About our staff
Dr Donncha O'Rourke
Senior Lecturer; Classics
Director of Quality Assurance
I joined the Department of Classics at Edinburgh in 2013, having held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, since 2010. Before then I held research and fixed-term lecturing posts at Trintiy College, Dublin (thanks to the then Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences) and at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. I was lucky enough to be an undergraduate at the Department of Classics at TCD, where I also went on to write my doctoral thesis on Virgilian intertextuality in Propertius 4.
Member of Council, Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Ancient Civilisations
- Language & Literature
My research focuses primarily on Latin poetry of the first century BC, and especially on Roman elegy and its interactions with Virgil and Lucretius. A further strand of my research relates to Hellenistic poetry, especially as received at Rome.
More generally, I am interested in allusion and intertextuality, formal design in ancient poetry-books, genre, and gender-related issues in Roman poetry; my work on Lucretius-reception has also prompted me to think more broadly about philosophical subtexts in literary texts, on which I co-organised a seminar series in 2012.
Current research activities
I am currently completing a book, to be published with CUP, on Virgilian intertextuality in Propertius. I am also researching towards a second monograph on the reception of Lucretius in Augustan elegy.
Smaller projects include articles on violence in elegy and on ‘stichometric’ allusion in Virgil.
Alongside my projects on elegiac interactions with Virgil and Lucretius, I organised a conference, held in Edinburgh in 2013, entitled ‘Lucretius in Theory: literary-critical approaches to the De rerum natura’. With Dr Lilah-Grace Canevaro, I co-organised a panel entitled 'Didactic Poerty: Tradition and Traditions' at the Celtic Conference in Classics (Edinburgh, 2014). The proceedings of both conferences will appear in due course.
I offer (or teach on) the following courses:
Latin 1c/2a ex-beginners
Roman World 1a & 1b
Latin Language A & B
Amor & Roma: Latin love-elegy
Ancient Didactic Poetry
Latin Text Seminar (Lucretius)
Elementary Latin (PG) 1
Skills and Methods in Classics
|Name||Degree||Thesis topic||Supervision type||Link|
|Cassidy, Sarah||PhD||'A commentary on Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautica, 4.1537 - End'||Primary||link|
|Barsani, Beatrice||PhD||The colours of God: Polychromatic imagery for the divine in late antique Latin poetry||Secondary|
|PhD||The Shepherd of Divine Song: Linus + the Literary Tradition||Secondary||link|
Books - Edited
Torrance, I. and O'Rourke, D. (eds.) (2020) Classics and Irish Politics, 1916-2016. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Canevaro, L. and O'Rourke, D. (eds.) (2019) Didactic Poetry of Greece, Rome and Beyond: Knowledge, Power, Tradition. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales
O'Rourke, D. (2014) Lovers in Arms: Empedoclean Love and Strife in Lucretius and the Elegists. Dictynna, 11, pp. 2
O'Rourke, D. (2011) 'Eastern' Elegy and 'Western' Epic: reading 'orientalism' in Propertius 4 and Virgil's Aeneid. Dictynna, pp. 2-23
O'Rourke, D. (2011) The representation and misrepresentation of Virgilian poetry in Propertius 2.34. American Journal of Philology, 132(3), pp. 457-497DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/ajp.2011.0030
O'Rourke, D. (2010) Maxima Roma in Propertius, Virgil, and Gallus. The Classical Quarterly, pp. 470-485
O'Rourke, D. (forthcoming) Akrasia and agency in Ovid's Tristia. In: Williams, G. and Volk, K. (eds.) Philosophy in Ovid, Ovid as Philosopher. Oxford University Press, pp. 267-86
O'Rourke, D. (2021) Reading the Flood in Latin Literature: Literary and cosmic symbolism. In: Cairns, F. (ed.) Papers of the Langford Latin Seminar 18: Roman Poetry, Republican and Imperial. Francis Cairns Publications Ltd, pp. 121-152
Torrance, I. and O'Rourke, D. (2020) Classics and Irish Politics: Introduction. In: Torrance, I. and O'Rourke, D. (eds.) Classics and Irish Politics, 1916-2016. Oxford University Press, pp. 1-23
O'Rourke, D. (2020) Infinity, enclosure and false closure in Lucretius' De Rerum Natura. In: O'Rourke, D. (ed.) Approaches to Lucretius: Traditions and Innovations in Reading the De Rerum Natura. Cambridge University Press
O'Rourke, D. (2020) Introduction: Approaching Lucretius. In: O'Rourke, D. (ed.) Approaches to Lucretius: Traditions and Innovations in Reading the De Rerum Natura. Cambridge University Press
O'Rourke, D. and Canevaro, L. (2019) Introduction. In: Canevaro, L. and O'Rourke, D. (eds.) Didactic Poetry of Greece, Rome and Beyond: Knowledge, Power, Tradition. Classical Press of Wales
O'Rourke, D. (2019) Knowledge is power: Dynamics of (dis)empowerment in didactic poetry. In: Canevaro, L. and O'Rourke, D. (eds.) Didactic Poetry of Greece, Rome and Beyond: Knowledge, Power, Tradition. Classical Press of Wales
O'Rourke, D. (2018) Make war not love: Militia amoris and domestic violence in Roman elegy. In: Gale, M. and Scourfield, J. (eds.) Texts and Violence in the Roman World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 110-139DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139225304
O'Rourke, D. (2018) Authorial surrogates in Grattius' Cynegetica. In: Green, S. (ed.) Grattius: Hunting an Augustan Poet. Oxford University Press, pp. 193-211DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198789017.003.0010
O'Rourke, D. (2016) The madness of elegy: Rationalizing Propertius. In: Hardie, P. (ed.) Augustan Poetry and the Irrational. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 199-217DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724728.001.0001
O'Rourke, D. (2013) Paratext and Intertext in the Propertian Poetry Book. In: The Roman Paratext: Frame, Texts, Readers. Cambridge University Press, pp. 156-175
O'Rourke, D. (2020) Elegies for Ireland: W.B. Yeats, Michael Longley and the Roman elegists. In: Classics and Irish Politics, 1916-2016. Oxford University PressDOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198864486.001.0001