Through a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Philosophy at the University of Sydney I have pursued an eclectic range of topics in Classical Studies, spanning theatrical politics to ancient literary criticism. My MPhil thesis investigated the etymologies of divine names and epithets in Clement of Alexandria’s Protrepticus with a specific focus on the way in which these literary exercises promulgate a mode of apophatic theology within the apologetic context. Inspired by Clement’s tactical depiction of himself as a truth-seeking traveller, my PhD will shift focus to the surviving corpus of ancient travel writing – specifically, it will constitute the first comprehensive study of the body of texts known as Periploi (“Circumnavigations”). In the most rudimentary sense, the Periploi are a species of nautical guidebooks ostensibly designed to operate as navigational schematics for ancient sailors. On close inspection, however, it becomes clear that these texts communicate far more than sparse literary geographies of ancient coastlines. Rather, they varyingly comprise ethnographic records of coastal communities, philosophical attempts to capture in words the scope of the known world, geopolitical dossiers written at the behest of emperors, and more. With the aid of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, my thesis will analyse this multitude of functions with a view to understanding the way in which the Periplous text-type responded and adapted to distinct contexts over time.
University of Sydney Ancient History 2019
University of Sydney Ancient History 2017