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Mathias Hanses

Mathias Hanses

Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

310 Weaver Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-0061


  1. Ph.D. in Classics, Columbia University (2015)
  2. M.Phil. in Classics, Columbia University (2012)
  3. M.A. in Classics, University of Illinois (2009)
  4. B.A./M.A. in American Studies, University of Münster, Germany (2009)


My main research focus lies on Roman Comedy and its reception in Latin literature, from Cicero to Juvenal. I am currently completing a book manuscript on the subject, entitled The Life of Comedy after the Death of Plautus and Terence, for the University of Michigan Press. Trained as both a Classicist and an Americanist, I have also long been interested in classical receptions, and especially in Black Classicism. In this latter area, I have been exploring the works of Juan Latino, a former slave and professor of Latin in early modern Spain, as well as W. E. B. Du Bois’s engagement with the works of Marcus Tullius Cicero. In addition to my articles on Roman Comedy and Black Classicism, I have published on Greek and Roman wordplay, historiography, the Classics in US-American politics and literature, and the History of Classical Scholarship. I have presented my research in Britain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Serbia, Canada, and across the US. At Penn State, I enjoy teaching classes that introduce students to a range of different texts and ancient personalities, to language and literature, books and artwork, jokes and graffiti, and the material remains of the ancient world


“Men among Monuments: Roman Memory and Roman Topography in Plautus’s Curculio.” Classical Philology 115 (2020) Forthcoming

Naso deus: Ovid’s Hidden Signature in the Metamorphoses.” In: Alison Sharrock, Daniel Möller, and Mats Malm, eds. Ovidian Readings: Transformations of Language, Gender and the Metamorphoses. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming

“‘He Licks the Dish but Does Not Taste the Ham’: A Grouping of Pompeian Wall Writings and Its Engagement with Elegy and Roman Comedy.” Illinois Classical Studies 44.1 (2019): 42-65

“W. E. B. Du Bois’s De senectute (1948).” Classical Receptions Journal 11.2 (2019): 117-136

“Cicero Crosses the Color Line: The Pro Archia Poeta and W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk.” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 26.1 (2019): 10-26

(with Harriet Fertik) “Above the Veil: Revisiting the Classicism of W. E. B. Du Bois.” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 26.1 (2019): 1-9

“Love’s Letters: An Amor-Roma Telestich at Ovid, Ars amatoria 3.507-10.” In: Phillip Mitsis and Ioannis Ziogas, eds. Wordplay and Powerplay in Latin Poetry. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016. 199-211

“Juvenal and the Revival of Greek New Comedy at Rome.” In: C. W. Marshall and Tom Hawkins, eds. Athenian Comedy in the Roman Empire. London: Bloomsbury, 2016. 25-41

“The Pun and the Moon in the Sky: Aratus’ ΛΕΠΤΗ Acrostic.” Classical Quarterly 64.2 (2014): 609-614

“Plautinisches im Ovid: The Amphitruo and the Metamorphoses.” In: Ioannis N. Perysinakis and Evangelos Karakasis, eds. Plautine Trends: Studies in Plautine Comedy and Its Reception. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014. 223-256

Mulier inopia et cognatorum neglegentia coacta: Thornton Wilder’s Tragic Take on The Woman of Andros.” In: Antony Augoustakis and Ariana Traill, eds. A Companion to Terence. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. 429-445

“Antikebilder im ‘Federalist’ / ‘Antifederalist.’” In: Ulrich Niggemann and Kai Ruffing, eds. Antike als Modell in Nordamerika? Konstruktion und Verargumentierung, 1763-1809. Historische Zeitschrift, Beiheft 55. Munich: Oldenbourg, 2011. 85-110

Summo genere gnatus: Aristocratic Bias in Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius.” Rheinisches Museum 154.2 (2011): 152-175

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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