Ph.D., Princeton University
M.A., Princeton University
B.A., University of Canterbury (New Zealand) 

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests lie mainly in the realm of Latin language and literature, but I am interested in classical antiquity as a broad phenomenon that spans well over a millennium - from the early poetry of Homer through to the Confessions of Augustine (and beyond). We can learn much about ourselves from the continuities and breaks that we find in the ancient texts. A foreign culture, with at times radically different values from our own, can also alert us to our own assumptions and prejudices, and it is no surprise that thinkers throughout western history have found some of their most powerful source material among the remnants of Greek and Roman antiquity. Besides this, ancient Greek and Latin themselves give us an enriched appreciation of the languages in which we live; in addition to the practical benefits of learning these languages (especially when it comes to English/Spanish/etc. grammar and vocabulary), there is the joy of finding out where the roots of words such as "muscle" and "syntax" lie. 

Academic and Research Interests

I have two main fields of research: (1) Latin literature of the first centuries BC and AD, and particularly how Roman authors of the period described the decline of Rome; (2) certain strands of contemporary linguistics and the philosophy of language and their application to ancient texts, especially to early ones. I am also interested in languages that provide a complementary/different perspective on Greek and Latin, such as Sanskrit and Māori. Besides this, I enjoy thinking about the textual points of contact between different authors; together with two German colleagues, Kathrin Winter and Martin Stöckinger, I have edited a volume on the relationship between Horace and Seneca.

Selected Publications


Zanker, A. T. (2016) Greek and Latin Expressions of Meaning: The Classical Origins of a Modern Metaphor, Zetemata 151, Munich (

Co-edited volume

Stöckinger, M., Winter, K., & Zanker, A. T. (2017) Horace and Seneca: Interactions, Intertexts, Interpretations, Berlin (

Articles and Book Chapters

Stöckinger, M., Winter, K., Zanker, A. T. (2018) "Lucretian Echoes in Sen. Med. 301-379, 579-669", Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi dei testi classici 81, 207-213.

Zanker, A. T. (2018) "Metaphor in Latin Expressions of Reading and Meaning", PhaoS: Revista de Estudos Clássicos 18, 97-118.

Zanker, A. T. (2017) “The Golden Age”, in: Zajko, V. (ed.): The Blackwell Companion to the Reception of Classical Myth, Malden (MA), 193-212.

Zanker, A. T. (2016) “Vergil’s Sheep and Simonides, PMG 576”, Mnemosyne 69, 301-306.

Zanker, A. T. (2014) “Decline and Kunstprosa in Velleius Paterculus and Eduard Norden”, in: Formisano, M., Fuhrer, T. (eds.): Décadence: “Decline and Fall” or “Other Antiquity”?, Heidelberg, 299-324. 

Zanker, A. T. (2013)Expressions of Meaning and the Intention of the Text”, Classical Quarterly 63, 835-853.

Zanker, A. T. (2013) “Decline and Parainesis in Hesiod’s Race of Iron”, Rheinisches Museum 156, 1-19.

Zanker, A. T., Thorarinsson, G. (2011) “The Meanings of “Meaning” and Reception Studies”, Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi dei testi classici 67, 55-65.

Zanker, A. T. (2011) “Some Thoughts on the Term “Pessimism” and Scholarship on the Georgics”, Vergilius 57, 83-100.

Zanker, A. T. (2010) “Late Horatian Lyric and the Virgilian Golden Age”, American Journal of Philology 131, 495-516.

Zanker, A. T. (2009)  “A Dove and a Nightingale: Mahābhārata 3.130.18-3.131.32 and Hesiod, Works and Days 202-13”, Philologus 153, 10-25.