Dr Guy Westwood

I hold a Departmental Lectureship in the Faculty and a Stipendiary Lectureship at St Hugh’s College for 2018/19, covering Prof Tim Rood’s research leave. Most recently, I was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham for 2017/18 (teaching a wide range of Greek history, language, and literature to undergraduate and Master’s students), and before that (2013-17) held the Leventis Research Fellowship in Ancient Greek at Merton College, teaching most of the college’s Greek literature and language. I did my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Oxford before that, and served as Stipendiary Lecturer at Magdalen College in 2012/13.

My main research interests are in classical oratory and rhetoric, especially in Athenian political oratory of the fourth century BC. My doctoral thesis (2014), a revised version of which is to appear in OUP’s Oxford Classical Monographs series, examined how two significant mid-fourth-century Athenian politicians – Demosthenes and Aeschines – used the city’s past (and the wider Greek past) in the task of persuading mass citizen audiences, especially in public trials, in the political Assembly, and on ceremonial occasions. Both orators use examples of past leaders and events not only to reflect on a troubled contemporary political landscape – Demosthenes’ few years as one of Athens’s leading policy-makers were precisely the years when Athens faced its showdown with Philip II of Macedon – but also as a way of building their own credibility and authority as statesmen who should be listened to, and as a way of competing with rivals (sometimes each other). To show how these dynamics worked in practice, the book offers a sequence of in-depth readings of the rhetorical strategies at work in individual speeches and groups of speeches. I have published several articles on a variety of oratorical topics spinning out from work on the thesis and book (see Publications tab).

Virtually any development in the study of fifth- and fourth-century Greece tends to interest me, though, and I am embarking on a monograph-scale project which sets Athenian oratory in its context as a performance genre: by examining its many levels of interaction with fifth- and fourth-century comedy. Oratory is a genre notably porous to others, and I also retain research interests in Greek and Roman historiography and political thought, and in Greek drama in general – as well as in Roman oratory and rhetorical prose.

Greek and Roman oratory and rhetoric; Athenian democracy; comedy; historiography

At the Faculty/University level, I am co-running the Historiography provision at undergraduate and Master’s level with Prof Rhiannon Ash, and lecturing on Xenophon for Greek Language in Mods. At St Hugh’s, my main teaching duties are in Greek literature and in Latin and Greek language. I particularly enjoy teaching papers with both literary and historical elements – for example the Classical Special Subjects in Mods.

Selected Publications:

(forthcoming) Athens Transfigured: Oratory, Politics, and the Past in Demosthenes and Aeschines (Oxford).

(forthcoming 2019) ‘Aristotle’s Demosthenes, the Killing of Nicanor, and the Composition of the Rhetoric’, Classical Philology.

(forthcoming 2018) ‘Views on the Past’, in G. Martin (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Demosthenes (Oxford), 179-90.

(2018) ‘Philocrates and the Orgas’, Hermes: Zeitschrift für klassische Philologie 146: 349-57.

(2017) ‘Demosthenes and the Islands: On Organization 34’, Mnemosyne 70: 501-11.

(2017) ‘The Orator and the Ghosts: Performing the Past in Fourth-Century Athens’, in S. Papaioannou, A. Serafim, and B. da Vela (eds.), The Theatre of Justice: Aspects of Performance in Greco-Roman Oratory and Rhetoric, Leiden (Brill): 57-74.

(2017) ‘Livia’s Shadow: A Subtext in Tacitus, Annals 1.10.5?’, Eranos: Acta Philologica Suecana 108 (2014/15): 53-61.

(2017) ‘Plutarch’s Aesion: A Note on Plutarch, Demosthenes 11.4’, Mnemosyne 70: 316-24.

(2016) ‘Nostalgia, Politics, and Persuasion in Demosthenes’ Letters’, in E. Sanders and M. Johncock (eds.), Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity, Stuttgart (F. Steiner Verlag): 75-90.


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