After school in York, my academic career began in Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where I was an undergraduate, graduate and Research Fellow; after which I enjoyed five years in the Greek Department at Liverpool University. I came to Queen’s in 1981. I was the Senior Tutor for six years and latterly Fellow Librarian. I was also Chairman of the Faculty of Classics prior to retirement.


Though my research is primarily in Greek, I taught a good number of subjects in both languages, seeing the two literatures as inextricably linked culturally and historically. I think it equally important that people should know their languages well, and that they should have a sense of what is currently happening in literary theory. I stress too the importance of not studying literature in isolation, but of seeing it in its relationship with historical, social, religious, cultural and other factors. I have supervised graduates doing theses on for instance mythology, tragedy and comedy amongst other subjects.


  • Aristophanes: Myth, Ritual and Comedy, Cambridge 1993.
  • ‘Greek Sacrifice: forms and functions’, in A. Powell (ed.), The Greek World, London & New York 1995, 463-82.
  • ‘Tragic Filters for History: Euripides’ Supplices and Sophocles’s Philoctetes’, in C.B.R. Pelling (ed.), Greek Tragedy and the Historian, Oxford 1997, 39-62.
  • Herodotus Book VIII, Cambridge 2007.
  • ‘Athens and Delphi in Aeschylus’ Oresteia’, in S. Goldhill and E. Hall (eds.), Sophocles and the Greek Tragic Tradition, Cambridge 2009, 208-31.