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Jacqueline Arthur-Montagne

John L. Nau III Assistant Professor of the History and Principles of Democracy and Assistant Professor of Classics

Office Address: Cocke Hall B013

John L. Nau III Assistant Professor of the History and Principles of Democracy and Assistant Professor of Classics. She is a scholar of Greek literature and cultural history and a member of the first faculty cohort in the University of Virginia’s Democracy Initiative. Her research centers on the texts and practices of ancient education, and how institutions of schooling in antiquity shaped the legacy of Classical Greece to the present. Her most recent articles have appeared in Classical Philology and Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies.


Research Interests

My research focuses on the literature and cultural history of post-classical Greece. I am especially interested in the texts, treatises, and rhetorical exercises at the heart of ancient education, and how the various stages of schooling from grammar to rhetoric shaped the reception and literary criticism of canonical texts. My current book in progress, An Education in Fiction, argues that literary education in postclassical antiquity was designed to equip students with the skills of fiction competency: the ability to navigate truth and lies in ancient life and literature. This project has also enabled me to collaborate with the UVA Democracy Initiative’s efforts to better understand the relationship between democracy, education, cultural memory, and media literacy in the present.


The authors at the heart of my research include both the poets and prose writers at the core of the Greek educational curriculum (Homer, Euripides, and Demosthenes, for instance) but also the Greek educational theorists who strove to contextualize and harness these works for contemporary intellectual and philosophical debates (Plato, Longinus, Plutarch, and Libanius). The scholarship that most excites me are projects that attempt to trace the reception of a particular figure or concept from the Greek literary past through to another time and place in the classical tradition. My 2021 article on “The Boy Viewer in Imperial Ekphrasis,” (CP 116:183-207), for instance, traces the presence of child viewers in ancient ekphrastic writing back to the Platonic notion of the naive gaze. My ongoing research includes a study of The Classical Past in the Ancient Classroom, which explores how declamation exercises on Greek historical themes constructed and contested the legacy of Classical Greece in antiquity and beyond.


Selected Publications



“Through the Eyes of a Child: The Boy Viewer in Imperial Ekphrasis,” Classical


Philology 116.2, 183-207


“The Comic Latin Grammar in Victorian England,” Journal of Latin Cosmopolitanism and


European Literatures 4, 2-31


“Symptoms of the Sublime: Longinus and the Hippocratic Method of Criticism,”


Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 57, 325-355


“Persuasion, Emotion, and the Letters of the Alexander Romance,” Ancient Narrative


11, 159-189