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Anna Peterson

Anna Peterson

Tombros Early Career Professor of Classical Studies and Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

318 Weaver Building University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-5644


  1. Ph.D. in Classics, The Ohio State University (2010)
  2. M.A. in Classics, The Ohio State University (2006)
  3. B.A. in Classics, Mt. Holyoke College (2004)


I am a Hellenist with special interest in the literature of the “Second Sophistic” and in particular Lucian. My current book project explores the reception of Old Comedy in the rhetorical, philosophical, and satirical literature of this period. Shorter projects include articles on Lucian’s blending of biographical traditions in the Double Indictment, the significance of references to age in Lucian's dialogues, evidence for Imperial comic performances, as well as the reception of the comic tradition in late antiquity and Byzantium.

I enjoy teaching ancient Greek at all levels as well as courses in translation (Gender and Sexuality in Greece and Rome, Classical Mythology, and Greek Civilization). In addition, I also serve as a thesis advisor for Honors students who are interested in working further on aspects of ancient Greek literature and culture.

Select Publications:

“Chewing the Fat: Lucian’s Invention of the Comic Dialogue” in the International Symposium on Lucian, Adiyaman University 2008.

“Revoking Comic License: Aristides' Or. 29 and the Performance of Comedy. In: C. W. Marshall and T. Hawkins, eds. Athenian Comedy in the Roman Empire. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

“Philosophers Redux: the Hermotimus, the Fisherman, and the Role of Dead Philosophers,” ICS 41.1 (2016).

“Lucian in Byzantium: the Intersection of the Comic Tradition and Christian Orthodoxy in the Anonymous Patriot” (under review)

Student Testimonial

“The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an incredibly helpful community of individuals who love to learn. The faculty members of this department are very thoughtful and provide invaluable assistance to otherwise confused undergraduates. (...)
The smaller department size allows students to establish relationships with faculty and to establish a community in a school that might otherwise seem dauntingly large. The Classics and the study of the ancient Mediterranean world are strong at Penn State. For a school that prides itself on cutting-edge research and applied sciences, Penn State is a superb promoter of the Humanities. This support allows the CAMS department to recruit world-class faculty, provide generous funding and aid to undergraduates, and establish resources for research. The structure of the department was a perfect fit for me and allowed me to explore a wide-range of subjects related to my interests. In my four years in the program, I strengthened my Latin and Greek and was also able to study Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian. I now look forward to continuing my training in philology as I pursue graduate study.”

Timothy W. Dooley
2011 CAMS graduate

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