David Wray

Biography and Interests: 

David Wray

Title: Associate Professor in the Department of Classics, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the College
Education: Ph.D. Harvard University, 1996
Office: Classics 28
E-mail: dlwray@uchicago.edu
Areas of Specialization: Hellenistic and Roman poetry; literature and philosophy; reception; literary translation

David Wray is the author of Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood (Cambridge 2001), a coeditor of Seneca and the Self (Cambridge 2009), and is currently writing Ovid at the Tragic Core of Modernity.  His research and teaching interests include Hellenistic and Roman poetry (especially Apollonius Rhodius, Catullus, Lucretius, Virgil, Tibullus, Ovid, Seneca, Lucan, and Statius); Greek epic and tragedy; Roman philosophy; ancient and modern relations between literature and philosophy; gender; theory and practice of literary translation; and the reception of Greco-Roman thought and literature, from Shakespeare and Corneille to Pound and Zukofsky.  He is a member of the Poetry and Poetics program.

Recent Publications: 


  • Seneca and the Self, co-edited with Shadi Bartsch (Cambridge University Press 2009).
  • Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood (Cambridge University Press 2001).


  • “Learned Poetry: Classical Presences in Hugh McDiarmid, David Jones, and Louis Zukofsky,” in The Oxford Handbook of Classical Reception in English Literature, ed. Kenneth Haynes (forthcoming)
  • “Seneca’s Shame,” in The Cambridge Companion to Seneca, Shadi Bartsch and Alessandro Schiesaro, eds.  (forthcoming)
  • “Quarreling over Homer in France and England, 1711-1715,” in Homer in Print:  A Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana, eds. Glenn W. Most and Alice Schreyer (Chicago 2013) 300-331
  • “Catullus the Roman Love Elegist?” in Blackwell Companion to Roman Love Elegy, ed. Barbara Gold (Blackwell 2012)
  • “Ovid’s Catullus and the Neoteric Moment in Roman Poetry,” in A Companion to Ovid, ed. Peter E. Knox (Malden MA and Oxford 2009) 252-64
  • “Seneca and Tragedy’s Reason,” in Seneca and the Self, eds. Shadi Bartsch and David Wray (Cambridge 2009) 237-54
  • “Wood: Statius’ Poetics of Genius,” Arethusa 40 (2007) 127-43


  • The Poems of Ovid
  • Virgil
  • Tragedy and the Tragic
  • Roman Elegy
  • Roman Comedy
  • Aeneids in Translation
  • Seneca’s Epistulae Morales
  • Lucretius
  • Cicero, Disputationes Tusculanae
  • Constructing Oedipus (with Sarah Nooter)
  • Pindar (with Mark Payne)
  • Phaedras (with Larry Norman)
  • Heroines in Ancient Tragedy and Early Modern Opera (with Robert Kendrick)