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UK Fellow, Classical Antiquity, elected in 1995

Professor Oliver Taplin FBA

Classics and Ancient History
Oliver Taplin profile picture

About this Fellow

Oliver Taplin retired in September 2008 from being a Professor of Classics at Oxford University and Tutorial Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford. His first book was The Stagecraft of Aeschylus (OUP, 1977), and his most recent single-authored book is Pots and Plays (Getty Publications, 2007). He co-founded the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama in 1996. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Athens in 2013. The leading recurrent theme of his work has been the reception of poetry and drama through performance and material culture, in both ancient and modern times. Recently he has been translating plays with the aim of including the kind of dynamic and colour which will be effective in live performance with verse and music. His Medea was published in 2013 (Chicago UP), and Sophocles Oedipus the King and other tragedies (Oxford World Classics) in 2016. Throughout his career he has tried to keep one foot outside the academy, especially in broadcasting and theatre, both within and beyond the UK. Productions that he has collaborated with include the Ôresteia (1981-2, dir. Peter Hall), The Thebans (1992, dir. Adrian Noble), the Ôresteia (1999-2000, dir. Katie Mitchell) and Swallow Song (2004, 2006 dir, Lydia Koniordou).



Current post

  • Professor Emeritus of Classical Languages and Literature, University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow in Classics, Magdalen College

Past Appointments

  • Tutorial Fellow in Classics, Magdalen College University of Oxford, 1973 - 1970
  • Reader in Greek Literature, Professor of Classical Languages and Literature, University of Oxford, 1994 - 1970


The stagecraaft of Aeschylus 1977


Greek tragedy in action 1978


Homeric soundings, the shaping of the Iliad 1992


Other Classical Antiquity Fellows

Professor Roger Bagnall

History of the Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique Near East; Graeco-Roman Egypt; Papyrology; Epigraphy

Professor Denis Knoepfler

Ancient History of the Mediterranean world: Greek inscriptions and coinages focused on central Greece; Greek onomastics; archaeological excavations at Eretria-Amarynthos.

Professor Vivian Nutton

The history of medicine from the ancient Greeks to the 17th century, especially Galen (129-216 C.E.) and the Galenic tradition, including editions and translations of Latin and Greek texts