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Mathias Hanses

Mathias Hanses

Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

310 Weaver Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-0061


  1. Ph.D. in Classics, Columbia University (2015)
  2. M.Phil. in Classics, Columbia University (2012)
  3. M.A. in Classics, University of Illinois (2009)
  4. B.A./M.A. in American Studies, University of Münster, Germany (2009)


Dr. Hanses’s main research focus lies on Roman comedy and its afterlife in later Latin literature, from Cicero to Juvenal. He is currently completing a book manuscript on the subject, entitled The Life of Comedy after the Death of Plautus.

He has published also on Greek and Roman wordplay, especially acrostics and telestichs. Trained as both a Classicist and an Americanist, he has furthermore long been interested in Classical Receptions, and especially in Black Classicism. In this latter area, he has been exploring W. E. B. Du Bois’s engagement with Roman Republican literature and the Classicism of Juan Latino, a former slave and professor of Latin in early modern Spain. He has presented his research in Britain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Canada, and the US.

Dr. Hanses enjoys teaching classes that introduce his students to a range of different texts and ancient personalities, to language and literature, books and artwork, jokes and graffiti, and the material remains of the ancient world. He believes his job is not done until he has demonstrated that the Greeks and Romans remain relevant to the lives we live today.

Select Publications

“Love’s Letters: An Amor-Roma Telestich at Ovid, Ars amatoria 3.507-10.” In: Phillip Mitsis and Ioannis Ziogas, eds. Wordplay and Powerplay in Latin Poetry. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016. 199-211

“Juvenal and the Revival of Greek New Comedy at Rome.” In: C. W. Marshall and Tom Hawkins, eds. Athenian Comedy in the Roman Empire. London: Bloomsbury, 2016. 25-41

“The Pun and the Moon in the Sky: Aratus’ ΛΕΠΤΗ Acrostic.” Classical Quarterly 64.2 (2014): 609-614

“Plautinisches im Ovid: The Amphitruo and the Metamorphoses.” In: Ioannis N. Perysinakis and Evangelos Karakasis, eds. Plautine Trends: Studies in Plautine Comedy and Its Reception. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014. 223-256

Mulier inopia et cognatorum neglegentia coacta: Thornton Wilder’s Tragic Take on The Woman of Andros.” In: Antony Augoustakis and Ariana Traill, eds. A Companion to Terence. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. 429-445

“Antikebilder im ‘Federalist’ / ‘Antifederalist.’” In: Ulrich Niggemann and Kai Ruffing, eds. Antike als Modell in Nordamerika? Konstruktion und Verargumentierung, 1763-1809. Historische Zeitschrift, Beiheft 55. Munich: Oldenbourg, 2011. 85-110

Summo genere gnatus: Aristocratic Bias in Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius.” Rheinisches Museum 154.2 (2011): 152-175

Mathias Hanses’s CV

Student Testimonial

“The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an incredibly helpful community of individuals who love to learn. The faculty members of this department are very thoughtful and provide invaluable assistance to otherwise confused undergraduates. (...)
The smaller department size allows students to establish relationships with faculty and to establish a community in a school that might otherwise seem dauntingly large. The Classics and the study of the ancient Mediterranean world are strong at Penn State. For a school that prides itself on cutting-edge research and applied sciences, Penn State is a superb promoter of the Humanities. This support allows the CAMS department to recruit world-class faculty, provide generous funding and aid to undergraduates, and establish resources for research. The structure of the department was a perfect fit for me and allowed me to explore a wide-range of subjects related to my interests. In my four years in the program, I strengthened my Latin and Greek and was also able to study Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian. I now look forward to continuing my training in philology as I pursue graduate study.”

Timothy W. Dooley
2011 CAMS graduate

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