Ohio University

Neil Bernstein

Neil Bernstein Profile Picture
Ellis 243

Ohio University faculty member since 2004

Recent News


2000 Duke University. Ph.D., Classical Studies.

1994 Amherst College. B.A. summa cum laude, Classics and English.


  • Roman epic, drama, and rhetoric
  • Kinship in Roman literature
  • Digital analysis of classical literature
  • Reception of classical literature

Courses Taught

  • Greek and Latin (all levels)
  • CLAS 2110: Greek and Latin Roots in Biological Terminology
  • CLAS 2300: Heroes–Classical Literature
  • CLAS 2540: Rome Under the Caesars

Awards and Honors

Professional Experience

Research and Publications


Silius Italicus: Punica. Translated by Neil W. Bernstein and Antony Augoustakis. Under contract, Routledge.

Seneca: Hercules Furens. Bloomsbury Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. xv + 151 pp. ISBN 9781474254922.

Silius Italicus, Punica 2. Edited with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. liv + 318 pp. ISBN 9780198747864.

Ethics, Identity, and Community in Later Roman Declamation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. x + 229 pp. ISBN 978-0199964116.

  • Reviews: Classical Philology 112.1 (2017) 108-11; Bollettino di Studi Latini 45 (2015) 607-9; Classical World 108.2 (2015) 306-7; Mnemosyne 68.3 (2015) 524-7; Sehepunkte 15.4 (2015); Classical Journal Online 2014.12.01 [PDF]; Greece & Rome 61.2 (2014) 281-2.

In the Image of the Ancestors: Narratives of Kinship in Flavian Epic. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008. ix + 281 pp. ISBN 978-0802098795.

  • Reviews: Phoenix 65.1-2 (2011) 183-185; Mnemosyne 64 (2011) 511-14; Classical Journal Online 2010.06.06; Hermathena 187 (2009) 124-8.


Digital Methods and Classical Studies. Co-edited with Neil Coffee. Digital Humanities Quarterly 10.2 (2016).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Light on the water in Silius Italicus' Punica and Claudian's De Raptu Proserpinae.” Mnemosyne 69 (2016) 1050-1057. Preview.

Introduction: Digital Methods and Classical Studies.” Co-authored with Neil Coffee. Digital Humanities Quarterly 10.2 (2016).

“Rome’s Arms and Breast: Claudian Panegyricus Dictus Olybrio et Probino Consulibus 83- 90 and its Tradition.” Classical Quarterly 66.1 (2016) 417-419.

Comparative rates of text reuse in classical Latin hexameter poetry.” Co-authored with Kyle Gervais and Wei Lin. Digital Humanities Quarterly 9.3 (2015).

“‘Torture her until she lies’: Torture, Testimony, and Social Status in Roman Rhetorical Education.” Greece & Rome 59.2 (2012) 165-177.

“Adoptees and Exposed Children in Roman Declamation: Commodification, Luxury, and the Threat of Violence.” Classical Philology 104.3 (2009) 331-353.

“The white doe of Capua (Silius Italicus, Punica 13.115-137).” Scholia: Studies in Classical Antiquity 18 (2009) 89-106.

“Each Man’s Father Served as His Teacher: Constructing Relatedness in Pliny’s Letters.Classical Antiquity 27.2 (2008) 203-230.

“Bodies, substances, and kinship in Roman declamation: The sick twins and their parents in Pseudo-Quintilian Major Declamations 8.” Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature 36.2 (2007) 118-142.

“Fashioning Crispinus through his Ancestors: Epic Models in Statius, Silvae 5.2.” Arethusa 40.2 (2007) 183-196.

“Mourning the puer delicatus: Status Inconsistency and the Ethical Value of Fostering in Statius, Silvae 2.1.” American Journal of Philology 126.2 (2005) 257-280.

Auferte oculos: modes of spectatorship in Statius Thebaid 11.” Phoenix: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada 58.1-2 (2004) 62-85 [PDF]. Reprinted in: Flavian Epic. Oxford Readings, ed. Antony Augoustakis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 234-261.

“Revisiting Ovid’s Philomela: Silence, Revenge, and Representation in André Brink’s The Other Side of Silence.” Classical and Modern Literature 24.2 (2004) 11-27.

“Ancestors, status, and self-presentation in Statius’ Thebaid.” Transactions of the American Philological Association 133 (2003) 353-379. [PDF]

“The Text of Pervigilium Veneris 90: A Proposed Emendation.” Classical Quarterly 50.1 (2000) 327-329. [PDF] Co-authored with Francis Newton.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

“‘Though the Great Song Return No More’: Silver Latin Epic and Its Tradition.” In: The Blackwell Companion to Latin Epic, 14-96 CE, ed. Lee Fratantuono. Under contract, Wiley- Blackwell.

