Joseph Farrell

Professor of Classical Studies
Mark K. and Esther W. Watkins Professor in the Humanities

215 898-7425
271 Cohen Hall
Office Hours: 
by appointment


Ph.D. (Classics) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1983
A.B. (Classics) Bowdoin College, 1977

After receiving my PhD, I came to Penn as a Lecturer in 1984, and I have been here ever since. Over the past thirty-five years, I have offered courses, lectured, and published books and articles on topics that range from Homer and Vergil to Ridley Scott and Silvio Berlusconi. This semester (fall 2019) I am teaching the postbac course in reading Latin and a graduate course on the basic tools and methods that one needs to interpret Latin texts. I have just completed a book, Juno's Aeneid: Narrative, Metapoetics, Dissent, which is due to appear in June 2021. I am at work on a book on classical and medieval Latin, am starting to edit a a new history of classical Greek and Latin literature with Dee Clayman of CUNY, and am finishing a student commentary on Aeneid 9.

Research Interests: 

Latin literature, especially poetry
Culture of the Republican and Augustan periods

Selected Publications: 

Juno's Aeneid: A Battle for Heroic Identity (2021)

Ennius' Annals: Poetry and History, ed. with Cynthia Damon (2020)

Vergil, Aeneid 5, Focus Vergil Aeneid commentaries (2014)

Augustan Poetry and the Roman Republic, ed. with Damien P. Nelis (2013)

A Companion to Vergil's Aeneid and its Tradition, ed. with Michael C. J. Putnam (2010)

The Vergilian Century, ed. (special issue of Vergilius, vol. 47, 2001)

Latin Language and Latin Culture (2001)

Nomodeiktes: Greek Studies in Honor of Martin Ostwald, ed. with Ralph M. Rosen (1994)

Vergil's Georgics and the Traditions of Ancient Epic (1991)

Courses Taught: 

(undergraduate) Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica; Phaedrus, Fables; Augustan Cultural Revolution

(graduate) Horace, Odes; Ennius, Annales; History of Latin Literature; Julio-Claudian Literature


Society for Classical Studies

Classical Association of the Atlantic States

Classical Association of the Midwest and South

Vergilian Society of North America