Ricardo Apostol

Assistant Professor


Mather House Room 319
TR 1:00-2:00pm and by appointment

Other Information

Education: PhD, University of Michigan

Professor Apostol is assistant professor of classics and a member of the World Literature Program’s Steering Committee.  His research and teaching interests lie in the application of contemporary theoretical approaches to the literature of Augustan Rome as well as to modern takes on the ancient world in the fields of literature, philosophy, and especially film.

Many people would consider this an interest in “classical reception”, but it is more than that: since every story we tell about the ancient world involves not only a historically situated object of study (e.g. ancient Rome), but also a historically situated storyteller (us!), it seems logical that in order to tell the story completely the responsible scholar should pay attention to both the ancient and the contemporary world at once. This approach is usually known as “dialectical”, since it acknowledges that history is the product of a dialogue between us as scholars and students and the ancient people whose works we read and interpret. In other words, studying Classics is not just about studying people who died 2000 years ago, it’s very much about who we are (and what we think we know) today.

Professor Apostol usually teaches upper-level Latin (previous seminars have included Ovid’s Fasti, Horace, Love Elegy, Medieval Latin, Livy, Archaic Latin, and The Age of Claudius) and popular courses in translation such as The Poetics of Eros (a survey of love poetry through the ages) and The Classics in Film. He is sometimes also allowed to teach Greek, which is very exciting when it happens, at least to him.

Publications include articles on Ovid’s Metamorphoses for Helios, Petrarch and Vergil for Classica et Mediaevalia, the Greek Augustan poet Crinagoras for Mnemosyne, modernism and the Classics for Comparative Literature, Livy and ancient terrorism, and Horace and the film Black Swan (the latter two for conference volumes).  His manuscript on genre theory and Vergil’s career is currently under consideration, and he has begun working on a second book-length project inspired by current ecocritical theory that deals with the idea of Nature in ancient texts about “urban” villas and city foundation.