“Revisiting Ovidian Silius, along with Lucretian, Virgilian, and Lucanian Silius.” In: Repeat Performances: Ovidian Repetition and the Metamorphoses, ed. Laurel Fulkerson and Tim Stover (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2016). Pp. 225-248.

"Mutua vulnera: dying together in Silius’ Saguntum.” In: The Family in Flavian Epic, ed. Nikoletta Manioti. (Leiden: Brill, 2016). Pp. 228-247.

“Epic Poetry: Historicizing the Flavian Epics.” In: A Companion to the Flavian Age of Imperial Rome, ed. Andrew Zissos (Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016). Pp. 395-411.

Auferte oculos: Modes of Spectatorship in Statius' Thebaid 11.” In: Flavian Epic. Oxford Readings in Classical Studies, ed. Antony Augoustakis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). Pp. 234-261.

Omnibus patemus insidiis: elite vulnerability in Major Declamations 11.” In: Reading Roman Declamation. The Declamations Ascribed to Quintilian, ed. M.T. Dinter, C. Guérin, and M. Martinho (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016). Pp. 255-267.

“‘The Clash of Weapons and the Sight of War’: Spectatorship and Identification in Roman Epic.” In: War as Spectacle. Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Display of Armed Conflict, ed. A. Bakogianni and V. Hope (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Pp. 58-72.

“Family and Kinship in the Works of Statius.” In: Brill’s Companion to Statius , ed. W.J. Dominik, Kyle Gervais, and Carole E. Newlands (Leiden: Brill, 2015). Pp. 139-154.

Romanas ueluti saeuissima cum legiones Tisiphone regesque mouet: Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica and the Flavian Era.” In: Brill’s Companion to Valerius Flaccus , ed. M.A.J. Heerink and Gesine Manuwald (Leiden: Brill, 2014). Pp. 154-169.

Distat opus nostrum, sed fontibus exit ab isdem: Declamation and Flavian epic.” In: Flavian Epic Interactions, ed. Gesine Manuwald and Astrid Voigt. (Berlin: Walter DeGruyter, 2013). pp. 139-156.

“Ritual Murder and Suicide in Statius’ Thebaid.” In: Ritual and Religion in Flavian Epic, ed. Antony Augoustakis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). Chapter 13, pp. 233-248.

“The Dead and their Ghosts in the Bellum Civile: Lucan’s Visions of History.” In: Brill’s Companion to Lucan, ed. Paolo Asso (Leiden: Brill, 2011). Chapter 13, pp. 257-279.

“Family and the State in the Punica.” In: Brill’s Companion to Silius Italicus , ed. Antonios Augoustakis (Leiden: Brill, 2010). Chapter 16, pp. 377-397.

Cui parens non erat maximus quisque et uetustissimus pro parente: paternal surrogates in imperial Roman literature.” In: Growing Up Fatherless in Antiquity, edd. Sabine Huebner and David M. Ratzan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). Chapter 13, pp. 241- 256.

Forthcoming Work

“A Greater Love: Fides in Statius’ Silvae.” Under consideration.

Persona, Identity, and Self-Presentation in Roman Declamation.” In: Self-Presentation and Identity in the Roman World, ed. Andreas Gavrielatos. Under contract, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

“Continuing the Aeneid in the First Century: Ovid's Little Aeneid and Silius' Punica,” In:Brill’s Companion to Epic Continuations, ed. Robert Simms. Under contract, Brill.

“Silius’ Punica and the traditions of Greek and Roman tragedy.” In: Tragedy in Imperial Epic, ed. Sophia Papaioannou and Agis Marinis.

Inuitas maculant cognato sanguine dextras: Civil war themes in Silius’ Saguntum episode.” In: Civil War in Flavian Literature, ed. Lauren Ginsberg and Darcy Krasne. Under consideration, De Gruyter.

“Qualitative and quantitative perspectives on the use of poetic tradition in Silius Italicus’ Punica.” In: Flavian Epic Intertextuality, ed. Neil Coffee, Damien Nelis, and Lavinia Galli Milic. Under consideration, De Gruyter.

