Sheila Murnaghan

Professor of Classical Studies
Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Professor of Greek
Faculty Director, Post-baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies
Contact Information
Office Address: 
Cohen 261
(215) 898-7425
Email Address: 

Ph.D. (Classics) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A. (Classics) University of Cambridge
A.B. (Classics) Harvard University

Research and Teaching Interests: 

Greek Literature, especially epic, tragedy, and historiography
Gender in classical culture
Classical reception

Selected Publications: 

Women and Slaves in Greco-Roman Culture: Differential Equations (2000), co-editor with Sandra Joshel.

Introductions to new translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey by Stanley Lombardo (1997, 2000).

Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey (1987, 2nd edition 2011).


"Tragic Bystanders: Choruses and Other Survivors in the Plays of Sophocles," in J. R. C. Cousland and James R. Hume, edd. The Play of Texts and Fragments: Essays in Honour of Martin Cropp, (Leiden: Brill, 2009): 321–333.

"The Memorable Past: Antiquity and Girlhood in the Works of Mary Butts and Naomi Mitchison," Remaking the Classics: Literature, Genre and Media in Britain, 1800-2000, ed. Christopher Stray (London 2007) 125-139.

"Farming, Authority, and Truth-Telling in the Greek Tradition," in City, Countryside, and the Spatial Organization of Value in Antiquity, ed. Ineke Sluiter and Ralph Rosen (2006) 93-118.

"The Daughters of Cadmus: Chorus and Characters in Euripides' Bacchae and Ion," in Greek Drama III: Essays in Honour of Kevin Lee, ed. John Davidson, Frances Muecke, and Peter Wilson (London 2006) 99-112.

"Women in Groups: Aeschylus' Suppliants and the Female Choruses of Greek Tragedy," in The Soul of Tragedy: Essays on Athenian Drama, ed. Victoria Pedrick and Steven M. Oberhelman (Chicago 2005) 183-198.

"Penelope's Song: The Lyric Odysseys of Linda Pastan and Louise Glück," Classical and Modern Literature 22 (2002) 1-33 (with Deborah H. Roberts)

Work in Progress: 

a book on Sophocles for the Duckworth "Classical Literature & Society" series

a study of twentieth-century receptions of classics in relation to childhood (with Deborah H. Roberts)

Recent Courses: 

(undergraduate) Sex and Gender in Ancient Greek Society, The Odyssey and its Afterlife, Sophocles
(graduate) Herodotus, Dionysus and Greek Drama, Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns, Choral Lyric, Homer