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Professor Victoria Rimell

rimell2018.jpgProfessor of Latin

Tel: 024 76575103
Email: V dot Rimell at warwick dot ac dot uk
Room H237, Humanities, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL


I studied classics (MA, MPhil) at King's College Cambridge, and wrote my PhD (on Petronius’ Satyricon) at King’s College London. I was Stevenson Junior Research Fellow at University College Oxford and a College Lecturer at Cambridge before taking up a post at Sapienza University of Rome, where I was Associate Professor of Latin from 2007-2015. I joined Warwick in 2016 as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2018. I am a member of the editorial board for Classical Philology, and was awarded membership of the Academia Europaea in 2020. My latest books are The Closure of Space in Roman Poetics (Cambridge 2015), and A Commentary on Ovid, Remedia Amoris (Remedi contro l'amore, Valla, Rome, 2022). I am currently working on trauma and consolation.

Research interests

My research, which spans many different authors and genres, engages critically with major themes in Roman literature and culture and aims to promote dialogue between classical philology and modern philosophical and political thought. My main focus is Latin literature and Roman culture from the first century BCE to the second century CE, and I have published books on Petronius’ Satyricon (Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction, 2002), Ovid’s erotic poetry (Ovid's Lovers: Desire, Difference and the Poetic Imagination, 2006) and Martial’s Epigrams (Martial's Rome. Empire and the Ideology of Epigram, 2008, all with CUP). My 2015 book, The Closure of Space in Roman Poetics (Cambridge), investigates the relationship in the Roman imagination between retreat, enclosure or compressed space and the idea of a vast, expanding empire. I discuss how a spectrum of Roman authors – from Horace, Virgil, Ovid and Statius to Vitruvius, Seneca, Tacitus and Suetonius – explore the trade-off between safe refuge and the intensity of creative and philosophical interaction with the imperial world. More broadly, the book explores the role Rome continues to play in the Western history of ideas to do with dwelling and the uncanny, and includes comparative readings of modern conceptual artworks, as well as of a French novel (Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s Salle de Bain) and the work of magician David Blaine. Most recently, I have published a commentary in Italian on Ovid's Remedia Amoris (Lorenzo Valla, Rome 2022), which will be published in English by Oxford University Press. I have also edited volumes on the ancient novel, on imagining imperial space in Greek and Latin texts, and (with Dr Elena Giusti) on Vergil and the Feminine. My new book project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is entitled Care of the Other: Seneca and the Work of Mourning.

Current Teaching and supervision

On research leave September 2022-March 2024


  • Transformation of Roman Society under Augustus
  • Latin Language and Literature


  • Taught MA in Ancient Material and Visual Culture (Advanced Ancient Language).
  • MA by research
  • Taught MA in Ancient Literature and Thought

I am keen to supervise postgraduate students who wish to work on topics related to Latin literature (across all genres) and Greco-Roman cultural history. I would also be interested in supervising projects requiring expertise in critical theory, gender studies, the history of ideas, and classical receptions.

Current and recent PhD supervision:

Simone Mollea: the concept of humanitas in the imperial age

Martina Russo: adulatio in Seneca the Younger

Alessandra Tafaro: Martial and the epigraphic tradition

Lucrezia Sperindio: Tragedy and the tragic in Horace's Odes

Imogen Clark (M4C): The disabled body in Martial

Administrative roles

Director of Research (until summer 2022)

Co-ordinator of the joint degrees English-Latin Literature and Classical Civilisation-Philosophy

