Diana Burton

Dr Diana Burton profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of Languages and Cultures


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

Ancient Greek art, myth, and religion; death and dying in ancient Greece; the black market in antiquities.


BA Hons (Victoria); PhD (London)

Research specialties

Diana's research explores the interaction between art and cult, death and immortality, particularly through the iconography of mythical figures.  She also has interests in early Greek literature.

Current research projects

Diana is currently working on a monograph on Hades. Together with Jeff Tatum and Simon Perris, she is editing a volume of essays on classics and classical reception in New Zealand. She is also developing a series of articles on votive dedications in Greek religion.  And she is working with Zach Challies and Bernard Guy on a project to scan and make 3D prints of items from the Classics Museum.


Diana teaches the first year course Greek Art: Myth and Culture (CLAS 102), which looks at Greek ‘material culture’ (art, artefacts, buildings) from the 7th to 1st centuries BC.  The course focuses not only on the art and its development but also on the society which produced it, taking in wars, religions, Greek identity, women, drinking parties, and of course a whole heap of myths.  She also teaches Greek language at all levels (she’s currently reading Hesiod’s Theogony for Honours, and looking forward to teaching beginners’ Greek in 2017).  She also recently taught ‘the death course’, a Special Topic course on Death, Dying, and Disposal in Ancient Greece, an examination of attitudes towards death through the lens of social practice, religious beliefs, artistic and literary interpretations.

Selected publications

‘Immortal Achilles’, Greece & Rome 63 (2016) 1-28

‘The Iconography of Pheidias’ Zeus: Cult and Context’, Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 130 (2015) 75-115

Review of J. B. Grossman, The Athenian Agora Volume XXXV: Funerary Sculpture (Results of the Excavations Conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens), The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Princeton 2013 in American Journal of Archaeology 119.2 (2015)

‘Nike, Dike and Zeus at Olympia’, in T. R. Stevenson et al. (eds.) The Statue of Zeus at Olympia: New Approaches, Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2011) 51-60

‘Response and Composition in Archaic Greek Poetry’, Antichthon 45 (2011) 58-76

‘God and Hero: the iconography and cult of Apollo at the Amyklaion’ in Helen Cavanagh, William Cavanagh and James Roy (eds.), Honouring the Dead in the Peloponnese: Proceedings of the conference held at Sparta 23-25 April 2009, Nottingham, CSPS Online Publication, http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/csps/open-source /hounouring-the-dead.aspx

‘Hades: cornucopiae, fertility and death’, in Anne Mackay (ed.) ASCS 32 Selected Proceedings (2011), http://ascs.org.au /news/ascs32/index.html

‘The Cult of Zeus Meilichios at Argos’, in Neil O’Sullivan (ed.) ASCS 31 Selected Proceedings, Perth, University of Western Australia (2010) 1-7

‘The gender of death’, in E. Stafford and J. Herrin (eds), Personification in the Greek World, Aldershot: Ashgate (2005) 45-68

'Heracles and Megara Reunited', Theatres of Action: Papers for Chris Dearden, edd. J. Davidson & A. Pomeroy, Prudentia Supplement (2003) 133-141

‘Public memorials, private virtues: Women on classical Athenian grave monuments’, Mortality, 8 (2003) 20-35

‘The death of gods in Greek succession myths’, in F. Budelmann and P. Michelakis (eds), Homer, Tragedy and Beyond: Essays in Honour of P. E. Easterling, London: Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies (2001) 43-56

Work submitted / in progress

‘The Cult of Hades at Elis’ in G. Petridou, V. Platt, and S. Turner (eds.), Close Encounters: Human-Divine Relations in Greco-Roman Cult and Culture (Ashgate), forthcoming 2016

‘Amazons’ and ‘Art (ancient), Greek warfare in’ in I. Spence, P. Londey and D. Kelly, Encyclopedia of Conflict in Ancient Greece and Rome (EGAGR), forthcoming 2016

‘Time and timelessness in Greek afterlifes’, forthcoming, L’Antiquité Classique 86 (2017)

Athens to Aotearoa (volume co-edited with D. Burton and J. Tatum)

Awards and achievements

Research Fellow, Institute of Classical Studies & Warburg Institute, London, 2001

Research Fellow at Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia, University of Sydney, 2009

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

Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Visiting Professor (2014).

Administrative responsibilities

Organiser, 38th Annual Meeting of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS), Wellington, January 2017

Convenor of the School Research Committee, 2009-

FHSS representative on University Academic Board, 2013-

Member of FHSS Academic Committee, 2014-

Vice president, AWAWS (Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies)


Teaching in 2019