Professor Jeffrey Tatum

Prof Jeffrey Tatum profile picture

Professor of Classics School of Languages and Cultures


Teaching in 2020


PhD (Texas)

Research specialties

Jeff joined the Classics Programme in 2010. He taught previously at the Florida State University, where he was Olivia Nelson Dorman Professor of Classics, and at the University of Sydney.

Jeff's research concentrates mostly on the literature and history of the Roman republic, with occasional excursions into Augustan and imperial Latin literature. He is also interested in Plutarch and the Second Sophistic.


Every year Jeff lectures on some aspect of ancient history. This year he is teaching a new course, Alexander to Augustus (CLAS 212), which surveys the rise of Macedon as a world power under the monarchies of Philip II and Alexander the Great, the subsequent emergence and domination of Hellenistic kingdoms like the Ptolemies in Egypt or Seleucids in the Near East, the nature of Hellenistic civilisation, the Roman conquest and exploitation of the east, the profound influence of Hellenistic culture on Roman society, the nationalism of Augustus and his final eastern settlement.

Jeff also teaches the second (Roman) half of Ancient Civilisations: The Greeks and the Romans (CLAS 106), in which course he takes up topics like war and politics but also art and architecture, Latin epic, the emperor in the Roman world, the rise of Christianity, and the fall of Rome. As for Latin, in the first term of this year he is coordinating Advanced Latin Literature (LATI 310), which will concentrate on Roman satire by reading Book One of Horace’s Satires and Seneca’s Apolocolocyntosis (‘The Pumpkification of the Emperor Claudius’). In the second term, Jeff and Babette Spaeth will teach Advanced Latin Literature (LATI 302), in which we will read texts centred around bizarre or even perverse banquets: Seneca’s tragedy Thyestes and the episode of ‘Trimalchio’s Dinner Party’ from Petronius’ Satyrica.

Current research projects

Jeff's current research focuses on the difficulties inherent in writing a biography of Mark Antony. He is also writing, with Laurel Fulkerson (Florida State University), A History of Latin Literature to the Age of Augustus for Cambridge University Press.

Jeff Book Banner 2013

Selected publications


Quintus Cicero: A Brief Handbook on Canvassing for Office. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2018.

Athens to Aotearoa: Greece and Rome in New Zealand Literature and Society, edited with D. Burton and S. Perris. Victoria University Press: Wellington, 2017; reprinted 2019.

Plutarch: The Rise of Rome, with Chris Pelling. Penguin Press: London, 2013.

A Caesar Reader. Bolchazy-Carducci: Mundelein, 2012.

Always I am Caesar. Blackwell Publishing: Oxford, 2008.

The Patrician Tribune: Publius Clodius Pulcher. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 1999.

Recent papers & chapters

‘Greece for the Greeks: Plutarch’s Aratus and Greek Chauvinism’, in F. Pina Polo, F. Marco Simón, and J. Remesal Rodríguez (eds.), Xenofobia y racismo en el mundo antiguo (Barcelona: University of Barcelona Press 2019): 69-84.

‘Canvassing the elite: communicating sound values in the Commentariolum Petitionis’, in C. Rosillo-López (ed), Communicating Public Opinion in the Roman Republic (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 2019), 257-72.

‘Catullus in New Zealand Poetry: The Programmatic Poems of Baxter, Stead, and Jackson’, Paideia, rivista di filologia, ermeneutica e critica letteraria 74 (2019): 347-372.

‘Catullus in New Zealand Poetry: Baxter, Stead, and Jackson Read Catullus, Poem 11’, Paideia, rivista di filologia, ermeneutica e critica letteraria 73 (2018): 1915-1937.

‘Metellus Numidicus on Gaius Marius in his Exilic Epistolography’, Scripta Classica Israelica 37 (2018), 99-109.

‘Cicero, On the Republic’, in X. Márquez (ed.), Democratic Movements: Reading Democratic Texts (London: Bloomsbury 2018), 33-40.

‘Intermediaries in Political Communication: Adlegatio and its Uses’ in C. Rosillo López (ed.), Political Communication in the Roman World: Transmission and Exchange (Leiden: Brill 2017), 55-80.

‘Julius Caesar, reception of’, in Oxford Classical Dictionary. 4th Ed. New York: Oxford University Press: DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.8069.

Works submitted / in progress

‘Gang Violence in the Late Roman Republic’, in L. Fibiger, G.G. Fagan, and Mark Hudson (eds.), The Cambridge World History of Violence, vol. 1: The Prehistoric and Ancient Worlds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), forthcoming.

Non iure rogata: the people, the senate, and the rule of law in republican Rome’, in E. Cowan, K. Morell, A. Pettinger (eds.), The Rule of Law in Ancient Rome, forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Awards and achievements

Member, Comité Científico de la serie Libera Res Publica (Editorial Universidad de Sevilla y las Prensas de la Universidad Zaragoza) (2019 - ).

Chair of the Editorial Board of the Clarendon Ancient History Series of Oxford University Press (2018 - ).

Visiting Fellow, Institute for Classical Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London (2017).

NZ Royal Society Marsden Grant (2015-2017).

Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Visiting Professor (2014).

Nominated Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh (2014).

De Carle Distinguished Lecturer in the Humanities (Otago University, 2005).

Olivia Nelson Dorman Professor of Classics (Florida State University, 2001-2007).

American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award (1997).


Teaching in 2020