Classical Studies Staff

David Wardle


Click here to view Publications

MA DPhil Oxon

Research interests: Roman History and Historiography; Roman exemplary literature; divination, Roman religion and ruler cult

Born and educated in Nottingham, UK, David Wardle took an MA and a DPhil from Oxford in the sub-faculty of Literae Humaniores. After a brief stint working for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority he came to UCT as a lecturer in August 1990 and was appointed Professor in Classics and Ancient History in 2006. His academic specialisation lies in the field of Roman imperial history and historiography which he combines with an interest in ancient Roman religion. Besides numerous articles he is the author of three monographs, which have taken the form of commentaries on key texts from the Classical period: Suetonius’ Life of Caligula (Brussels, 1994), Valerius Maximus’ Memorable Deeds and Sayings (Oxford, 1998) and Cicero’s On Divination (Oxford, 2006).

Associate Professor: 
Clive Chandler

BA(Hons) MA PhD Cape Town

Email: clive.chandler

Research interests: Ancient philosophy and rhetoric; Madness in antiquity; Philodemus

Clive Edward Chandler was educated in Britain, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. He has a PhD from UCT and has published papers on Philodemus and Petronius.

Office: Beattie Building, Room 210

Emeritus Professors

John Atkinson, BA(Hons) Dunelm PhD HDipLib Cape Town

Richard Whitaker, BA Witwatersrand MA Oxon PhD St Andrews

Associate Professor and Head of School: Roman Roth

MA PhD Cantab


Alternate Email:

Research Interests: Archaeology and History of Roman Italy; Director of the Capena Excavation Project; Ceramic studies; Historiography

Before joining UCT in 2008, Roman Roth studied Classics as an Undergraduate and Graduate Student of Fitzwilliam College and the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, (1996 to 2004), before becoming a Research Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, in 2004. Although he is involved in teaching a wide range of Classical subjects at UCT, his research focuses on the cultural history of Italy during the Republican period (the fourth to the first centuries BC), combining methods of inquiry that span the fields of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. Amongst several projects, Roman Roth is currently working on a book that will address the extent to whether (and when) Roman Italy became a defined, cohesive area of cultural interaction. In addition, he is directing excavations on the ancient site of Capena (La Civitucola) situated some 35 km to the North-east of Rome.

Office: Beattie Building, Room 221

Click here to view publications.

Gail Symington

BA HDE MPhil Cape Town


Research Interests: Paedagogics of Latin; Language acquisition for second language speakers; the teaching of etymology.

Office: Beattie Building, Room 218

Dr Jeffrey Murray

Classics (Section Head)

BA (Hons), MA UKZN, PhD Cape Town


Research Interests:  Research interests: Ancient History, Latin Literature (esp. Valerius Maximus), Classical Reception Studies (particularly in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa, History of Sexuality).

Before joining the University of Cape Town, I was Lecturer in Classics in the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I am currently writing a commentary on Book 9 of Valerius Maximus’ Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, the only book of the work to have an unremitting focus on negative values. Apart from historical and literary commentary on the text of this first century AD writer, this work will also include exegetical essays on the various vices covered in Book 9, such as luxury, lust, cruelty, anger etc., contextualising them in Roman moral tradition and ancient ethical thought and literature in general. I am currently also editing a volume on Valerius Maximus with my colleague, David Wardle, arising from a conference hosted at the University of Cape Town in October 2017.

My other main research interest is in the field of Classical Reception Studies, and particularly in the colonial and postcolonial periods of southern African history. Here my focus is on the reception of classical thought and literature in the history, literature, and education of a society as it moves from the colonial period (heavily influenced by European colonial powers) into the postcolonial period (characterised by an ever-increasing adoption of ‘African identity’).

Office: Beattie Building, Room 218

Click here to view Publications