Dr Mary Whitby

After studying Classics at Oxford I moved to Edinburgh where I wrote a doctoral thesis on a late-antique poem: this was a philological and exegetical commentary on Paul the Silentiary's Ekphrasis of Hagia Sophia (Constantinople).  Subsequently I have taught  classics in St Andrews, Aberdeen and London (Royal Holloway), and been a researcher for the digital Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire.  Since 1993 I have been an Editor of the Liverpool University Press series Translated Texts for Historians and for the last decade and more have been the Senior Editor, alongside Professor Gillian Clark (Bristol) and Professor Mark Humphries (Swansea).  This series has played an important role in making the history and culture of Late Antiquity teachable to those without knowledge of ancient languages.

My main research interest is late antique Greek poetry (4th -7th centuries), and I have also worked on historical texts from the same period.  Many of the poems I have studied were composed for display and relate to buildings or works of art, which has led me to consider the art of ekphrasis (rhetorical description), and how ekphrastic poems relate to the actual objects seen.  For many years I have been interested in the poetry of George of Pisidia, who was writing in the early seventh century under the Emperor Heraclius.  I have published a number of articles on George, and my long-term aim is to produce an annotated translation for the Liverpool Translated Texts for Historians series.

Later Greek poetry, Late Antique poetry, Byzantine poetry, George of Pisidia.

Full Publications: dr_mary_whitby_publications_2018.docx

Selected Publications:

  • Christodorus of Coptus on the Statues in the Baths of Zeuxippus at Constantinople: text and context

  • Epic poetry

  • ‘Nonnus and biblical epic’

  • A learned spiritual ladder: towards an interpretation of George of Pisidia's hexameter poem 'On human life'

  • More
List of site pages