Dr Stephen Blair

Stephen Blair is a philologist and historian specialising in ancient Roman antiquarian scholarship, knowledge production, and discursive constructions of the past. He joined UCL in 2020 as a Research Fellow working on the ERC-funded project ‘Ordering, Constructing, Empowering: Fragments of the Roman Republican Antiquarians’ (FRRAnt). His research centres on the fragmentary remains and transmission of the earliest phase of Roman historical and scholarly literature, when Roman intellectuals first began elaborating a literary vision of the past and codifying a body of antiquarian knowledge; and on the social, material, and intellectual currents that made late-Republican scholarship possible. He is currently working on a monograph on the formerly enslaved antiquarian and lexicographer Verrius Flaccus.

Selected Publications

  • ‘Verrius Flaccus and the disintegration of Roman knowledge’ (in preparation).
  • ‘What annales can’t do: Sempronius Asellio and the tradition of exemplary history’ (in preparation).
  • ‘Euhemeristic translations: Ennius as interpres in the sacra historia’, in J. Hill und C.W. Marshall (eds.), Ennius Beyond Epic (submitted).
  • ‘“Normative grammar” and language theory in late-Republican Rome’, in M. Bellomo und E. Zucchetti (eds.), Power, Coercion, Consent. Gramsci’s Hegemony and the Roman Republic, De Gruyter (submitted).
  • ‘The beast in his den: The domus Flavia and the rhetoric of enclosure in Pliny’s Panegyricus’, Maia 71 (2019): 429–39.
  • ‘Like father, like son: Accius’ Aeneadae and the Latin past’, in L. Austa (ed.), Frammenti sulla scena. Studi sul dramma antico, Turin 2018: 157–73.

Other projects

Stephen has also written on ancient and modern statue removal for Eidolon (2017) and on living alone in the wilderness for the Pandemic Post (2020).

Research interests

Ancient scholarship and knowledge production, Roman antiquarianism, historiography, transmission of fragments, slavery, constructions of the past, textual criticism, Classical receptions.