Department of Greek & Latin


Fiachra Mac Góráin

Associate Professor of Classics


Email: f.macgorain@ucl.ac.uk

Office hours:: Tuesday 5-6; Wednesday 12-1 (Term 1)

Research interests: Latin literature, especially Augustan poetry; Romans authors' use of the past, including the literary past; Virgil and his reception; Dionysus; Ireland and the Classics.

Research supervision: I am interested in supervising research students in Roman literature and culture and their reception. I value theoretically informed and interdisciplinary approaches, and have co-supervised with colleagues in other departments at UCL. I would be interested in co-supervising with colleagues at KCL, RHUL, the Warburg Institute, and the ICS.

I have recently co-supervised PhD theses on the imperial cult in Augustan poetry; Philodemus and Virgil; the modern reception of Greek tragedy; and narrative in Petronius. I am currently co-supervising PhD theses on animals in Valerius Flaccus; pastoral ancient and modern; felicitas/Felicitas in Rome; and rhetoric in Euripides.

Academia.edu research profile

IRIS research profile

I completed a BA in Classics at Trinity College Dublin, and masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Oxford.

My research interests range widely over Latin literature and the history of interpretation. I find it fascinating to explore how we use and understand antiquity, sometimes with modern lenses, and sometimes with ancient ones.

I am particularly interested in Dionysus in the ancient world, and in the later reception of the god, and was the historical consultant for a BBC documentary with Bettany Hughes entitled Bacchus Uncovered, which also featured Phiroze Vasunia.

At present I am finishing a book to be entitled Virgil's Dionysus, and several articles on Virgil.

I organized a conference on Dionysus in Rome and Italy. I am currently editing the proceedings of this conference, which should appear under the title Dionysus and Rome.

Together with Valentina Arena (UCL History) I organized a colloquium on Varro and antiquarianism in the late Roman Republic. The proceedings were published as Varronian Moments in 2017.

I am very interested in promoting discussion between readers of Classical literature and literature from other cultural contexts. To this end, I co-organized (with Peter Mack) a colloquium on Roman satire and its reception, which took place at the Warburg Institute in October 2014.


  • 'Virgil's Bacchus and the Roman Republic.' In Augustan Poetry and the Roman Republic, ed. D. Nelis and J. Farrell, (Oxford, 2013), 124-145.
  • 'The Shepherds Jubilee. A Dublin Eclogue from 1701.' In Vergilius 59 (2013), 81-110.
  • 'Speeches' and 'Dialogue.' In The Virgil Encyclopedia, ed. R. F. Thomas and J. M. Ziolkowski (Harvard, 2014).
  • 'Apollo and Dionysus in Virgil.' In Incontri di filologia classica XII (2012-13; publ. 2014), 191-238.
  • 'The Mixed Blessings of Bacchus in Virgil's Georgics.' In Dictynna 11 (2014).
  • 'The Argo: Archaic Wonder and Innovation.' In Maia 67.2 (2015), 233-251.
  • 'Dionysus in Rome.' In A Handbook to the Reception of Classical Mythology, ed. V. Zajko and H. Hoyle (Malden, 2017), 323-336.
  • 'Dionysus.' In Oxford Bibliographies in Classics. Ed. Dee Clayman. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Varronian Moments. Edited by Valentina Arena and Fiachra Mac Góráin. BICS 60-2 (2017).
  • 'The Poetics of Vision in Virgil's Aeneid.' In Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 109 (2017), 383-427.
  • 'Untitled/Arma virumque'. In Classical Philology 113.4 (2018), 423-448.
  • 'Vergil's Sophoclean Thebans.' Forthcoming in Vergilius 64 (2018), 49-74.
  • The Cambridge Companion to Virgil (2nd expanded edition). Edited by Charles Martindale and Fiachra Mac Góráin (forthcoming March 2019)

Working papers:

  • 'Dinneen's Irish Virgil.'
  • 'The Ancient Reception of Euripides' Bacchae from Athens to Byzantium', with Simon Perris
  • 'The Politics of Language in the Aeneid as compared with Friel's Translations.'