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Neil Bernstein

Neil Bernstein, portrait
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.

Research Interests

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

Courses Taught

  • Greek and Latin language and literature
  • Greek and Roman civilization, classical mythology
  • Ancient epic and drama; classical tradition
  • Biomedical terminology

Awards and Honors

Professional Experience

Research and Publications


Claudian. The Rape of Proserpina. Invectives and Panegyrics. Under contract, Routledge.

Silius Italicus, Punica 9. Edited with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Under contract, Oxford University Press.

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

  • Reviews: Gnomon 91.2 (2019) 171-174; Classical Review 68.1 (2018) 95-97; Classics Ireland 25 (2018) 114-116; Exemplaria Classica 22 (2018) 303-309; Revue des Études Anciennes (9/25/2017); New England Classical Journal 44.3 (2017) 190-193; Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2017.12.26; Classical Journal Online 2017.10.10; Classics for All March 2017.

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

  • Reviews: Mnemosyne 73 (2020) 164-176; Classical Review 68.2 (2018); Classical Journal Online 2018.05.02; Greece & Rome 65.1 (2018) 113-114; Times Literary Supplement 2/13/2018; Bollettino di Studi Latini 48 (2018) 321-326.

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) 108-111; Bollettino di Studi Latini 45 (2015) 607-609; Classical World 108.2 (2015) 306-307; Mnemosyne 68.3 (2015) 524-527; Sehepunkte 15.4 (2015); Classical Journal Online 2014.12.01; Greece & Rome 61.2 (2014) 281-282.

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) 511-514; Classical Journal Online 2010.06.06; Hermathena 187 (2009) 124-128.

Co-authored books

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

A Commentary on Seneca: Hercules Furens. Co-edited with Kyle Gervais et al. Under contract, Dickinson College Commentaries.

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

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“The siege of Amida and epic tradition: Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae 19.1-9.” Mnemosyne 72.6 (2019) 994-1012.

Nec tibi sufficiat transmissae gloria uitae: otium and ambition from Statius to Ennodius.” Classical Journal 115.1 (2019) 63-85.

“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.

“Qualitative and quantitative perspectives on the use of poetic tradition in Silius Italicus’ Punica.” In: Intertextuality in Flavian Epic Poetry: Contemporary Approaches, ed. Neil Coffee et al. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020). Pp. 377-392.

“A Greater Love: Fides in Statius’ Silvae.” In: Fides in Flavian Literature, ed. Antony Augoustakis, Emma Buckley, and Claire Stocks (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019). Pp. 68-82.

Inuitas maculant cognato sanguine dextras: Civil war themes in Silius’ Saguntum episode.” In: After 69 CE: Writing Civil War in Flavian Rome, ed. Lauren Ginsberg and Darcy Krasne (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019). Pp. 179-197.

“Continuing the Aeneid in the First Century: Ovid's Little Aeneid, Lucan’s Bellum Civile, and Silius' Punica.” In: Brill’s Companion to Prequels, Sequels, and Retellings of Classical Epic, ed. Robert Simms (Leiden: Brill, 2018). Chapter 13, pp. 248-266.

Declamation.” In: Oxford Bibliographies in Classics, ed. Dee Clayman. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Persona, Identity, and Self-Presentation in Roman Declamation.” In: Self-Presentation and Identity in the Roman World, ed. Andreas Gavrielatos (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017). Chapter 1, pp. 1-16.

“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

“Ghosts in the Tragedies of Lucius Annaeus Seneca.” Co-authored with Stephanie Dennie. In: Dramatic Apparitions and Theatrical Ghosts, ed. Ann C. Hall and Alan M. Nadel. Under consideration, Palgrave.

“The Performing Arts and their audiences.” Co-authored with Hallie Marshall. In: A Cultural History of Leisure in Antiquity, ed. Jerry Toner. Under consideration, Bloomsbury.

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

“Latin Sophists and Rhetors From the Age of Trajan to the Age of Constantine.” In: The Cambridge History of Later Latin Literature, ed. Gavin Kelly and Aaron Pelttari. Under consideration, Cambridge University Press.

“Literary Patronage and the Roman Imperial Court From Augustus through the Severan Dynasty.” In: The Roman Emperor and his Court, ca. 31 BC – ca. AD 300, ed. Benjamin Kelly, Sarah Blake, et al. Under consideration, Cambridge University Press.

“The Madness of Hercules From Euripides through the Renaissance.” In: Hercules: a Hero for All Ages, ed. Eleftheria Ioannidou, Helen Slaney, and Emma Stafford. Under consideration, Brill.

Recent Service to the Profession

Editorial board, Transactions of the American Philological Association (2016-present).

Classical Assoc. of the Middle West and South First Book Award Committee (2015-present).

College Board, Advanced Placement Latin Development Committee (2017-2020).

Recent Book Reviews (last 3 years)

Antony Augoustakis and R. Joy Littlewood (eds), Campania in the Flavian Poetic Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Journal of Roman Studies 2020.

Rayor, Diane J., and William W. Batstone (ed.), Latin Lyric and Elegiac Poetry: An Anthology of New Translations. London: Routledge, 2018. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2019.05.54.

Barton, William M. The Pervigilium Veneris: a new critical text, translation and commentary. London: Bloomsbury, 2018. Classical Journal Online 2018.12.07.

Santorelli, Biagio, and Antonio Stramaglia. [Quintiliano], Il muro con le impronte di una mano (Declamazioni maggiori, 1). Cassino: Edizioni Università di Cassino, 2017. Gnomon 90.2 (2018) 114-117.

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. Gnomon 90.2 (2018) 114-117.

Paule, Maxwell Teitel. Canidia, Rome's First Witch. London: Bloomsbury Classical Studies Monographs, 2017. Classical Journal Online 2017.11.06.

Rogerson, Anne. Virgil's Ascanius: Imagining the Future in the Aeneid. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Classical Journal Online 2017.07.05.

Recent Conference Papers and Invited Lectures (last 3 years)

“The Battle of Cannae in the Roman Poetic Imagination.” University of Toronto; McMaster University; Western University; Brock University; October-November 2019.

“In the shadow of the Master: reading the pseudo-Quintilianic corpus.” Western University, London ON, October 2019; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, March 2019.

“Integrating Sight Reading in the Advanced Placement Latin Course,” American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, New Orleans, November 2018.

“Literary Patronage and the Roman Imperial Court.” York University, Toronto; Western University, London ON, September 2018.

“‘As often among a great people’: manipulating the crowd in Roman epic.” Duke University, April 2018.

“Latin Sophists and Rhetors From the Age of Trajan to the Age of Constantine.” University of Edinburgh, December 2017.

“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.


Thesis and Dissertation Participation

2020. Committee member: Stephen Froedge, “Monsters in Flavian Epic”. Ph.D., Classics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2018. External examiner: Michelle Sugar, “Guilt in Vergil’s Aeneid and Lucan’s Bellum Civile”. Ph.D., Classical Studies, University of Western Ontario, London ON.

2016. External examiner: Geoffrey G. Thompson, “The Application of Citations in the Prose Corpus of Lucius Annaeus Seneca: A Digital Approach.” Ph.D., 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." Ph.D., Department of Classics, University of Florida.

2013. External examiner: Kyle J. Conrau-Lewis, “The two voices of Statius: patronymics in the Thebaid.” M.A., 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”