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Directory Page Title

Vassiliki Panoussi

Chancellor Professor and Chair

Office: Boswell 333
Phone: 757 221 2993
Email: [[panoussi]]
Research interests: Latin literature


Professor Panoussi's research focuses on Latin Literature of the Late Republic and early Empire, and on Vergil in particular. She is also interested in the study of women and gender in antiquity and in Greco-Roman religion. She is the author of Greek Tragedy in Vergil's Aeneid: Ritual, Empire, and Intertext (Cambridge University Press 2009) and Brides, Mourners, Bacchae: Women's rituals in Roman Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press 2019). She has co-edited a collection of essays on Emotional Trauma in Greece and Rome: Representation and Reactions (Routledge 2020). She has taught a range of courses on Greek and Roman literature and culture and all levels of Greek and Latin. She is currently at work on a book project tentatively entitled, The Goddess Isis in Roman Literature: Gender, Religion, and Ethnicity as well as on a project on the reception of Classical Myth in young adult literature and culture.


Ph.D. in Classics, Brown University, Providence, RI

BA (Ptychion) in Classical Philology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Courses Taught

At W&M:

Beginning Latin

Intermediate Latin

  • Letters of Seneca and Pliny
  • Catullus and Vergil

Intermediate Greek

  • Xenophon & Lysias
  • Homer, Lysias, & Euripides
  • Herodotus & Euripides

Advanced Greek

  • Greek Historians
  • Greek Tragedy
  • Greek Lyric Poetry

Advanced Latin

  • Vergil's Aeneid
  • Imperial Latin Literature
  • Latin Love Poetry
  • Roman Historians
  • Ovid

Classical Civilization

  • Greek Mythology
  • Greek Civilization
  • Women in Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Ritual, Authority, and Power in Latin Literature (advanced interdisciplinary seminar)
  • The Voyage of the Hero: Greek and Roman Epic
  • Freshman Seminar: When Odysseus met Harry Potter: Classical Myth in Youth Literature
  • The Ancient City, Athens & Nafplio edition (summer study abroad course)

Work in Progress and Recent Publications:

Books published and in progress:

  • The Goddess Isis in Roman Literature (in progress)
  • Emotional Trauma in Greece and Rome: Representations and Reactions, co-edited with A. Karanika Routledge: London (2020)
  • Brides, Mourners, Bacchae: Women's Rituals in Roman Literature. Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore (2019)
  • Greek Tragedy in Vergil’s Aeneid: Ritual, Empire, and Intertext. Cambridge University Press: New York and Cambridge (2009)

Select Article-length studies and Book Chapters:

  • "Combat Trauma in Vergil's Aeneid," in Emotional Trauma in Greece and Rome: Representations and Reactions, A. Karanika and V. Panoussi, eds., Routledge: London (2020): 30-46
  • "Introduction," co-authored with A. Karanika, in Emotional Trauma in Greece and Rome: Representations and Reactions, A. Karanika and V. Panoussi, eds., Routledge: London (2020): 1-8
  • "Harry's Underworld Journey: Reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows through Vergil's Aeneid." The Lion and the Unicorn 43 (2019): 42-68
  • "From Adultery to Incest: Messalina and Agrippina as Sexual Aggressors in Tacitus' Annals," in Complex Inferiorities: The Poetics of the Weaker Voice in Latin Literature, S. Matzner and S. J. Harrison, eds., Oxford University Press: Oxford (2019): 205-23
  • "Spinning Hercules: Gender, Religion, and Geography in Propertius 4.9." Classical World 109 (2016): 179-94
  • “Race, Class, and Ethnicity: Roman World,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies, J. O’Brien, chief ed., Oxford University Press: Oxford (2014): 128-34

  • "Dancing in Scyros: Masculinity and Young Women's Rituals in the Achilleid," in Ritual and Religion in Flavian Epic, A. Augoustakis, ed. Oxford University Press: Oxford (2013): 335-51

Fellowships, Awards, and Grants

  • Summer Research Award, William & Mary (2019)
  • Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall and Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge (2017-18)
  • Classical Association of the Middle West and South Development Award (2016)
  • Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, William & Mary (2015)
  • Robert and Sara Boyd Term Distinguished Associate Professorship, William & Mary (2011-2014)
  • Suzann Wilson Matthews Summer Research Award, William & Mary (2008)
  • Summer Research Award, William & Mary (2007)
  • Summer Research Award, William & Mary (2006)