Committee Member of the Humanities Research Council

Committee Member of the Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts

Selected publications

  • (2022) Ovidio, Remedia Amoris. Introduzione, Testo, Commento. Trans. Alessandro Barchiesi. Lorenzo Valla, Rome.
  • (2022) (ed. with Elena Giusti) Vergil and the Feminine. Vergilius special issue.
  • (2017) (ed. with Markus Asper) Imagining Empire. Political Space in Hellenistic and Roman Literature. Winter Press, Heidelberg.
  • (2015) The Closure of Space in Roman Poetics: Empire’s Inward Turn. Cambridge University Press
  • (2008) Martial’s Rome: Empire and the Ideology of Epigram. Cambridge University Press.
  • (2007) (ed.) Seeing Tongues, Hearing Scripts: Orality and Representation in the Ancient Novel. Groningen.
  • (2006) Ovid’s Lovers: Desire, Difference, and the Poetic Imagination. Cambridge University Press. (pb 2009)
  • (2002) Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction. Cambridge University Press. (pb 2007)
Selected recent articles and chapters:
  • (Forthcoming) 'Formalisations at the threshold: introductions to Horace' in Radical Formalism: Reinventing the Literary in Antiquity and Beyond, ed. S.Nooter and M.Telo'.
  • (2022) 'About face: an inverse archaeology of Seneca Ep.115' in F.R.Berno (ed.) Seneca Lettere d'Amore, Lucius Annaeus Seneca 2: 225-52.
  • (Forthcoming) 'Philosophers' stone: enduring Niobe' in M.Telo' and A. Benjamin (eds.) Niobes: Antiquity, Modernity, Critical Theory, Oregon State University Press.
  • (2021) 'Absence left wanting. The Groove in Ovid's Remedia' in T.Geue and E.Giusti (eds.) Unspoken Rome. Absence in Latin Literature and its Reception, Cambridge, 89-108.
  • (2020) 'The intimacy of Wounds: Care of the Other in Seneca's Consolatio ad Heuiam' AJPh 114 (4) 537-574.
  • (2018) ‘After Ovid, after theory’ in special ‘Ovid and Theory’ volume of the International Journal of the Classical Tradition, D.Orrells and T.Roynon (eds.), 1-24.
  • (2018) ‘The creative superiority of self-reproach: Horace’s Ars Poetica’ in S.Harrison and S. Matzner (eds.) Complex Inferiorities: Poetics of the Weaker Voice in Latin Literature. Oxford University Press, 107-127.
  • (2018) ‘Rome’s dire straits: claustrophobic seas and imperium sine fundo’ in W.Fitzgerald and E.Spentzou (eds.) The Production of Space in Latin Literature. Cambridge University Press, 261-287.
  • (2018) ‘I will survive (you): Martial and Tacitus on regime change’ in A. König and Christopher Whitton (eds.) Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian. Cambridge University Press, 63-85.
  • (2017) 'Philosophy's folds: Seneca, Cavarero and the history of rectitude' Hypatia 32.4.1-16.
  • (2015) ‘In the mirror of time: Seneca and Neronian Culture' in S.Bartsch-Zimmer and A.Schiesaro (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Seneca. Cambridge, 122- 134.
  • (2013) ‘(En)closure and rupture: Roman poetry in the arena’ in B.Acosta-Hughes, A.Kirichenko and F.Grewing (eds) The Door Ajar: False Closure in Greek and Roman Literature and Art. Heidelberg, 103-127.
  • (2013) 'The best a man can get: grooming Scipio in Seneca Epistle 86' Classical Philology 108.1: 1-20
  • (2012) 'The labour of empire: womb and world in Seneca's Medea' in Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica 105: 211-37.
  • (2009) ‘Letting the page run on: Poetics, rhetoric and noise in the Satyrica’ in I.Repath and J.Prag (eds) Petronius. A Handbook. Duckworth Press, London. 65-81.
  • (2007) ‘Petronius’ encyclopedia: Neronian lessons in learning – the hard way’ in J.König and T.Whitmarsh (eds) Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire. Cambridge. 108-132.

Professional associations

  • The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
  • Member of Academia Europaea
  • The Society for Classical Studies


  • MA (Cantab)
  • MPhil (Cantab)
  • PhD (London)

Student drop-in times:

I won't be able to see students this year, unfortunately: I am on research leave, courtesy of a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship


Undergraduate modules

Roman Culture and Society
Latin Literary Texts
Latin Language and Literature
Hellenistic World
Roman Laughter: Wit and Transgression in Roman Literature and Thought
The Vulnerable Body in Roman Literature and Thought
Politics and Poetics in Greek and Latin Literature
Postgraduate modules

Taught MA in Ancient Visual and Material Culture (Advanced language and literature)

Taught MA in Ancient Literature and Thought

(Approaching Ancient Texts; Roman Literature and Thought)

closure of space

prose awards

Ovid bookVergil and the Feminine

Martial book

petroniu bk