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Dr. Elena Giusti

Dr Elena Giusti

Associate Professor in Latin Literature and Language

Admissions Officer, Open Day Co-ordinator, Recruitment and Outreach Sub-Committee, Equality and Diversity Officer

Tel: 02476 5 28014
Email: E dot Giusti at warwick dot ac dot uk

FAB 2.03

Classics and Ancient History, Arts and Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


Elena Giusti joined the Classics and Ancient History department at Warwick in 2017, where she is currently an Associate Professor in Latin Literature and Language. She was previously Research Fellow in Classics at St John's College Cambridge (2015-2017) and University Teacher in Classics at the University of Glasgow (2014-2015). She studied at the University of Rome La Sapienza (BA and MA) and at King's College Cambridge (PhD).

Research interests

I am broadly interested in Roman literature and thought, with a specialism in Augustan literature and Virgil in particular. My first monograph (Carthage in Virgil's Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus, Cambridge: CUP) explores the ideological use of Carthage in Virgil’s Aeneid, investigating ways in which the poem constructs, exploits and subverts notions of Romans and Barbarians, and hides memories of both Punic and Civil Wars behind a mythical but cautionary tale.

I am currently writing a book on Virgil's Dido and her reception (Dido of Carthage, London: Bloomsbury) and a commentary on Aeneid Book 5 for the Fondazione Lorenzo Valla. I am also planning two further monograph projects on the fictional imagery of Africa in Latin literary texts and on how silence and oblique allusion foster ancient and modern conspiratorial readings in Augustan poetry.

I have published articles and book chapters at the junctures between traditional philology, cultural and intellectual history and literary theory, with special interests in ideology critique, postcolonial studies and feminist theories. Many of my contributions develop from close readings of single passages (e.g. the bee simile of Virgil's Aeneid 1; the ‘inwoven barbarians’ of the theatre-temple of Georgics 3; Tiresias in Ovid’s Metamorphoses 3; Juno's speech in Statius' Thebaid 1; Horace's Epode 9 and Ode 1.12); others analyse Latin texts to highlight various ancient approaches to literary criticism (e.g. Seneca’s De Tranquillitate; Ovid’s Ars Amatoria read against Horace’s Ars Poetica); others engage meaningfully with how modern philosophers can help us understand aspects of the classical texts (e.g. Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Donna J. Haraway on Virgil; Luce Irigaray on Ovid; Antonio Gramsci on Lucan). I have also been using decolonial studies and critical race theory as an aid to my research and teaching of Africa in Greco-Roman literature. As a common feature, my publications seek to emphasise how ancient literature is not merely epiphenomenal to historical and political contexts, but is in fact actively engaged in shaping them.

I love working with colleagues and I have been involved in a number of collaborative projects. I am co-editor (with Dr Tom Geue) of a volume on Absence in Latin literature and its Reception; of a special journal issue on the theme of Virgil and the Feminine (with my Warwick colleague Prof. Victoria Rimell); of a special journal issue (with Dr Mathias Hanses and Dr Giovanna Laterza) on different interpretative readings of the Vitruvian man. I have also organised in Warwick the second edition of the workshop Racing the Classics, with Dr Rosa Andújar, Dr Sasha-Mae Eccleston and Dr Dan-el Padilla Peralta.

I am happy to supervise students in Latin literature and its reception, especially on projects that relate Latin literary texts to political, historical and philosophical thought, and on projects that touch upon comparative literature or classical reception. I can read and speak Japanese and have recently started studying Mandarin Chinese, and am especially interested in comparisons between Western and Eastern Classics, and in Reception of Greek and Latin literature in Far Eastern literature.

Teaching and supervision

In 2018-2019 I developed a new module, Africa and the Making of Classical Literature. The module, which has been the subject of an IATL Academic Fellowship, considers the import of north Africa in the shaping of Western Classical Literature in the Mediterranean, and investigates the simultaneous erasure of Africa from the Western Classical canon. It also explores and discusses the history of the equation of the Classical world with modern (and colonialist) Europe, and the more recent attempts to 'decolonise' the Western Classics, together with the reactions to them (such as the famous 'Black Athena Debate' of the 80s). Thanks to generous support of the IATL, the HRC and the IAS I was able to invite a number of national and international speakers to deliver Public Lectures in connection to it in 2018-2019. I was also able to interview some of them on their work. These lectures have been the first in a new seminar series entitled Classical Connections, dedicated to Classical Reception Studies, Comparative Classical Studies, Comparative Literature with Classics and Ancient Global Classics.

In 2021-2022 I have developed two new 15 CATS modules in Latin Literature: Horace, Authority and Authoritarianism and Metamorphosis in Latin Poetry.