Recent Book Reviews (last 5 years)

Breij, Bé. [Quintilian].The Son Suspected of Incest with His Mother (Major Declamations, 18- 19). Cassino: Edizioni Università di Cassino 2015. Krapinger, Gernot, Antonio Stramaglia. [Quintilian]. Der Blinde auf der Türschwelle (Größere Deklamationen, 2). Cassino: Edizioni Università di Cassino 2015. Forthcoming, Gnomon.

Poignault (R.), Schneider (C.) (edd.) Présence de la déclamation antique (controverses et suasoires). Clermont-Ferrand: Centre de Recherches A. Piganiol, 2015. Classical Review 2016. Preview.

Augoustakis, Antony. Statius, Thebaid 8 (Oxford, 2016). Classical Journal Online 2016.09.03 [PDF].

Lombardo, Stanley (trans.). Statius: Achilleid (Indianapolis, 2015). Classical Journal Online 2016.05.11 [PDF].

Walters, Brian (trans.). Lucan: Civil War (Indianapolis, 2015). Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2016.03.49.

Lovatt, Helen. The Epic Gaze: Vision, Gender and Narrative in Ancient Epic (Cambridge, 2013). Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.09.62.

Parkes, Ruth. Statius: Thebaid IV (Oxford, 2012). Mnemosyne 66 (2013) 862-864.

Guérin, Charles. Persona: l'élaboration d'une notion rhétorique au Ier siècle av. J.- C. Volume I: antécédents grecs et première rhétorique latine (Paris, 2009). Volume II: théorisation cicéronienne de la persona oratoire (Paris, 2011). Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2012.01.16.

Laes, Christian. Children in the Roman Empire: Outsiders Within (Cambridge, 2011). Ancient History Bulletin Online Reviews 1 (2011) 88-90 [PDF].

Augoustakis, Antony. Motherhood and the Other. Fashioning Female Power in Flavian Epic (Oxford, 2010). Journal of Roman Studies 101 (2011) 293-295.

Zinsmaier, Thomas. [Quintilian] Die Hände der blinden Mutter (Größere Deklamationen, 6) (Cassino, 2009). Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2011.05.10.

Kramer, Norbert, and Christiane Reitz. Tradition und Erneuerung. Mediale Strategien in der Zeit der Flavier (Berlin, 2010). SEHEPUNKTE: Rezensionsjournal für die Geschichtswissenschaften 11 (2011) no. 4.

Brescia, Graziana, & Mario Lentano. Le ragioni del sangue: storie di incesto e fratricidio nella declamazione latina (Napoli, 2009). Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2011.03.27.

Recent Conference Papers (last 5 years) and Invited Lectures

“Demagogues in Roman Epic.” Rothman lecture in Classics. University of Florida, Gainesville FL, February 2017.

Panel respondent, “Ancient Makerspaces.” Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting, Toronto ON, January 2017.

“Practical criticism and the new digital tools for intertextual study. Comparing Tesserae and

Musisque Deoque.” Midwest Classical Literature Consortium, Oberlin College, April 2016.

Fides in Statius’ Silvae,” Panel: “Fides in Flavian Literature,” Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting, San Francisco CA, January 2016.

“Qualitative and quantitative perspectives on the use of poetic tradition in Silius Italicus’

Punica,” Intertextuality in Flavian Epic Poetry, Fondation Hardt, Geneva, May 2015 [PDF].

“Comparative Rates of Text Reuse in Classical Latin Hexameter Poetry,” Classical Association of the Middle West and South Annual Meeting, Boulder CO, March 2015.

“Moralizing Kinship in the Flavian Era: Animal Families in the Elder Pliny.” Panel: “Family Values: Fathers and Sons in Flavian Literature,” Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting, New Orleans LA, January 2015.

Inuitas maculant cognato sanguine dextras: Civil war themes in Silius’ Saguntum episode.” Panel: “After 69 CE: Writing about Civil War in Flavian Rome,” Celtic Conference, Edinburgh, June 2014.

Mutua vulnera: dying together in the Flavian epic family.” Workshop: “The family in Flavian epic,” University of St. Andrews, Scotland, June 2014.

“Comparative Rates of Text Reuse in Latin Epic,” Intertextualité et Humanités Numériques: Approches, Méthodes, Tendances, Fondation Hardt, Geneva, February 2014.

“Approaches to Greek and Latin Text Reuse.” American Philological Association, Chicago, January 2014.

“Using Tesserae in your Latin language class.” Ohio Classical Conference, Athens OH, October 2013.

“‘Torture her until she lies’: Torture, Testimony, and Social Status in the Pseudo-Quintilianic

Declamations,” Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil, September 2013.

Omnibus patemus insidiis: elite vulnerability in Major Declamations 11.” Reading Roman Declamation, Universidade de São Paulo; Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 2013.

