I grew up in Germany and obtained my first degree at the University of Frankfurt. While I was a student, the work of two Oxford scholars caught my attention. It was because of them that I applied to Oxford for a place to do graduate work, and I was fortunate to end up being jointly supervised by them. After my doctorate I did a tour of Oxford: starting at Corpus, I went to Merton for a year as a Junior Research Fellow, was then Fellow and Tutor in Latin and Greek at Somerville for six years, and then returned to Corpus.
My research interests are in Latin prose, ancient rhetoric and literary criticism, Latin didactic poetry, the borderline area between classical literature and ancient philosophy, as well as Latin textual criticism. In my work I try to combine close philological analysis with broader interests in intellectual history and Greco-Roman culture. Among other things, I am interested in arguments, in the circumstances in which they count as good or relevant (e.g. public debate, philosophical discourse, legal casuistry), and in how they are expressed in Latin and Greek; in the way in which 'theory' (rhetorical, philosophical, legal) made an impact on real life, by informing attitudes on everyday matters and shaping the perception and solution of practical problems; and in the way in which philosophical and rhetorical doctrine was used to articulate traditional or intuitively held views and convictions. At the moment I am working on an edition and a commentary of Cicero's Academica (both for OUP).
Latin literature, ancient philosophy, Latin textual criticism.
I am happy to advise graduate students in my areas of interest and welcome approaches from prospective applicants.
Antiochus of Ascalon on Epistemology in the Academic Tradition
Actes des Diatribai de Gargnano
Cicero and Augustine on Grasping the Truth
Philosophie in Rom - römische Philosophie? : Kultur-, literatur- und philosophiegeschichtliche Perspektiven
On Endoxa in Aristotle's Topics
Rheinisches Museum fuer Philologie
To See and to Be SeenOn Vision and Perception in Lucretius and Cicero
Roman Reflections Studies in Latin Philosophy
Collection of 13 essays delivered at a conference held at Columbia University in March 2012.
THE TEXT OF LUCRETIUS - D. Butterfield The Early Textual History of Lucretius’ De rerum natura. Pp. xii + 342, ills, colour pls. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Cased, £65, US$110. ISBN: 978-1-107-03745-8.