Dr Guy Westwood

People type:
Academic Background

I am a Departmental Lecturer in Greek Literature in the Faculty, and Lecturer in Classics at Lady Margaret Hall. I am the organizing tutor for Classics and the Classical sides of its joint schools at LMH while Dr Amin Benaissa is on research leave (2019-21). 

I did my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Oxford (2004-2013), and held lectureships during that period at Jesus College (2010) and at Magdalen College (2012-13); I then taught Greek literature and language at Merton College as the Leventis Research Fellow in Ancient Greek (2013-17). After that I moved to the University of Birmingham as Teaching Fellow in Greek History and Language (2017-18); and most recently I was Departmental Lecturer in Classical Literature in the Classics Faculty at Oxford (and Lecturer in Classics at St Hugh's College) (2018-19).

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 am co-running the undergraduate/Master's Comedy teaching provision and lecturing on Lysias for Greek Language in Mods. At LMH, my primary remit is the delivery of the college's Greek literature and language teaching; I also teach (when able to, or according to need, or by request/exchange) some Latin (especially Cicero in Greats) and particular Greek history papers close to my research interests (Greek History 3, Athenian Democracy). I particularly enjoy teaching papers with both literary and historical elements – for example the Classical Special Subjects in Mods.

I also teach and supervise MSt and MPhil options and dissertations in the broad area of ancient Greek rhetoric and oratory and in related areas, especially historiography, comedy, and tragedy.


Selected Publications:

(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.