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Dr Thomas J. Nelson

Dr Thomas J. Nelson

Research Fellow in Classics, Corpus Christi College


I completed a BA and MSt in Classics at University College, Oxford, before moving to Trinity College, Cambridge, for my PhD (‘Early Greek Indexicality: Markers of Allusion in Archaic Greek Poetry’). I am currently a Research Fellow in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the poetics and politics of Greek poetry from the archaic period to the Hellenistic world. I'm currently writing a book on the 'pre-Alexandrian footnote' and other markers of intertextuality in archaic Greek poetry, from Homer to Pindar. 

My other major research interest lies in the field of Hellenistic poetry, where I'm especially interested in the fragments and traces of poetic traditions beyond Ptolemaic Alexandria. In particular, I'm currently studying Attalid and Seleucid poetic traditions, as well as Hellenistic epic fragments.

Research Supervision

I teach Greek and Latin language and literature, and I have supervised undergraduate dissertations on Greek lyric and tragedy.

I am also Director of Studies for Part II at Corpus Christi.

Other Professional Activities

Faculty Positions

  • Access and Outreach Committee Member, 2020-
  • Founder and co-convener of the Faculty Postdoc Work-in-Progress Seminar, 2019-
  • Postdoctoral Representative, 2018-2019

 External Positions

  • Editorial Board of Hellenistica Groningana, 2020-

Key Publications

Articles and Chapters

  • 'Repeating the Unrepeated: Allusions to Homeric Hapax Legomena in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry' in D. Beck (ed.), Repetition, Communication, and Meaning in the Ancient World (Orality and Literacy XIII, Mnemosyne Suppl.), Leiden (Brill) (forthcoming)
  • 'Talk and Text: The Pre-Alexandrian Footnote from Homer to Theodectes', in A. Kelly & H.L. Spelman (eds.) Texts and Intertexts in Archaic and Classical Greece, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press) (forthcoming) 
  • 'Tragic Noise and Rhetorical Frigidity in Lycophron’s Alexandra', Classical Quarterly (with K. Molesworth) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Attalid Aesthetics: The Pergamene ‘Baroque’ Reconsidered’, Journal of Hellenic Studies (forthcoming) 
  • The Coma Stratonices: Royal Hair Encomia and Ptolemaic-Seleucid Rivalry?’, in J.H. Klooster, M.A. Harder, R.F. Regtuit and G.C. Wakker (eds.) Women and Power in Hellenistic Poetry, Hellenistica Groningana. Leuven (Peeters) (forthcoming)
  • ‘The Poetics of Play in Hellenistic Epigram’, in S. Hayes and P. Martin (eds.) Trifling Matters: Nugatory Poetics and Comic Seriousness (forthcoming) 
  • ‘Beating the Galatians: Ideologies, Analogies and Allegories in Hellenistic Literature and Art’, in A. Coşkun (ed.) Galatian Victories and Other Studies into the Agency and Identity of the Galatians in the Hellenistic and Early-Roman Periods, Colloquia Antiqua 33. Leuven (Peeters) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Early Hellenistic Epic’, in M. Perale, J. Kwapisz, G. Taietti and B. Cartlidge (eds.) Hellenistic Poetry Before Callimachus. Cambridge (Cambridge University Press) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Moero of Byzantium’, in B. Cartlidge, J. Kwapisz, M. Perale and G. Taietti (eds.) Hellenistic Poetry Before Callimachus. Cambridge (Cambridge University Press) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Metapoetic Manoeuvres Between Callimachus and Apollonius: A Response to Annette Harder’, Aevum Antiquum (2020) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Penelopean Simaetha: A Flawed Paradigm of Femininity in Theocritus’ Second Idyll’,  in C. Cusset, P. Belenfant and C.-E. Nardone (eds.) (2020) Féminités hellénistiques: Voix, genre, représentations. Hellenistica Groningana 25. Leuven (Peeters): 387-405
  • ‘Nicander's Hymn to Attalus: Pergamene Panegyric’, Cambridge Classical Journal FirstView 2019
  • ‘"Most Musicall, Most Melancholy": Avian Aesthetics of Lament in Greek and Roman Elegy’, Dictynna 16 (2019) 1-47 
  • ‘The Shadow of Aristophanes: Hellenistic Poetry’s Reception of Comic Poetics’, in M. A. Harder, R.F. Regtuit and G.C. Wakker (eds.) (2018) Drama and Performance in Hellenistic Poetry. Hellenistica Groningana 23. Leuven (Peeters): 225-271


 Dictionary/Encyclopedia Entries

  • ‘Clôture, fermeture’ (Greek and Latin) in C. Urlacher & D. Meyer (eds.) Dictionnaire analytique de l’épigramme antique. Turnhout (Brepols) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Équitation, Char’ (Latin) in J.-P. Guez, F. Klein, J. Peigney and E. Prioux (eds.) Dictionnaire des images du poétique dans l'Antiquité. Paris (Classiques Garnier) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Érudition’ (Greek) in C. Urlacher & D. Meyer (eds.) Dictionnaire analytique de l’épigramme antique. Turnhout (Brepols) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Pas, Traces de pas’ (Greek and Latin) in J.-P. Guez, F. Klein, J. Peigney and E. Prioux (eds.) Dictionnaire des images du poétique dans l'Antiquité. Paris (Classiques Garnier) (forthcoming)
  • ‘Vol, Larcin’ (Greek and Latin) in J.-P. Guez, F. Klein, J. Peigney and E. Prioux (eds.) Dictionnaire des images du poétique dans l'Antiquité. Paris (Classiques Garnier) (forthcoming)


For more information on my teaching and research (including a full list of publications and talks), please see my personal website and page.

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Cambridge Classical Studies Series & Gold Open Access

Jul 01, 2020

The Faculty of Classics is delighted to have reached an agreement with Cambridge University Press by which, for the next three years, five volumes a year in the Cambridge Classical Studies Series (monographs on Classical topics written by academics working in or recently trained in Cambridge) will be published Gold Open Access without charge to the author or the Faculty. This is a significant initiative, designed to maximise the impact of the excellent Classical research being done in Cambridge.

Virtual Open Days 2-3 July 2020

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Check out our new Virtual Hub for the latest online content from Cambridge Classics, including links to this week's Virtual Open Days for prospective undergraduates

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Teaching Associate in Classics

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Details of how to apply for this part time fixed term teaching post are now avilable online. Deadline Monday 6th July 2020.

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