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Vasiliki Zali

Honorary Research Fellow


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My research interests lie in Classical Greek Historiography (especially Herodotus), in narrative techniques and especially the use of speech in Classical Greek Historiography, and in Greek and barbarian identities.

I am currently revising my PhD thesis (title: ‘Reshaping Herodotean Rhetoric: A Study of the Speeches in Herodotus’ Histories with special attention to books 5-9’) for publication (under negotiation with OUP). The book looks at how Herodotus employs several aspects of speech – ranging from allocation of speech to the representation of debate and specific speech types (alliance and pre-battle speeches) – to buttress and problematize the wider narrative themes of the self-other polarity (Greeks vs. barbarians/Persians) and the fragility of Greek unity. These aspects of speech are further discussed against a cross-generic earlier, contemporary and later literary background in order to bring out the distinctive nature of Herodotean rhetoric. The study also looks at implications of Herodotus’ rhetorical system for building up his authority, for the relationship with his readers, and for defining his historiographical method against other literary genres. .

I am also co-editing (together with Dr Jessica Priestley, University of Bristol) a volume of commissioned papers on ‘The Reception of Herodotus in Antiquity and Beyond’. The volume will address the reception of a wide range of Herodotean themes in diverse genres from ancient to modern times. For more details on the project see this link.

Biographical note:

I completed a BA and an MA in Classics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and a PhD at UCL (awarded 2009) under the supervision of Prof. Simon Hornblower. During and after my PhD, I have taught Greek and Latin language and literature as well as Ancient Greek history at Dulwich College, UCL, KCL, and the University of Kent.

In 2012-13 I am teaching the Greek Literature part for module CL353: ‘The Civilisations of Greece and Rome’ at the University of Kent. I am also teaching the MA language course ‘Latin for Research 1’ (University of London Intercollegiate MA in Classics) at UCL.



• ‘Themistocles’ exhortation before Salamis: A discussion of Herodotus 8.83’ (forthcoming GRBS 2013).

• ‘Agamemnon in
Herodotus and Thucydides: Exploring the historical uses of a mythological
paradigm’, Electra 1 (2011): 61-98 (

• ‘Narrative form representing narrative content in Herodotus’ account of the battle at Salamis’ (article in preparation).

• ‘The representation of Pausanias at Plataea: anti-hero and autocrat?’ (article in preparation).


• Baragwanath, E. and de Bakker, M. P. (eds.) (2012) Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus, Oxford; forthcoming in CR 2013.

• Foster, E. and Lateiner, D. (eds.) (2012) Thucydides and Herodotus, Oxford; forthcoming in BMCR 2013.

• Gray, V. J. (ed.) (2010) Xenophon: Oxford Readings in Classical Studies, Oxford; in AJPh 133.1 (2012), 164-7.

• Gray, V. J. (2010) Xenophon’s Mirror of Princes: Reading the Reflections, Oxford; in CR 62.1 (2012), 56-8.

• Grethlein, J. (2010) The Greeks and Their Past: Poetry, Oratory and History in the Fifth Century BCE, Cambridge; in BMCR 2011.03.67.

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