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Photo of Dr Daniel King

Dr Daniel King

Senior Lecturer


01392 724102

I returned to Exeter in 2012 to take up the position of Leventis Lecturer in the Impact of Greek Culture.

My principal research and teaching interests lie in imperial Greek culture and literature (from Plutarch and Dio of Prusa through to Oribasius, writing in the mid-fourth century CE). I am particularly interested in a number of cultural themes in this period (the construction of gender, the representation of the body, the history of emotions) and a number of different genres, such as the Greek romance novels and the anatomical and medical writings of Galen and others. 

Before coming to Exeter, I worked as a researcher for the ERC funded research project, ‘The Social and Cultural Construction of Emotions: The Greek Paradigm’. My role within this project was to investigate the construction of distress in imperial culture. My research looked at the relationship between lupe and other forms of physical pain in a number of philosophical treatises, medical texts, and epigraphic material from the second century AD, showing how the emotion was located within a family of painful experiences.     

My role as the Leventis Lecturer has led me to develop my teaching and research interests in Hellenistic history and literature. In 2013, I organised (with Boris Chrubasik, Toronto) an international conference at Exeter on cultural interaction in the Hellenistic world; we have now published the volume which emerged from this conference with OUP (Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean). With Dr. Erica Rowan, I organised the ‘Health, Diet, and Medicine in Rome’ conference at Exeter in 2015, and we are currently preparing the volume for publication. I have also spoken at a number of international conferences, both here, Europe and in the USA, on medicine and narrative and the construction of emotions in the writings of Galen and Rufus of Ephesus (

In addition to this, I have recently completed a monograph on the experience of pain and its relationship to language and literature in the imperial period: Experiencing Pain in Imperial Greek culture. This work investigates how the experience of pain was shaped by the process of narrating and representing it to others in a number of different cultural contexts (medicine, rhetorical and literary theory, as well as philosophical and fictional narratives).

I am currently preparing a new project on medical diagnosis in the Imperial period. This project investigates a number of medical and non-medical forms of literature from the Roman Empire (from the works of doctors like Aretaeus of Cappodocia and Galen, as well as rhetorical, poetic, and fictional representations of illness and healing). I am interested in a number of important questions. I investigate how medical diagnosis and prognosis was understood and conducted in the ancient world? More importantly, however, I am interested in the ways in which scientific literature interacted with other cultural forms of writing, thought, and practice. In what literary and cultural discourses was the 'scientific' practice of diagnosis embedded and how might this impact on our understanding of the experience of being ill and receiving medical treatment in the ancient world.

Research supervision

I am happy to accept and discuss research proposals on a range of themes related to imperial Greek literature and culture. I would welcome proposals on individual texts, authors or genres; and topics related to the history of the body (in this period, or other periods of antiquity) especially connected to pain or sensory perception, and imperial Greek medicine.

Research students

Clare McLoughlin Davis: the representation of skin in Roman and Greek literature


Over the last four years, I have taught a number of Greek language modules at Levels 3, 4, 5. Some of the poetic texts studied in these language and literature courses include, Homer, Iliad, 24; Odyssey, 9,11. Sophocles, Philoctetes, Euripides Hippolytus, Aeschylus, Agamemnon, and some of the poetry of Theocritus; and, in prose, Herodotus, Histories, 1, and Plutarch, How to Read Poetry.

My historical courses are wide-ranging. Impact of Greek Culture explores the ways in which Greek culture was negotiated and adopted by, and influenced, the cutlures of the Hellenistic world. We move from Ptolemaic Alexandria (and the library) through to studies of Berossus, Hellenism in Bactria, and Republican Rome's reception of Greek culture). Hopefully, it is a fascinating course which explores areas classicists don't always study at UG level. The Reception of Greek Culture course looks at the reception of Greek culture in the Renaissance, early modern Europe, and the Victorian period. It looks at how different cultures negotiated what they considered important aspects of Greek culture. We finish with a lively debate about the Elgin marbles! 

At MA level, I have taught Literary Interactions (a methodological course, which gives students a fast-paced introduction to much literary theory) and a Hellenistic Literature module. We examine not only some 'key' Hellenistic authors (Theocritus, Callimachus, Apollonius among others), but examine how these figures negotiated their relationship with earlier Greek literature and influenced later Roman and imperial Greek literature.

Modules taught


I was trained as a Classicist in Australia (at the Australian National University), before moving to England for a mixture of personal and professional reasons. I completed a MA, in Classical Languages and Literature, at the University of Exeter; then went on to complete at DPhil at Merton College, Oxford. 

I play cricket and watch the game keenly. I enjoy travelling, and have long harboured a desire to travel through the Middle East and North Africa. In my spare time, I like to hang around in our kitchen cooking and chatting with family and friends.

I subsist on coffee, about which I am quite a snob, and crispy aromatic duck!