“Using Tesserae to Extend the Philological Commentary.” Digital Classics Association, University at Buffalo, April 2013. Video.

“Constructing a Roman Sophistopolis: Êthos and Verification in the Pseudo-Quintilianic Major Declamations.” Duke University, February 2012.

“Torture, Testimony, and Social Status in Roman Rhetorical Education.” UNC-Greensboro, January 2012.

“Narrative, Identity, and Community in the Pseudo-Quintilianic Major Declamations.” University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, November 2011.

“Murderous Fathers, Disloyal Clients, and Stepmothers Worse than Tragic: Family Issues in Roman Declamation,” Denison University, Granville, OH, March 2011.

Other Recent Publications and Presentations

Athens, Ohio Public Library Book Club: “Seneca’s Tragedies,” series of three lectures, February 2015; “Ovid’s Metamorphoses,” series of three lectures, February 2013; “Virgil’s Aeneid,” series of four lectures, July 2012; “Virgil’s Aeneid,” June 2008.

Encyclopedia articles: “Publius Papinius Statius,” “Statius, Thebaid,” “Statius, Achilleid,” “Silius Italicus,” “Pseudo-Quintilian, Declamationes Minores,” “Pseudo-Quintilian, Declamationes Maiores.” The Literary Encyclopedia (www.litencyc.com), February 2013.

Locus amoenus and locus horridus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.” Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture 5.1 (2011) 67-98.

Thesis and Dissertation Participation

2016. External examiner: Geoffrey G. Thompson, “The Application of Citations in the Prose Corpus of Lucius Annaeus Seneca: A Digital Approach.” PhD, Classics and Ancient History, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

2013. Committee member: James M. Lohmar, "The Anatomy of Roman Epic: A Study of Poetic Violence." PhD, Department of Classics, University of Florida.

2013. External examiner: Kyle J. Conrau-Lewis, “The two voices of Statius: patronymics in the Thebaid.” MA, Classics and Archaeology, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Internal Grants

2015 Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences grant ($7,500) to co-lead Faculty Learning Community “Challenges in Teaching

2014 Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences grant ($5,000) to co-lead faculty seminar “Taking Risks in Teaching

2012-13 Ohio University Research Council grant ($7,123) for project “Developing Data Mining Strategies for Classical Latin Poetry”

Recent Service to the Profession (last 5 years)

  • Editorial board, Transactions of the American Philological Association (2016-present).
  • National Endowment for the Humanities proposal referee (2016-present).
  • Book manuscript referee for Bloomsbury Academic, Cambridge University Press, Brill, Johns Hopkins, and Prentice Hall.
  • Classical Association of the Middle West and South First Book Award committee (2015- present).
  • Consultant for the College Board Advanced Placement Latin Exam (2013-present).
  • Proposal referee for National Humanities Center (2012-present).
  • Journal article referee for American Journal of Philology, Arethusa, Classical Journal, Classical Philology, Classical World, Dictynna, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Illinois Classical Studies, Interface Journal of European Languages and Literatures, Mnemosyne, National Taiwan University Studies in Language and Literature, Phoenix, Syllecta Classica, Transactions of the American Philological Association, Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture.

Recent Service to Ohio University

  • Department of Classics and World Religions advising and admissions coordinator, 2012- present.
  • Department of Classics and World Religions curriculum coordinator, 2015-16.
  • University Faculty Senator, 2012-16.
  • University Promotion and Tenure Committee, 2013-16.

Courses Taught at Ohio University (2004-present)

  • College Scholars seminar: Tradition and Inquiry in the Classical World.
  • Rome Under the Caesars.
  • Heroes: Classical Literature in Translation.
  • Beginning Latin; Intermediate Latin; Advanced Latin.
  • Greek and Latin Roots in Biomedical Terminology.
  • Online courses: Beginning Latin, Biomedical Terminology.

Courses Taught at National Taiwan University (2008-2009)

  • Greek Tragedy and Comedy.
  • Hellenistic and Roman Drama.
  • Drama and Democracy in Classical Athens.
  • The Classical Tradition in Contemporary Drama, Fiction, and Film.

Courses Taught at The College of Wooster (2001-2004)

  • Beginning Greek; Intermediate Greek
  • Beginning Latin; Intermediate Latin; Seminar in Latin Literature
  • Classical Mythology I (Myth and Ancient Epic) and II (Myth and Greco-Roman Drama)
  • First-Year Seminar
  • The Classical Tradition in Modern Drama, Fiction, and Film