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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

  • CARS 2110 Rome Under the Caesars
  • CARS 2300 Heroes in Classical Literature
  • CARS 2310 Classical Mythology
  • Greek
  • Latin

Awards and Honors

Professional Experience

Research and Publications

Solo-authored Books

Poppaea Sabina: The Life and Afterlife of A Roman Empress. Under contract for Women in Antiquity series. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The Complete Works of Claudian. Translated with an Introduction and Notes. London: Routledge, 2023. ISBN 9781032416786.

Silius Italicus, Punica 9. Edited with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022. ISBN 9780198838166.

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 and Journals

A Commentary on Seneca: Hercules Furens. Co-edited with Christopher Francese, Kyle Gervais, et al. Dickinson College Commentaries, 2022.

Silius Italicus’ Punica: Rome’s War With Hannibal. Translated with Antony Augoustakis. London: Routledge, 2021. ISBN 9781138291454.

  • Reviews: Classical Review 72.1 (2022): 178-179; Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2021.10.39.

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

“Literary Patronage and the Roman Imperial Court from Augustus to the Severan Dynasty.” In: The Roman Emperor and His Court c. 30 BC–c. AD 300. Volume 1: Historical Essays, ed. Benjamin Kelly and Angela Hug (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022). Chapter 18, pp. 438-460.

Angela Hug, Benjamin Kelly, and Neil Bernstein. “Court Relationships.” In: The Roman Emperor and His Court c. 30 BC–c. AD 300. Volume 2: A Sourcebook, ed. Benjamin Kelly and Angela Hug (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022). Chapter 3, pp. 79-131.

“Claudian’s Silius.” In: Silius Italicus and the Tradition of the Roman historical epos, ed. Antony Augoustakis and Marco Fucecchi (Leiden: Brill, 2022). Pp. 103-123.

“Silius’ Punica and the traditions of Greek and Roman tragedy.” In: Elements of Tragedy in Flavian Epic, ed. Sophia Papaioannou and Agis Marinis. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021). Pp. 25-42.

“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

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

“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. Forthcoming, 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.

“‘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.

Recent Service to the Profession

Classical Association of the Middle West and South First Book Award Committee (2015-2021; Chair, 2021-present).

Editorial board, Transactions of the American Philological Association (2016-2022).

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

Recent Book Reviews (last 3 years)

Alison Sharrock and Alison Keith, edd., Maternal Conceptions in Classical Literature and Philosophy. Toronto, 2020. Journal of Roman Studies 112 (2022) 267-268.

Andrew M. McClellan, Abused bodies in Roman epic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2020.09.47.

Antony Augoustakis and R. Joy Littlewood (eds), Campania in the Flavian Poetic Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Journal of Roman Studies 110 (2020) 297-299.

Recent Conference Papers and Invited Lectures (last 3 years)

“Reading Mob Violence and Treason with Pseudo-Quintilian and Lorenzo Patarol.” Ohio State University; University of Genoa; Classical Association of Canada Conference, April-May 2022.

“The Battle of Cannae in the Roman Poetic Imagination.” University of British Columbia, November 2020.

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


Thesis and Dissertation Participation

2021. Committee member: Kenneth Elliott, “Rewards for Violence: praemia in Roman Declamation.” Ph.D., Classics, University of Iowa.

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”