Dr Guy Westwood

Academic Background

I read Classics at Balliol College and stayed in Oxford for my graduate work (MSt and DPhil, both at Merton College), holding two temporary college lectureships (at Jesus and Magdalen) during that time. I then held the Leventis Research Fellowship in Ancient Greek at Merton (2013-17) before moving to the University of Birmingham for a year as Teaching Fellow in Classical Greek History and Language. I returned to Oxford in 2018 to St Hugh’s College and to the first of a series of Departmental Lectureship posts. I took up my current post as Associate Professor in Greek Language and Literature in the Faculty and Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Lady Margaret Hall in 2023.

Research Interests

My research focuses on classical Greek and Roman 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 (Oxford: OUP, 2020) looked at how these two prominent fourth-century Athenian politicians deployed examples from, and ideas about, Athens’s past to persuade mass citizen audiences in the city’s lawcourts and political Assembly. I continue to work on Demosthenes and Aeschines in particular, and I am also increasingly looking at classical Athenian oratory’s performance aspects and its relationships with drama, especially comedy. Most types of development in the study of fifth and fourth-century Greece tend to interest me, though, and I enjoy trying to keep abreast of advances in research (including archaeological research) on states and communities beyond Athens, especially elsewhere in central Greece and in the Peloponnese.

Research Keywords

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


At the Faculty level, I mainly lecture on topics in Greek literature, history, and language. I also teach options and supervise dissertations for the MSt, MPhil, and DPhil in the broad area of ancient Greek rhetoric and oratory and in related areas, especially historiography, comedy, and tragedy. At Lady Margaret Hall, I organize undergraduate Classics and its joint schools – especially the language and literature elements – and mainly teach Greek language and literature, as well as specific Greek history papers close to my research interests.

I would be glad to hear from anyone considering graduate work on Greek rhetoric, oratory, and/or comedy.


Selected Publications:

(2023) ‘Imagining Justice in the Athenian Lawcourt: Aeschines and Others’, in E. Clifford and X. Buxton (eds.), The Imagination of the Mind in Classical Athens: Forms of Thought, London (Routledge): 151-72.

(2022) ‘Changing the Sail: Propertius 3.21, Catullus 64 and Ovid Heroides 5’, Classical Quarterly 72: 247-54.

(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: 645-56

(2019) ‘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.