Dr Calum Maciver (MA, MSc, PhD)

Senior Lecturer; Classics


Although I grew up in Glasgow, that fairest of Scottish cities, I was in fact born in the old Edinburgh Royal Infirmary opposite the School building: little did I know that I would one day be working across the road!  I did all of my Classics degrees at Edinburgh (2000-2008), and returned to the School in 2012 after a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Klassisch-Philologisches Seminar, Universität Zürich (2008-2009), two successive teaching fellowships in Greek and then Latin at Edinburgh (2009-2011), and a teaching fellowship in Greek at the University of Leeds (2011-2012). I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2018.

I was extremely fortunate to be taught at Edinburgh by a group of scholars (now retired) who were first and foremost excellent teachers. To them (Allan Hood, Roy Pinkerton, Keith Rutter, Christopher Strachan) I feel a great debt - and I feel privileged too to be at Edinburgh myself now, teaching.

I am a proud teuchter (with roots in the Isle of Lewis).

Responsibilities & affiliations

Leverhulme Research Fellow, 2022-23

Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Georg-August Universität Göttingen, 2019.

Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Justus-Liebig Universität, Gießen, 2013-14.


External Examiner, University of Glasgow, 2019-23

Undergraduate teaching


  • Greek 1a/1b/1c/1d/2a/2b
  • Latin 1c/1d/2a/2b
  • Greek World 1a
  • Roman World 1b
  • Classical Literature 2: Epic



  • Latin Language A/B (prose composition)
  • Greek Language A/B (prose composition, textual criticism)
  • Greek Literature of the Roman Empire (Lucian VH, Longus)
  • Greek Epic (Homer Odyssey, Triphiodorus)
  • Greek Tragedy (Sophocles OT, Euripides Bacchae)
  • Homer Iliad
  • Greek Pastoral Poetry (Theocritus)
  • Latin Epic (Vergil's Aeneid)
  • Neronian and Flavian Epic (Seneca Thyestes and Statius Achilleid)
  • The Ancient Novel 

Postgraduate teaching

Latin Text Seminar (Statius)

Greek Text Seminar (Imperial Greek Epic)

Intermediate Latin 1 and 2 (PG)

Intermediate Greek 1 and 2 (PG)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Greek Poetry (esp. Epic) of the Roman Empire (e.g. Nonnus, Quintus Smyrnaeus, epyllia)

Greek Literature of the Roman Empire (esp. Plutarch, Lucian and the Ancient Novel)

Homeric scholia and ancient exegesis

Ancient Allegoresis


Current PhD students supervised

Name - Degree - Thesis topic - Supervision type - Link

  • Barker, Georgina - PhD - Shvarts and Classical Poetry - Secondary -
  • Bertolini, Sebastiano - PhD - Hegemon of Thasos - Secondary - link
  • Cassidy, Sarah - PhD - 'A commentary on Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautica, 4.1537 - End' - Secondary - link
  • Cassidy, Sarah - PhD - Cosmology in Apollonius Argonautica - Primary (Joint) -
  • Jordan, Alley Marie - PhD - Pursuing Happiness: Thomas Jefferson’s Key to Modernity, 1776-1826. - Primary -
  • Longley-Cook, Dot - MScR - Ovid Metamorphoses 12 and 13 - Primary
  • Mazloum, Gladys - PhD - Characterization in the Histories of Polybius - Secondary -
  • Oliver, Devin - PhD - Generalship Plutarch's lives - Primary -
  • Stergiou, Gianna - PhD - Ethics in the Pindaric Scholia, 2012-15 - Secondary -
  • Tsakiris, Manos - PhD - Metapoetics in Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica - Primary -

Past PhD students supervised

NameDegreeThesis topicSupervision typeCompletion yearLink

  • Dubreuil, Rapheala - PhD - Theatrica and political action in Plutarch - Primary - 2017 -
  • Longley-Cook, Dot - MScR - Ovid Metamorphoses 12 and 13 - Primary - 2016 -
  • Barker, Georgina - PhD - Shvarts and Classical Poetry - Secondary - 2018 -
  • Oliver, Devin - PhD - Generalship Plutarch's lives - Primary - 2019 -
  • Cassidy, Sarah - PhD - Cosmology in Apollonius Argonautica - Primary (Joint) - 2019 -

Research summary


  • Europe


  • Ancient Civilisations
  • Culture
  • Ideas
  • Language & Literature


  • Antiquity

Research interests

My research focuses mainly on Greek and Latin literature of the Roman Empire. My key interest is Greek epic poetry, especially Quintus Smyrnaeus, Triphiodorus and Nonnus. On the Latin side, I have also written on Imperial Latin poetry.

I also work on the Greek novel (esp. Longus) and Lucian.

Project activity

My current book project is on Nonnus' Dionysiaca and the poetics of late antique Greek epic (for which I was awarded a Leverhulme RF for academic year 2022-23).



Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica: Engaging Homer in Late Antiquity (Brill: Leiden, Boston 2012). [Reviews: L. Miguelez-Cavero, BMCR 2012; D. Fields, CR 2014; S. Bär, MH 2013, JHS 2014; J.J.S. Pinheiro, Agora 2015; U. Gärtner, Gnomon 2015]


Edited Books:

Greek Music, Drama, Sport, and Fauna:
The Collected Classical Papers of E.K. Borthwick, edited by Calum Maciver (Cambridge: Francis Cairns Publications, 2015).


Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras, Co-editor with J. Marincola and L. Llewellyn-Jones (Edinburgh University Press: Leventis Studies 2012).



Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica: translated, with introduction and notes, in: Collected Imperial Greek Epics, Vol. 2, edd. Whitmarsh, T. et al. Berkeley: University of California Press [forthcoming]


Articles in Journals

Generic Games: The Ending of Longus' Daphnis and Chloe, American Journal of Philology 145.2 (2024) forthcoming [12600 words]


Longus' Narrator: A Reassessment, Classical Quarterly 70.2 (2020), 827–845.


Triphiodorus and the Poetics of Imperial Greek Epic, Classical Philology 115 (2020), 164-85.


Vergil and the Death of Pentheus in Ovid Metamorphoses III, Philologus 161.1 (2017), 145-161.


Truth, Narration, and Interpretation in Lucian’s Verae Historiae, American Journal of Philology 137.2 (2016), 219-250


Flyte of Odysseus: Allusion and the Hoplon Krisis in Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica 5, American Journal of Philology 133.4 (2012), 601-28.


Representative Bees in Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica, Classical Philology 107.1 (2012), 53-69


Reading Helen’s Excuses in Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica, Classical Quarterly 61.2 (2011), 688-701


Articles in Edited Books

'Homer without Virgil (and Ovid): Erwartungshorizont and Late Antique Greek Epic', in Cuny, C. and Perrot, A. (eds) Suites d'Homère, Recherches sur les Réceptions de l'Antiquité) Vol 11 (Brepols: Turnhout, 2023), forthcoming.


'A Non-Homeric Fate in Quintus of Smyrna's Posthomerica? Representation, Function, Problems', in Bär, S., Greensmith, E. & Ozbek, L. (eds) Quintus of Smyrna’s Posthomerica: Writing Homer Under Rome (Edinburgh: EUP, 2022), 97-117.


'Allusion and referentiality in late antique epic', in Verhelst, B. and Scheijnen, T. (eds) Greek and Latin Poetry of Late Antiquity: Form, Tradition and Context (Cambridge: CUP, 2022), 51-68.


‘Program and Poetics in Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica’, in Simms, R. (ed.) Brill’s Companion to Prequels, Sequels, and Retellings of Classical Epic (Brill: Leiden/Boston, 2018), 71-89.


'Parody, Symbol and the Literary Past in Lucian', in Alexiou, M. and Cairns, D.L. (eds) Greek Laughter and Tears: Antiquity and After (Edinburgh Leventis Studies: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), 54-72.


‘Netherworld Destinations in Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica: Some (Homeric) Problems’, in Tanaseanu-Döbler, I. Lefteratou, A., Ryser, G. and Stamatopoulos, K. (eds) Reading the way to the Netherworld. Education and representations of the beyond in Later Antiquity (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2017), 123-137.


