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Name: Thomas Sims

PhD: Classics

Thesis Title: Commentary on the extant fragments of fourth century BC tragic poets


Thesis Description:

My PhD project will be a commentary, with introduction and translation, on the extant fragments of the tragic poets of the fourth century B.C. This work will be split into two sections, the introduction and the commentary, each exploring different aspects of fourth century tragedy and satyr drama. In the introduction I will examine wider issues such as reforms to the dramatic festivals, the changing role of the poet, producer, actor and the chorus in this period, tragedy and contemporary society, and the afterlife of the works of fourth century tragic poets. In the commentary, I will examine the fragments of each play of each poet, and analyse their metrical, stylistic, literary, linguistic, and performance features, while also considering wider issues such as the reconstruction of the plot. While this latter issue may not always be applicable to the fragments, in cases such as Astydamas’ Hector, it will provide further insight and opportunities for analysis. The commentary will also information about the life of each poet, their career, the reaction of contemporary society to their plays, and their reception in antiquity. 


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Professor Patrick Finglass (University of Nottingham) and Professor Alan Sommerstein (University of Nottingham)

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

year: 2014-15

  • 20/07/2015 - 'Tales from the periphery: exploring the use of testimonia in the reconstruction of lost Greek tragedies', presentation at LINK '15, University of Nottingham
  • 03/06/2015 - 'Just like Homer: exploring Sappho's use of the epic simile', presentation at Symbols and Metaphors, University of Leeds
  • 11/02/2015 - 'The illusion of power: exploring the dichotomy of strength and weakness in Stesichorus’ Iliou Persis and William Turnball’s Horse', presentation at New Perspectives: In the Shadow of War event at Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham.
  • 24/01/2015 - 'Re-reading Stesichorus’ Iliou Persis: a new interpretation of S104', presentation at the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Greek Paleography, University of Birmingham


Other Research Interests:

  • Greek lyric poetry (in particular Sappho and Stesichorus)
  • Greek drama

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