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Professor Andrew Laird

profile.jpgProfessor of Classical Literature

Email: Andrew dot Laird at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL


Before moving to Warwick, Andrew Laird was lecturer in Latin at Newcastle University and Fellow by Examination in Classical Literature at Magdalen College Oxford. He has served on the Council of the Roman Society and has held research positions in Princeton, Cincinnati and Wisconsin-Madison in the US. He was Visiting Professor (Cátedra Extraordinaria Méndez Plancarte) in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico and held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship during 2008-11. In 2012, he gave a curso de doctorado in the Department of Classical Philology at the University of Salamanca in Spain, and taught in the Department of Classics in Stanford.

in September 2016 Andrew Laird will be moving to Brown University in the United States to take up a permanent appointment as John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor of Classics and Humanities and Professor of Hispanic Studies.

Research interests

Andrew Laird’s principal areas of research have been in Latin poetry and prose narrative, and he has also worked on Roman literary biography, ancient criticism and ideas of fiction – particularly in relation to modern theory. His research on Latin extends to Renaissance Europe and Spanish America: he is translating Petrarch's Africa and much of his recent work highlights connections between Latin writing and indigenous knowledge in colonial Mexico. He is a contributor to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, Der neue Pauly and various Cambridge Companion volumes on classical and Renaissance literature.

Teaching and supervision



  • Virgil, Latin elegy, poetry of Late Antiquity, humanist scholarship and commentary, (PhD)
  • Renaissance Latin pastoral poetry (MA)

Andrew's undergraduate courses covered topics Latin and Greek epic, imperial Roman literature, classical aesthetics, and the novel in antiquity.

Subjects in classical literature and Latin humanism taught or supervised for MA or PhD research have included the history of grammar, commentary, Renaissance Latin sources for Milton's poetry and Latin Dido plays from Early Modern England and France. The interests of recent graduate students, including Ian Fielding and John Roberts, range from Latin love elegy, imperial Roman epic and the literature of late antiquity to Petrarch's Bucolicum Carmen and Latin commentary on Virgil in early modern Spain. His current PhD students at Warwick are Desiree Arbo, who is working on the function of classical learning in the history of Paraguay; Sofia Guthrie, who is producing a commented edition of Garissoles' Adolphid, a Latin epic on the Thirty Years War; and Simone Mollea who is engaged in a thorough study of the Roman category of humanitas.

Recent publications

  • The Rhetoric of Roman Historiography, in: The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Historians, ed. Andrew Feldherr (Cambridge University Press 2010), 197–213.
  • Vergil (Publius Vergilius Maro), in: Der Neue Pauly Supplemente 7. Die Rezeption der antiken Literatur. Kulturhistorisches Werklexicon ed C. Walde (Stuttgart: J B Metzler 2010), 1108-30.
  • The Reinvention of Virgil's Wheel: The poet and his work from Dante to Petrarch, in: Classical Literary Careers and their Reception ed. Philip Hardie and Helen Moore Cambridge University Press 2010), 138-59.
  • Reception, in: The Oxford Handbook to Roman Studies, ed. Alessandro Barchiesi and Walter Scheidel (Oxford: OUP, 2010).
  • The Aeneid from the Aztecs to the Dark Virgin: Virgil, native tradition and Latin poetry in colonial Mexico from Sahagún's Memoriales to Villierías' Guadalupe (1724), in A Companion to Vergil's Aeneid and its Tradition ed. Joseph Farrell and Michael C. J. Putnam (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell 2010), 217-38.
  • The Cosmic Race and a heap of broken images: Mexico's classical past and the modern creole imagination, in Classics and National Cultures ed. Phiroze Vasunia and Susan Stephens (Oxford: OUP 2010), 163-81.
  • The Role of Latin in the Early Modern World: Latin, linguistic identity and nationalism 1350-1800: Renaessanceforum 7 (Aarhus and Copenhagen: Forum for Renaissance Studies 2012).
  • Italy and the Classical Tradition: Language, Thought and Poetry 1300-1600, edited with Carlo Caruso (London: Duckworth 2009).
  • The Epic of America (London: Duckworth 2006).
  • Powers of Expression, Expressions of Power (Oxford: OUP, 1999).
  • Co-authored with DESIREE ARBO: The context of José Manuel Peramás' epic on the discovery of the New World, De invento novo orbe inducto illuc Christi Sacrificio (1777), Dieciocho: Journal of the Hispanic Enlightenment 38.1 (2015)

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  • MA (London)
  • MA, D.Phil. (Oxford)