Professor Matthew Wright
Professor of Greek
I am a classical scholar, literary critic and teacher with wide interests in ancient and modern literature. Since my arrival at Exeter in 1999 I have taught many different courses in Greek and Latin language and literature. I was also one of the academic team behind Exeter's Liberal Arts degree programme. For a year I taught at Vassar College, NY, an experience which opened my eyes to the intellectual and personal values associated with a liberal arts education.
During 2022-3 my modules include Early Greek Poetry, Ancient Literary Criticism, Lost Works and Fragments, and the MA in Ancient Drama and Society; I am also Admissions Tutor.
My special research interests lie in Greek and Roman theatre, fragmentary and lost works of ancient literature, and ancient literary criticism and scholarship. Currently I am working mainly on the so-called 'New Comedy' of Greece and Rome. My most recent book, which appeared in 2020, is a critical study of Menander's Samia ('The Woman from Samos') in the new Bloomsbury Ancient Comedy Companions series.
My other principal publications include a major two-volume study of The Lost Plays of Greek Tragedy. Volume 1 (Neglected Authors) was published in 2016, and Volume 2 (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides) appeared in 2019. If you want to learn more about this project, you can hear me discussing my work on a recent episode of the Mirror of Antiquity podcast: to listen click here.
Other recent books include Selfhood and The Soul (an edited collection in honour of my colleague and friend Chris Gill), a new translation of Euripides' Ion, Helen and Orestes by Diane Arnson Svarlien, to which I contributed the introduction and notes. I am also the author of The Comedian as Critic (2012), Euripides: Orestes (2008), Euripides' Escape-Tragedies (2005), and numerous articles and reviews.
I am an active member of the Classical Association at local and national levels (I am Secretary of the South-West branch) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. At various times I have also been one of the editors of JHS, a committee member of the Council for UK Classics Departments (CUCD), a Council Member of the Hellenic Society, and a member of the editorial team of Omnibus.
Greek and Roman comedy and tragedy (of all periods)
Fragmentary and lost literature (including aesthetic and conceptual aspects)
Ancient literary criticism and scholarship