Dr Emma Greensmith

Academic Background

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

Research Interests

My present research focuses on the poetics and politics of the Greek imperial period; particularly the reception of epic, the effects of religious change on literary culture, and the relationship between ‘classical’ and ‘Christian’ canons. My recent book, The Resurrection of Homer (CUP 2020) explores the reception of Homer in imperial Greek epic and the impact of this reception on Greek identity politics during Roman rule. My new project, entitled ‘Homer and the Bible: The Religious Politics of Verse in Late Antiquity’, seeks to continue and expand this work into new literary and cultural spaces. I have published on a number of texts from this era – including an edited volume on the Posthomerica, articles on the poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus (CCJ 66, 2020), and the Sibylline Oracles, and have ongoing projects on Nonnus’ Dionysiaca, alternative (hi)stories in epic, and Biblical Paraphrase.  



Research Keywords

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


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

Subjects for graduate supervision include:

•    Imperial Greek Literature
•    Greek epic of the Roman Empire
•    Homeric epic and its reception
•    Hellenistic poetry
•    Christian poetry in Late Antiquity


Selected Publications:

Greensmith, E. (2020) The Resurrection of Homer in Imperial Greek Epic: Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica and the Poetics of Impersonation. CUP
Greensmith, E. (2020) ‘Gregory of Nazianzus in the Palatine Anthology: the Poetics of Christian Death’ (co-written with S. Goldhill), The Cambridge Classical Journal 66: 29-69.
Greensmith, E. (2018) ‘When Homer Quotes Callimachus. Allusive Poetics in the Proem of the Posthomerica’, The Classical Quarterly 68 (1):1–18
Greensmith, E. (2016) ‘Poetry in Performance. The Almeida Greeks and the Odyssey’, Eisodos 2016 (1): 27-33
Greensmith, E. (2018 forthcoming) ‘Saying the Other: Personification and Epic in Late Antiquity’, in B. Verhelst and T. Scheijnen edd. Walking the Wire: Greek and Latin Poetry in Dialogue
Bär, S., Greensmith, E., and Ozbek, L. edd. (forthcoming) Writing Homer Under Rome: Quintus of Smyrna in and Beyond the Second Sophistic
Greensmith, E. (forthcoming) ‘Asexual Epic: Consummation and Closure in Quintus of Smyrna’s Posthomerica’ in Bär, Greensmith, and Ozbek edd.