In 2021-2022 I will be teaching:

PhD Supervision

  • Lucrezia Sperindio, ‘Tragedy and the Tragic in Horace’s Epodes and Odes’ (co-supervised)

Administrative roles

  • Admissions Officer
  • Open Days Coordinator
  • Recruitment and Outreach Sub-Committee
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer
  • Shadow Erasmus and Exchange Students Officer




  • (under contract) Virgilio: Eneide Libro V, Milano: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla.

Edited Volumes

  • (in preparation) ed. with Rosa Andújar and Jackie Murray. The Cambridge Companion to Classics and Race, Cambridge University Press.
  • (under submission) ed. with M. Hanses and G. Laterza. Homo bene figuratus inter disciplinas: Methodological Variations on a Single Passage (Vitruvius De Architectura III.1), under submission as a special issue of Ramus.
  • (2021) ed. with V. Rimell. Vergil and the Feminine, special issue of Vergilius 67.
  • (2021) ed. with T. Geue. Unspoken Rome: Absence in Latin Literature and its Reception, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Articles and Book Chapters


  • (2020) Review of Lee M. Fratantuono and R. Alden Smith, Aeneid 8: Text, Translation, and Commentary, Mnemosyne Supplementum 416 (Leiden; Boston 2018), in The Journal of Roman Studies.
  • (2018) Review of L. Bocciolini Palagi, La musa e la furia. Interpretazione del secondo proemio dell’Eneide (Testi e Manuali per l’insegnamento universitario del latino 135) (Bologna 2016), in Classical Review 68.2.
  • (2018) Review of S. J. Heyworth and J. H. W. Morwood, A Commentary on Vergil, Aeneid 3 (Oxford 2017), in Classical Review 68.2.

  • (2018) Review of H.-P. Stahl, Poetry Underpinning Power. Vergil’s Aeneid: the Epic for Emperor Augustus. A Recovery Study (Swansea 2016), in Classical Review 68.1.
  • (2016) Review of A. Ziosi, Didone Regina di Cartagine di Chistopher Marlowe: Metafore virgiliane nel Cinquecento (Roma 2015), in Lexis 34, 481-3.
  • (2016) Review of H. Baltussen and P. J. Davis (eds.) The Art of Veiled Speech: Self-Censorship from Aristophanes to Hobbes (Philadelphia 2015), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2016.06.24:
  • (2015) Review of N. Horsfall, Virgil Aeneid 6, A Commentary (Berlin 2013), in The Journal of Roman Studies 105: 432-34.
  • (2014) Review of J. Godwin, Ovid Metamorphoses III An Extract: 511-733 (London and New York 2014), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.08.06:


  • (under submission) 'Virgil', 'Servius', 'Servius Auctus aut Danielinus', in Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Phoenician Culture Vol. IV - Written Sources: Language, Epigraphy and Literature.
  • (under submission) ‘Classics and the Study of Africa’, Oxford Bibliographies.
  • Giusti, E. and Lagrou, S. (forthcoming) ‘Savagery / Sauvagerie,’ in J.-P. Guez, F. Klein, J. Peigney and E. Prioux (eds.) Dictionnaire des images du poétique dans l’Antiquité.
  • Giusti, E. and Lagrou, S. (forthcoming) ‘Torture, Punishment / Torture, Châtiment,’ in J.-P. Guez, F. Klein, J. Peigney and E. Prioux (eds.) Dictionnaire des images du poétique dans l’Antiquité.


  • (2017) Cronaca del Convegno: Unspeaking Volumes: Absence in Latin Texts, University of St Andrews, 29 June-1 July 2017, in Bollettino di Studi Latini

Conferences Organised

  • (2019) Virgil and the Feminine, Symposium Cumanum at the Villa Virgiliana in Cuma, 19-22 June 2019, with Prof. Victoria Rimell.
  • (2019) Racing the Classics II, University of Warwick, 3rd May 2019, with Dr Rosa Andújar, Dr Sasha-Mae Eccleston and Dr Dan-el Padilla Peralta.
  • (2018) Homo bene figuratus inter disciplinas: Methodological Variations on a Single Passage (Vitruvius De Architectura III.1), Penn State University, 7-8 September 2018, with Dr Mathias Hanses and Dr Giovanna Laterza.
  • (2017) Unspeaking Volumes: Absence in Latin Texts, University of St Andrews, 29 June-1 July 2017, with Dr Tom Geue.
  • (2016) The Fixed Handout Workshop: Exercises and Variations in Reading Latin Texts, University of Cambridge, 16-17 April 2016; with Dr Siobhan Chomse and Prof. William Fitzgerald.

Podcasts and Public Engagement Articles


  • BA; MA (Università degli studi di Roma La Sapienza)
  • PhD (King's College Cambridge)

Office hours

Autumn 2021-22

Monday 11-12 (on MS Teams and in FAB 2.03)

Friday 10-11 (on MS Teams)




unspoken rome