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James Taylor

James Taylor
James Taylor

Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

Couper Hall 106

James Taylor’s research and teaching interests span a wide variety of genres and time periods in classical antiquity, embracing texts as diverse as Aristotle’s Meteorologica and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. His present book project considers geological processes and deep time in classical literature, and draws upon interpretative frameworks from the history of science, environmental criticism, and the philosophy of history. In terms of wider interests, he has published on the role of philosophy in the intellectual and literary cultures of classical antiquity, and the cultural and metapoetic significance of landscapes in Latin literature. Before coming to Hamilton College, Taylor taught courses in ancient Greek, Latin, and the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome at Harvard University, where he earned his doctorate.

Recent Courses Taught

The Civilizations of Greece and the Near East
Elementary Latin

Research Interests

Latin epic, bucolic, and satire
Classical historiography and geography
Natural philosophy in classical antiquity
History of science, particularly geology
Environmental criticism and history


  • GSAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Harvard University, 2019–20.
  • Kittredge Fund Grant, 2018.
  • Antiquarian Booksellers Association Bursary, London Rare Books School, 2018.
  • Merit Fellowship, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2017.
  • Bok Center Certificates of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University, 2015–18.
  • Charles P. Segal Travel Awards, Harvard University, 2014, 2015 & 2016.
  • CHESS (Cambridge Home and EU Scholarship Scheme) Scholarship, University of Cambridge, 2011–12.
  • Classics Faculty Bursary, University of Cambridge, 2011–12.

Select Publications

  • “Even Natura Nods: Lucan’s Alternative Explanations of the Syrtes,” in Mark Thorne and Laura Zientek (eds.) Lucan’s Imperial World: The Bellum Civile in its Contemporary Contexts, Bloomsbury, 91-109. 
  • Review of S. J. Heyworth, James Morwood, A Commentary on Vergil, Aeneid 3. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2018.08.08.
  • “Eloquence will not say a few words: the textual record of Republican oratory and the purpose of Cicero’s Brutus.” Rosetta 13: 122-34.

Professional Affiliations

Society for Classical Studies
Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment

Appointed to the Faculty: 2020

Educational Background

Ph.D., Harvard University
M.Phil., Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge
B.A., Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford

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