Carolyn MacDonald

Associate Professor


Classics and Ancient History

1 506 458 7511

Carolyn MacDonald joined the department of Classics and Ancient History in July of 2016 after a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New Hampshire. She specializes in Latin literature and Roman art, and her interests include cross-cultural interaction and appropriation between Rome, Greece, and Italy; the invention and reinvention of Roman cultural memory; and the representation of the city and its monuments in Latin poetry and prose.

Her doctoral work focused on visual and verbal responses to Roman displays of appropriated Greek art, which could simultaneously signify Rome’s geopolitical and economic clout, Roman cultural aspirations, and Greece’s unimpeachable artistic superiority. She is now expanding this research into a book, which will argue that looking at Greek art in Rome became a culturally loaded practice, through which viewers laid claim to various forms of identity and prestige. MacDonald is also currently co-editing an interdisciplinary volume on appropriation in Roman culture, tentatively titled City of Plunder: Roman Cargo Culture and the Dynamics of Appropriation.

For her next book project, she plans to shift focus from Rome and Greece to Rome and Italy, to explore the submerged presence of Italic peoples in Roman legend and the cityscape itself. She has published and presented various papers on topics related to her research, including the reconfiguration of Roman topography in Varro and Propertius, the theme of appropriation in Martial’s ekphrastic epigrams, and the representation of Italy in Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica.    

MacDonald is an enthusiastic instructor in all areas of the Classics curriculum, including Latin and Greek at all levels, and in-translation courses on ancient literature, politics, art, and society. Her classes often incorporate non-traditional assignments that encourage experimentation. Students might find themselves delivering Roman-style orations, writing constitutions for new city-states, curating mini-exhibits, or performing original adaptations of ancient texts.

Beyond the classroom, MacDonald has worked with students and communities members at Stanford and UNH to stage the outrageous and uproarious comedies of Aristophanes and Plautus, and she looks forward to continuing this tradition at UNB.


BA (King's College/Dalhousie), MA (Dalhousie), PhD (Stanford)

Research interests

  • Latin literature
  • Roman visual culture
  • Cross-cultural interaction and appropriation in the ancient world

Peer-reviewed articles

“Rewriting Rome: Topography, Etymology, and History in Varro De lingua Latina V and Propertius Elegies 4.” Forthcoming, accepted for publication in Ramus.

Book chapters

“Greek Poets on the Palatine: A Wild Cow Chase?” In M. Loar, S. Murray, and S. Rebegianni, eds., Text and Monument in Augustan Rome. Forthcoming, under contract with De Gruyter.

Book reviews

Scioli, E. Dream, Fantasy, and Visual Art in Roman Elegy. University of Wisconsin Press, 2015. American Journal of Philology 137 (2): 361-364.

Thibodeau, P. Playing the Farmer: Representations of Rural Life in Vergil’s Georgics. University of California Press, 2011. Classical Review 64 (2): 456-7.


  • LAT 1103: Introductory Latin I
  • LAT 1113: Introductory Latin II
  • LAT 3133: Reading Latin Authors: Ovid's Metamorphoses
  • CLAS 3373: Pompeii and Herculaneum