'Nonnus and Imperial Greek Poetry', in Accorinti, D. (ed.) Brill's Companion to Nonnus of Panopolis (Brill: Leiden, Boston, 2016), 529-548


'Returning to the Mountain of Arete: Reading Ecphrasis, Constructing Ethics in Quintus Smyrnaeus’ Posthomerica', in Baumbach, M. and Bär, S.F. (eds) Quintus Smyrnaeus: Transforming Homer in Second Sophistic Epic (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2007), 259-284


Encyclopaedia Entries:

‘Quintus Smyrnaeus’, in Bagnall, R. S., Broderson, K., Champion, C. B., Erskine, A. and Huebner, S. R. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.



Review of Levitan, W. and Lombardo, S. (eds.): Tales of Dionysus. The Dionysiaca of Nonnus of Panopolis. A Group Translation. With an Introduction by Gordon Braden. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press 2022, for Plekos 25, 2023, 457-60.

Review of Jolowicz, D. Latin Poetry in the Ancient Greek Novels. Oxford, UK: Ox­ford University Press, 2021, for Classical Journal: CJ-Online, 2022.07.04

Review of Clay, D. Lucian, True History: introduction, text, translation, and commentary. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2021, for Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Review of Tsomis, (G.P.) Quintus Smyrnaeus: Originalität und Rezeption im zehnten Buch der Posthomerica. Ein Kommentar. (Bochumer Altertumswissenschaftliches Colloquium 103.) Pp. 352. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2018. for Classical Review 70.1 (2019), 73-4.

Review of Guez (J.-P.), Kasprzyk (D.) (edd.) Penser la prose dans le dans le monde gréco-romain (Universitaires de Rennes, 2016), Classical Review 68.1, (2018), 247-9.

Review of Ferreccio (A.) Commento al libro II dei Posthomerica di Quinto Smirneo. (Pleiadi 18, Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2014), Classical Review 67.1, (2017), 57-9.

Review of Bozia, E. Lucian and his Roman voices: cultural exchanges and conflicts in the late Roman Empire. Routledge monographs in classical studies, 19. New York; London: Routledge, 2015, Classical Review, 66.2, (2016), 379-81.

Review of Whitmarsh, T. Beyond The Second Sophistic: Adventures in Post-Classicism (Berkeley, 2013), Phoenix Vol. 68, No. 3/4 (2015), pp. 368-370.

Review of Lelli, E. et al. eds Quinto di Smirne: Il Seqguito Dell’ Iliade (Milan, 2013), Classical Review 64.2, (2014), 1-2.

Review of Baumbach, M. and Bär, S. (eds) The Brill Companion to Greek and Latin Epyllion and its Reception (Leiden, 2013), Bryn Mawr Classical Review 

Review of Hornblower, S., et al. (eds) Oxford Classical Dictionary 4th Edition, Classical Review (2013, 63.2, 584-5)

Review of Miguélez Cavero, L. Poems in Context: Greek Poetry in the Egyptian Thebaid 200-600 AD. Sozomena. Studies in the Recovery of Ancient Texts 2 (Berlin, 2008) Classical Review (2013, 63.2, 404-6).

Review of Kim, L. Homer Between History and Fiction in Imperial Greek Literature (Cambridge, 2010) CLIO: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 42.3, (2013) 385-8.

Review of Luz, C. Technopaignia, Formspiele in der griechischen Dichtung (Leiden, 2010) Journal of Hellenic Studies 132 (2012) 190-1.

Review of Finglass, P. Collard, C., Richardson, N. (eds) Hesperos: Studies in Ancient Greek Poetry presented to M.L. West (Oxford, 2007), Classical Review 62.1 (2012) 3-4.

Review of Gärtner U. Quintus Smyrnaeus und die Aeneis. Zur Nachwirkung Vergils in der griechischen Literatur der Kaiserzeit (München, 2005), Anzeiger für die Altertumswissenschaft (2009), 149-51.

Review of Burgess, J. The Death and Afterlife of Achilles. (Baltimore, 2009) Bryn Mawr Classical Review.

Review of Jordan, H. (trans.).Homer, The Iliad. (Oklahoma series in classical culture; v. 35. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), Bryn Mawr Classical Review.