Julia Simons


Julia is a 4th-year student in the Classical Studies program at Penn. Julia received a Bachelor of Arts with a triple major in Classics, Latin and Greek and a first class BA Honours degree in Greek from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. In 2013 she received a Victoria Master’s by Thesis Scholarship, and her thesis ‘The Psychopathology of Desire in the Argonautika’ examined the symptomology of love in the Argonautica and evaluated allusions to contemporaneous philosophical theories and medical discoveries of body and mind. In 2015 she attended the Summer School in Osteoarchaeology and Paleopathology at the University of Pisa, Italy and from 2014 to 2016 she was a Latin Teaching Fellow at Victoria University. She entered the PhD program at Penn in 2016. She was named Paturick Fellow for 2018 and is a 2019 Dean's Scholar. In 2019 she was also named a Junior Kolb Fellow.

Julia’s main research interests are ancient medicine, paleopathology and social history. She researches human dissection, ancient concepts of anatomy, disability, medical ethics, altered states of mind, and attitudes towards diet. She is passionate about utilizing bioarchaeological data in her research and since at Penn has continued to train in paleopathology, attending a workshop in Romania (2018) and studying with Dr. Janet Monge at Penn. She is currently writing her thesis on tuberculosis, Pott's Disease, and hunchbacks in the ancient world and is undertaking a project examining the Etruscan skeletons at the Penn Museum.