Ted Somerville

  • Somerville
Ph.D., Harvard University
231 Rayzor Hall
Research and Teaching: 

Latin and Greek poetry

My research focuses on relatively obscure poets, both Latin and Greek, in their relationship to major Latin poets, particularly Ovid and occasionally Vergil. I am mainly interested in blowing up the notion that literary influence predominantly moves from major poets to lesser poets, and would like to reclaim for the non-canonical poets of classical antiquity a position of greater relevance in the work of our canonical poets. This interest is reflected in a series of articles and notes whose aim is to rehabilitate the reputation of Cornelius Gallus, and thus to re-establish his central role in the development of Augustan poetry. I am currently working on a book called Ovid and the Tradition of Elegiac Lament, whose goal is to trace the influence of minor Greek poets such as Antimachus of Colophon, Philetas of Cos, Parthenius of Nicaea, and Latin poets such as Calvus, Catullus, and Gallus, on Ovid’s exile poetry.

I am a native Texan, born near Dallas, and a proud graduate of UT Austin.  I left to get my Ph.D. in the Classics at Harvard University (2007), where, like Ovid in the Pontus, I nearly froze to death, and living among the savage Getes, I almost forgot how to speak Texan.  

Selected Publications: 
  • "Note on a Reversed Acrostic in Vergil, Georgics 1.429-33," Classical Philology 105 (2010), 202-8.
  • "The Literary Merit of the New Gallus," Classical Philology 104 (2009), 106-13.
  • "A Note on the Pleonasm of the New Gallus," Mnemosyne 62 (2009), 295-7.
  • "The Orthography of the New Gallus and the Spelling Rules of Lucilius," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 160 (2007), 59-64.