Dr Guy Westwood

People type:
Academic Background

I am a Departmental Lecturer in Greek Literature in the Classics Faculty and at Lady Margaret Hall, where I am currently the organizing tutor for undergraduate Classics and the Classical sides of the joint schools.

I was an undergraduate and postgraduate in Oxford (2004-2013) and held lectureships during that time at Jesus College (2010) and at Magdalen College (2012-13); I then taught ancient Greek literature and language at Merton College as the Leventis Research Fellow in Ancient Greek (2013-17). After that I was a Teaching Fellow in Greek History and Language at the University of Birmingham (2017-18). Since then I have held Departmental Lectureships in the Classics Faculty at Oxford in association either with St Hugh’s College or with Lady Margaret Hall.

Research Interests

My research focuses on ancient rhetorical prose literature, especially the surviving political oratory of democratic Athens. My first book, The Rhetoric of the Past in Demosthenes and Aeschines: Oratory, History, and Politics in Classical Athens (OUP, 2020), looks at how two prominent fourth-century Athenian politicians deployed examples from, and ideas about, the city's past to persuade mass citizen audiences in the lawcourts and political Assembly.

I am also very interested in genres with which oratory has close relationships, especially historiography and comedy: I am embarking on a book project which will examine the ways that Athenian oratory interacted with fifth- and fourth-century comedy in particular. Virtually any development in the study of fifth- and especially fourth-century Greece tends to interest me, though, and I enjoy keeping abreast when I can (and for teaching purposes) of developments in research (including archaeological research) on mainland Greek states beyond Athens, especially in the Peloponnese.

Research Keywords

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


At the Faculty/University level, I lecture on topics in Greek literature, history, and language. I also teach options and supervise dissertations for the MSt and MPhil in the broad area of ancient Greek rhetoric and oratory and in related areas, especially historiography, comedy, and tragedy.

At Lady Margaret Hall, I mainly teach Greek language and literature, as well as particular Greek history papers close to my research interests (Greek History 3 and Athenian Democracy). I particularly enjoy teaching papers which combine literary and historical elements, for example the Classical Special Subjects in Mods.


Selected Publications:

(2022) ‘Changing the Sail: Propertius 3.21, Catullus 64 and Ovid Heroides 5’, Classical Quarterly 72.

(2021) ‘Audience Memory as Evidence in the Trial on the Crown’, in A. Markantonatos, V. Liotsakis, and A. Serafim (eds.), Witnesses and Evidence in Ancient Greek Literature, Berlin (De Gruyter): 59-79.

(2020) The Rhetoric of the Past in Demosthenes and Aeschines: Oratory, History, and Politics in Classical Athens (Oxford). 

(2019) ‘Aristotle’s Demosthenes, the Killing of Nicanor, and the Composition of the Rhetoric’, Classical Philology 114.4.

(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.