Professor Matthew Leigh

Academic Background

I studied at Balliol College, Oxford (1986-91), at St Hugh’s College, Oxford (1991-93), and as a visiting student at the University of Pisa in 1992. I taught Classics and Ancient History at Exeter University (1993-97) and have been at St Anne’s since then.

For the spring semester of 2020 I served as Visiting Professor of Classics at Princeton University.

Research Interests

I have broad interests in Roman culture and tend to work on the borders of Latin literature and Roman history. I have published books on the Roman epic poet Lucan, on Roman Comedy, and on Ancient Concepts of Curious and Meddlesome Behaviour. I am currently working on Roman declamation, writing articles on the politics of the form in the age of Augustus and Tiberius, and producing a commentary on Book 1 of Seneca's Controversiae. My interests in comedy and curiosity came together in a project on classical reception in 18th century drama and freemasonry, which was published as The Masons and the Mysteries in 18th Century Drama (Berlin, 2019). I have a longstanding interest in Roman slavery and am developing a new project employing pre-Civil War American slave memoirs as a way to think through the representation of slaves in Roman Comedy.