Staff profiles

Photo of Professor Matthew Wright

Professor Matthew Wright

Professor of Greek


01392 724206

OFFICE HOURS (TERM 2, January-March 2020): Mondays 3-4 p.m., Fridays 10-11 a.m.

I am a classical scholar, literary critic and teacher with wide interests in ancient and modern literature. I have been a member of the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Exeter since leaving Oxford in 1999, and I have taught many different courses in Greek and Latin language and literature. I am also one of the academic team behind Exeter's new Liberal Arts degree programme. For a year I taught at Vassar College, NY, an experience which opened my eyes to the intellectual and personal values associated with a liberal arts education.

During 2019-20 my modules include Early Greek Poetry, Greek V (Epic), Greek and Roman Drama, and Ancient Comedy, as well as the Ancient Drama and Research Methodology modules for MA students; I am also Admissions Tutor.

My special research interests lie in Greek and Roman drama, ancient literary criticism, fragmentary and lost works, and the idea of 'quotation culture' in the ancient world (that is, the ways in which literature was quoted, deployed or manipulated in a variety of different contexts). I recently organized an international conference on this last topic - Classical Literature and Quotation Culture - and am currently editing a volume of papers based on the conference. I am also working on fourth-century Greek comedy, and am in the process of writing a short book on Menander's Samia ('The Woman from Samos') for the new Bloomsbury Ancient Comedy Companions series.

Until recently my main research project was the completion of a major two-volume work, The Lost Plays of Greek Tragedy. Volume 1 (Neglected Authors) was published by Bloomsbury in 2016, and Volume 2 (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides) appeared at the end of 2018. If you want to learn more about this project without buying the books, you can hear me discussing my work on a recent episode of the Mirror of Antiquity podcast: click here to listen.

Other recent publications include Selfhood and The Soul (an edited collection in honour of my colleague Chris Gill) and a new translation of Euripides' Ion, Helen and Orestes by Diane Arnson Svarlien, to which I contributed the introduction and notes. I am also the author of The Comedian as Critic (2012), Euripides: Orestes (2008), Euripides' Escape-Tragedies (2005), and numerous articles and reviews.

I am an active member of the Classical Association at local and national levels (I am Secretary of the South-West branch) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. At various times I have also been one of the editors of JHS, a committee member of the Council for UK Classics Departments (CUCD), a Council Member of the Hellenic Society, and a member of the editorial team of Omnibus.

Research interests

Greek and Roman comedy and tragedy

Fragmentary and lost literature

Ancient literary criticism

Quotation culture