Professor Matthew Wright
Professor of Greek
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 2020-1 my modules include Greek and Roman Narrative, Greek IV, Ancient Literary Criticism, and Lost Works and Fragments; 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 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 have recently finished a short book on Menander's Samia ('The Woman from Samos'), which will appear later in 2020 in the new Bloomsbury Ancient Comedy Companions series.
My publications include a major two-volume study of 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, you can hear me discussing my work on a recent episode of the Mirror of Antiquity podcast: to listen click here.
Other recently published books include Selfhood and The Soul (an edited collection in honour of my colleague Chris Gill), 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.
Greek and Roman comedy and tragedy
Fragmentary and lost literature
Ancient literary criticism