuses on the aesthetic dynamics and cultural tensions at work in the large corpus of Christian Greek hexameter composed in the early Christian period. I have published on many texts from the imperial era, including an edited volume on the Posthomerica (Writing Homer Under Rome, EUP 2022), and articles on the poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus (CCJ 66, 2020), the Sibylline Oracles (2022) and Greek and Latin literary interactions (2022). I have ongoing projects on Nonnus’ Dionysiaca, counterfactual futures in epic, late antique exegesis, and Biblical Paraphrase.  I have recently finished editing a new Cambridge Companion to Greek Epic, which contains twenty-one chapters on multiple dimensions of Greek epic, stretching from Homer to the present day.  


Research Keywords

Greek Literature; Epic; Imperial Greek Poetry; Late Antiquity; Homer; reception of Homer. 


I teach a wide range of literature options (Greek and Latin) to undergraduates.  

Subjects for graduate supervision include: 

  • Greek Epic
  • Imperial Greek Literature
  • Christian poetry in Late Antiquity
  • Homeric epic and its reception    
  • Hellenistic poetry


Full List of Publications: Dr Emma Greensmith July 2023

Selected Publications:

Greensmith E. (forthcoming) Homer and the Bible: Essays on Christian Greek Epic.  
Greensmith E. (2020) The Resurrection of Homer in Imperial Greek Epic Quintus Smyrnaeus 'Posthomerica and the Poetics of Impersonation.

Edited Volumes: 
Bär, S, Greensmith, E. and Ozbek, L. (2022) Quintus of Smyrna’s Posthomerica: Writing Homer Under Rome. EUP. 
Greensmith, E. (forthcoming) The Cambridge Companion to Greek Epic. CUP. 

Articles and Volume Chapters
Greensmith, E. (2022) ‘A-Sexual Epic? Consummation and Closure in the Posthomerica’ in Bär, Greensmith and Ozbek edd: 38-56.