BA Program in the Archaeology, History, and Literature of Ancient Greece


Associate Professor of Ancient Greek Literature

Nikoletta Kanavou studied Classics at the Universities of Athens (BA) and Oxford (MSt, DPhil). Before moving to the University of Athens, she held a Humboldt Research Fellowship, and then a scholarship by the German Research Foundation (DFG) at the University of Heidelberg. She has taught classical literature and civilisation at the Universities of Oxford, Cyprus, Crete, Heidelberg, and at the Cypriot and Hellenic Open Universities. She has also worked as a research assistant on the Oxford-based project ‘A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names’, which collects and publishes ancient Greek personal names with their sources.

Research Interests:

One major focus of her recent work in the field of Greco-Roman literature is fictitious prose narratives of the imperial period (1st c. BC – 4th c. AD), a literary genre that is comparable to that of the modern ‘novel’ and ‘novella’. She has recently published a monograph on the fictitious biography of the wise man Apollonius of Tyana, the ‘pagan Christ’, by Philostratus (early 3rd c. AD) (see above). She is at present working towards a commentary on Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius (2nd c. AD), a love-adventure story and one of the very few Greco-Roman ‘novels’ that survive complete. She is also very interested in locating, editing and commenting on fragments of ancient Greek fictitious narratives, several of which are preserved on papyri and are not widely known among scholars, although they offer fascinating glimpses of lost works.

Select publications:

  • Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius of Tyana and its Literary Context, München (C.H. Beck) 2018
  • The Names of Homeric Heroes: Problems and Interpretations, Berlin (Walter de Gruyter) 2015
  • Aristophanes’ Comedy of Names: A Study of Speaking Names in Aristophanes, Berlin (Walter de Gruyter) 2011. ‘Iamblichos’ Babyloniaka, the Greek Novel and Satire’, Ancient Narrative 15 (2018) 109-131)
  • ‘Legal Narratives from a Late Antique Codex and the Ancient Novel Tradition’, forthcoming, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik
  • ‘A Declamation on a Sopatrian Model: P. Hamb. II 134 Reconsidered’ (with Papathomas, A.), forthcoming, Symbolae Osloenses
  • ‘New Remarks on the Panionis (P.Oxy. LXXI 4811)’, Archiv für Papyrusforschung 64/1 (2018) 13-31
  • ‘An Alexandrian Murder Case Revisited (P.Philammon [= BGU IV] 1024, pp. 6.3-8.21)’ (with Papathomas, A.), Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 200 (2016) 453-469
  • ‘The Vocabulary of Chaste Love in the Ninus Fragments’, Classical Philology 111.3 (2016) 276-282