Professor Peter Heslin, Ph.D.
I specialize in Latin poetry and its reception, Roman art and topography, and digital humanities. Much of my work is linked by an interest in the cultural history of Roman reappropriations of Greek myth.
My first book, The Transvestite Achilles: Gender and Genre in the Achilleid of Statius (Cambridge University Press, 2005), is a study of an unfinished Latin epic poem narrating the early biography of Achilles, including an episode in which the hero was hidden from the Trojan War on the island of Scyros, cross-dressed as a girl.
My second monograph,The Museum of Augustus: The Temple of Apollo in Pompeii, the Portico of Philippus and Roman Poetry (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), posits a new methodology for understanding the intersection of Roman poetry and art, and introduces new techniques for reconstructing the appearance of Pompeiian wall paintings that were lost in the early years after their excavation. I conclude by explaining a series of famous ecphrases in Augustan poetry, especially Virgil's account of the temple of Juno in Cathage, as responses to a specific Roman monument and its decorative programme.
My third book, Propertius, Greek Myth, and Virgil: Rivalry, Allegory and Polemic (Oxford University Press, 2018) gives a new account of Propertius' peculiar manner of employing examples from Greek myth, which on the surface often seem inept or pointless. I argue that this appearance functions as part of his self-characterization as a feckless lover, but that close inspection reveals their intertextual point. Myth is a language in which Propertius engages in a dialogue with the Greek literary tradition and in polemics with his rivals, especially Virgil.
My interests Digital Humanities include computational linguistics, neural machine translation, deep learning applied to the study of manuscripts, and digital editing.
I am the developer of Diogenes, a widely used open-source software application for working with databases of Greek and Latin texts, which can be downloaded from its home page. There is also now a browser-based version for handheld devices, called DiogenesWeb.
My work on Pompeian painting brought me in 2010 to the J. Paul Getty Villa in Los Angeles as a Getty Scholar. In 2012, I was the inaugural Joan Palevsky Visiting Professor of Classics at the University of California at Los Angeles. My research has also been supported by grants from the Center for Hellenic Studies and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation.
- Latin poetry
- Reception of Latin poetry
- Roman painting
- Humanities computing
- Heslin, Peter J. (2018). Propertius, Greek Myth, and Virgil: Rivalry, Allegory, and Polemic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Heslin, Peter (2015). The Museum of Augustus The Temple of Apollo in Pompeii, The Portico of Philippus in Rome, and Latin Poetry. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.
- Heslin, P.J. (2005). The Transvestite Achilles: Gender and Genre in Statius' Achilleid. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chapter in book
- Heslin, Peter (2016). A Perfect Murder: The Hypsipyle Epyllion. In Family in Flavian Epic. Manioti, N. Leiden Boston: Brill. 394: 89-121.
- Peter Heslin (2016). Ovid’s Cycnus and Homer’s Achilles’ Heel. In Fulkerson, L. & Stover, T. University of Wisconsin Press.
- Heslin, Peter (2016). The Dream of a Universal Variorum: Digitizing the Commentary Tradition. In Classical Commentaries: Explorations in a Scholarly Genre. Kraus, Christina S. & Stray, Christopher Oxford: Oxford University Press. 494-511.
- Heslin, P. J. (2008). Statius and the Greek Tragedians on Athens, Thebes and Rome. In The Poetry of Statius. J. J. L. Smolenaars, H.-J. Van Dam & R. R. Nauta Leiden: Brill. 111-128.
- Heslin, Peter (2011). Metapoetic Pseudonyms in Horace, Propertius and Ovid. Journal of Roman Studies 101: 51-72.
- Heslin, Peter (2011). The Augustus Code: a response to L. Haselberger. Journal of Roman Archaeology 24: 74-77.
- Heslin, Peter (2010). Virgil’s Georgics and the Dating of Propertius’ First Book. Journal of Roman Studies 100: 54-68.
- Heslin, Peter J. (2007). Augustus, Domitian, and the So-called Horologium Augusti. Journal of Roman Studies 97: 1-20.
- Heslin, P.J. (2006). Review of A. J. Kleywegt, Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica, Book I. A Commentary. Classical Review 56: 364-367.
- Heslin, P.J. (2001). Review of the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, CD ROM Disk E. Bryn Mawr Classical Review
- Heslin, P.J. (1998). Review of David R. Slavitt (translator), Broken Columns: Two Roman Epic Fragments: The Achilleid of Publius Papinius Statius and The Rape of Proserpine of Claudius Claudianus. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1998.11.16.
- Heslin, P. J. (1997). The scansion of Pharsalia (Catullus 64.37; Achilleid 1.152; Calpurnius Siculus 4.101). Classical Quarterly 47: 588-93.
- Heslin, Peter (2011). Review of J. S. Burgess, The Death and Afterlife of Achilles. The Classical Review 61(02): 356-357.
- Heslin, P. (2010). Review of A. M. Keith, Propertius: Poet of Love and Leisure. Journal of Roman Studies 100: 291-292.
- Heslin, P. J. (2008). Review of McNelis, C., Statius' Thebaid and the Poetics of Civil War and Ganiban, R. T., Statius and Virgil: The Thebaid and the Reinterpretation of the Aeneid. Journal of Roman Studies 98: 243-245.
- Heslin, P. J. (2007). Review of Gibson, B. (ed.), Statius Silvae 5 and Zeiner, N. K., Nothing Ordinary Here: Statius as a Creator of Distinction in the Silvae. Journal of Roman Studies 97.
- Heslin, P. J. (1999). Review of Charles Martindale (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Virgil. Classics Ireland 6: 115-19.
- Heslin, P. J. (1996). Review of A D Melville (trans.) Statius, Thebaid. Hermathena 161: 98-101.
Other (Digital/Visual Media)
- Heslin, P.J. (2007). Diogenes, version 3.1.