Timothy Joseph


Department of Classics

Director, Peace and Conflict Studies
Ph.D., Harvard University

Fields: Latin historiography and epic poetry; the reception of the Classics in the U.S.


CV (PDF) »

Email: tjoseph@holycross.edu
Office Phone: 508-793-3780
Office: Fenwick 427
PO Box: 36A
Office Hours: Tues., 1:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m., Wed., 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., & by appointment



Tim Joseph graduated from Holy Cross with a B.A. in Classics in 1998 and then taught Latin at Cresskill Junior-Senior High School in New Jersey from 1998 to 2001. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University. Tim has been back at Holy Cross teaching on Fenwick 4 since the fall of 2006. He has taught several years in the Montserrat first-year seminar program and served as the director of Montserrat’s Divine Cluster in 2019–20 and 2020-21.

Tim’s research concentrates on Latin historiography and epic poetry, with a focus on the literature of the early Roman empire. His is the author of Tacitus the Epic Successor (Brill, 2012), and Thunder and Lament: Lucan on the Beginnings and Ends of Latin Epic (Oxford University Press, 2022). For more information, see the Academia.edu profile at: https://holycross.academia.edu/TimothyJoseph. On occasion Tim has written for The Conversation about topics such as Martin Luther's King's lived engagement with the Classics and echoes of Roman history in the ongoing transformation of the U.S. Senate and presidency.  In 2017 and 2018 he served as the director of the Classical Association of New England's Summer Institute at Brown University and served as the president of CANE in 2022-23.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • Latin 101–2         Introduction to Latin
  • Latin 213             Intermediate Latin 1 (Pliny's Letters)
  • Latin 214             Intermediate Latin 2 (Latin epic)    
  • Latin 320             Sallust and Livy
  • Latin 321             Tacitus                                              
  • Latin 334             Lucretius                                                          
  • Latin 358             Virgil’s Aeneid    
  • Latin 399             Julius Caesar in the Roman Literary Imagination
  • Latin 399             Literature in the Age of Nero       
  • Greek 101–2        Introduction to Greek
  • Greek 213            Intermediate Greek 1 (Plato's Apology)
  • Greek 214            Intermediate Greek 2 (Homer's Odyssey)
  • Classics 103        Greek and Roman Epic
  • Classics 120        Classical Mythology
  • Classics 145        The Classics and Conflict in the United States
  • Montserrat (Divine Cluster) Immortality in Ancient Greece & Rome  

Select Publications


Tacitus the Epic Successor. Virgil, Lucan, and the Narrative of Civil War in the Histories. Mnemosyne Supplements. Monographs on Greek and Latin language and literature, vol. 345. Brill, 2012.

Thunder and Lament: Lucan on the Beginnings and Ends of Epic. Oxford University Press, 2022.

Divided Worlds? Interdisciplinary and Contemporary Challenges in Classics and New Testament Studies. Co-edited with Caroline Johnson Hodge and Tat-siong Benny Liew. SBL Press, 2023.

Articles and Book Chapters

“The Metamorphoses of Tanta Moles: Ovid, Met. 15.765 and Tacitus, Ann. 1.11.1,” Vergilius 54 (2008): 24–36.

“The Disunion of Catullus’ Fratres Unanimi at Virgil, Aeneid 7.335–6,” Classical Quarterly 59.1 (2009): 274–278.

Ac rursus noua laborum facies: Tacitus’ Repetition of Virgil’s Wars at Histories 3.26–34,” in John F. Miller and A. J. Woodman, eds., Latin Historiography and Poetry in the Early Empire: Generic Interactions (Brill, 2010), 155­–169.

“Tacitus and Epic,” in Victoria E. Pagán, ed., A Companion to Tacitus (Blackwell, 2012), 369–385.

Repetita bellorum ciuilium memoria: The remembrance of civil war and its literature in Tacitus, Histories 1.50,” in Jonas Grethlein and Christopher Krebs, eds., Time and Narrative in Ancient Historiography: The ‘Plupastfrom Herodotus to Appian (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 156–174.

“The Death of Almo in Virgil’s Latin War,” The New England Classical Journal 39.2 (2012): 99–112.

“The Boldness of Maternus’ First Speech (Tacitus, Dialogus 11–13),” in Olivier Devillers, ed., Les opera minora et le développement de l’historiographie tacitéenne (Ausonius Éditions, 2014), 131–145.

“Pharsalia as Rome’s ‘day of doom’ in Lucan,” American Journal of Philology 138.1 (2017): 107–141.

"The Verbs Make the Man: A Reading of Caesar, Gallic War 1.7 and Civil War 1.1 and 3.2,The New England Classical Journal 44.3 (2017): 150-161.

"Caesar in Vergil and Lucan," in Luca Grillo and Christopher Krebs, eds., The Cambridge Companion to the Writings of Julius Caesar (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 289-303.

“East and West in the Histories of Herodotus and Tacitus,” in Mary English and Lee Fratantuono, eds., Pushing the Boundaries of Historia (Routledge, 2018), 69–85.

"The Figure of the Eyewitness in Tacitus' Histories," Latomus 78 (2019): 68–101.

"'One city captures us': Lucan's Inverted Disaster Narrative," in Virginia Closs and Elizabeth Keitel, eds., Urban Disasters and the Roman Imagination (De Gruyter, 2020), 33-48.

“Agrippina’s (Un-)Augustan anger: Tacitus, Annals 12.22.3 and Ovid, Tristia 2.127,” Classical Quarterly 73.1 (2023): 1-8.