Department of Greek & Latin


Miriam Leonard

Professor of Greek Literature and its Reception

Miriam small

Email: m.leonard@ucl.ac.uk

Research interests: Greek literature and philosophy; reception; history of modern European thought; critical theory

IRIS research profile


After completing my PhD (Cambridge, 2002) I taught for six years in the Bristol Classics department. I joined the UCL department in September 2007. I have been a visiting scholar at Duke and Stanford and a recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize.

My research explores the intellectual history of classics in modern European thought from the eighteenth century to the present. I examine how an engagement with the classical past has given rise to a particular understanding of modernity.

I have taught a wide range of options in Latin and Greek language and literature as well as courses in Reception, Philosophy and Critical Theory.

I was recently curator of the exhibition ‘Between Oedipus and the Sphinx: Freud an Egypt’ at the Freud Museum London: https://www.freud.org.uk/exhibitions/between-oedipus-and-the-sphinx-freud-and-egypt/

Major Publications:

  • Tragic Modernities (Harvard University Press, 2015)
  • Tragedy and the Idea of Modernity; co-edited with Joshua Billings (Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • Socrates and the Jews: Hellenism and Hebraism from Moses Mendelssohn to Sigmund Freud (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
  • Derrida and Antiquity; editor (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • How to Read Ancient Philosophy (Granta, 2008)
  • Laughing with Medusa: Classical Myth and Feminist Thought; co-edited with Vanda Zajko (Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • Athens in Paris: Ancient Greece and the Political in Post-War French Thought (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Ongoing and Future Projects: