Professor Jeffrey Tatum

Prof Jeffrey Tatum profile picture

Professor of Classics School of Languages and Cultures


Teaching in 2019


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 Roman history. This year he is teaching Roman Social History (CLAS 207), a course which concentrates on the daily life of Romans of all classes, especially on the lives of women, children, and slaves, and examines some of the central features of everyday society, like education, marriage, contraception, adultery, divorce, and death. Jeff is also teaching part of Ancient Civilisations: the Greeks and the Romans (CLAS 105). At the Roman end of that course, he will take 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, this year he is coordinating Advanced Latin Literature (LATI 331), which will concentrate on the literature of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey: students will read Book One of Caesar’s  De bello civile and Book One of Lucan’s epic De bello civile.

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.

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

‘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.

'Why is Valerius Flaccus a Quindecimvir?', in Classical Quarterly 66 (2016), 239-244.

'Posters and other Propaganda: winning elections in ancient Rome', Bulletin of the Australasian Archaeological Institute at Athens 12 (2016), 18-24.

'Anarchy and Administration in Sophocles, Antigone 259-77', in Classical Philology 110 (2015), 91-98.

'The Practice of Politics and the Unpredictable Dynamics of Clout in the Roman Republic', in D. Hammer (ed.), A Companion to Ancient Democracies and Republics (Oxford 2015), 257-273.

Works submitted / in progress

‘Catullus in New Zealand Poetry: Baxter, Stead, and Jackson Read Catullus, Poem 11’, Paideia, rivista di filologia, ermeneutica e critica letteraria 73 (2018): Catullo: modelli, tradizione manoscritta, Fortleben.

‘88’, in A. Valentina and J. Prag (eds.), A Companion to Roman Political Culture (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell).

‘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).

‘Contio Domestica’, Parolo del Passato, volume 70.

‘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 (University of Barcelona Press: Barcelona).

Awards and achievements

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 2019