School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies


PhD (Princeton)

Research Specialties

David teaches Greek social history, Greek and Roman Drama, and Greek and Roman Epic in the Classics programme as well as classes in Greek and Latin language.

Current Research Projects

David’s research specialities lie in Greek language, literature and history, in particular:

  • Athenian tragedy and comedy.
  • Athenian oratory and political culture.
  • Greek historiography.

He is currently studying the conflict between landed military and moneyed political elites in Athenian culture during the classical period.

He is also working on the role of the theatre in shaping patterns of social and political conflict at Athens in this period.

Selected Publications

  • 'Aristogeiton son of Cydimachus and the Scoundrel’s Drama' in John Davidson and Arthur Pomeroy (eds), Theatres of Action: Papers for Chris Dearden, Prudentia Supplement, 2003, pp 88-11.
  • ‘From Poneros to Pharmakos: Theater, Social Drama and Revolution at Athens, 428-404 BCE’, Classical Antiquity, 21.2, 2002, pp 283-346- argues that the comic theater ritually scapegoated politicians from the commerical class to purify the city, to renew its heroic identity, and to restore hegemony in society as an alliance of landholders-farmers and aristocrats. The oligarchic revolutions of 411 and 404 enacted this ‘social drama’.
  • ‘Ajax is Megas: Is That all we can Say?' Review Article of A. F. Garvie (ed), Sophocles, Ajax’, Prudentia, 33.2, 2001, pp 109-130- places this excellent edition in the history of scholarship on the play, and suggests alternative readings.
  • ‘Myth, History, and Hegemony in Aeschylus’, in B. Goff (ed), History, Tragedy, Theory, Austin, TX: publisher?, 1995, pp 91-130- argues that the historical moment of tragedy is the creative contradiction between Athens as liberator and as enslaver of Hellas.
  • ‘Shouting Fire in a Crowded Theater: Phrynichos’s Capture of Miletos and the Politics of Fear in Early Attic Tragedy’, Philologus, 137, 1993, pp 159-96- makes a case for seeing tragedy as a form of communal memory that deceives the audience into thinking the pain remembered is ‘someone else’s’.

Click here to see full list of publications  by David Rosenbloom.

Awards and Achievements

  • 2003-2004, Visiting Associate Professor, Princeton University.
  • 2001, Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, VUW.
  • 1998-99, Junior Fellow, Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Postgraduate students co-ordinator, Classics.
  • Convenor, PBRF Advisory Committee, SACR.