Timothy Moore

Director of Graduate Studies in Classics
John and Penelope Biggs Distinguished Professor of Classics
PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
research interests:
  • Ancient Music
  • Roman Theatre
  • Roman Historiography
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    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • CB 1050
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    ​Professor Moore's work concentrates on several areas of classical antiquity, including the comic theatre of Greece and Rome, Greek and Roman music, and Roman historiography.

    Moore's current projects include articles on the history and performance of Greek and Roman theater and on Latin meter, and a long-range project on musical theater in ancient Greece and Rome. He also has interests in the history of theatre, especially American musical theatre and Japanese Kyogen comedy.


    Mellon Foundation Fellowship
    The American Academy in Rome: Rome Prize Fellowship
    The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation: Research Fellowship
    The German Academic Exchange Service: Visiting Professorship
    The Loeb Classical Library Foundation: Research Fellowship
    National Endowment for the Humanities: Co-director, Summer Institute

    recent courses

    Greek Mythology (L08 Classics 301C)

    The myths of ancient Greece are not only inherently interesting, but they are an incomparable starting point for the study of the ancient world, and they have offered numerous images and paradigms to modern poets, artists, and theorists. This course provides an introduction to the content of the major Greek myths, the historical and social background of the myths, the role of the myths in literature and art, and modern ways of interpreting and using myths. We examine as well the Near Eastern background to Greek myths and the adaptations of the myths in Roman and modern cultures.

      Ancient Greek and Roman Music (L08 Classics 462)

      Music played a vital role in Ancient Greece and Rome. New resources and perspectives now allow us to appreciate the ancients' music better than ever before. In this course we address the nature of ancient music (instruments, melody and rhythm, modes), ancient attitudes towards music, and its contribution to public and private life. The focus throughout is on our ancient sources, both literary and archaeological.

        Research and Publication on the Greco-Roman World (L08 Classics 502)

        An introduction to the profession of classical scholarship, in the form of a proseminar for all graduate students in the Department of Classics. The course provides an introduction to a variety of methods and aspects of the study of Greece and Rome. We will read samples of the scholarly literature in each area to explore what it means to pursue a career in Classics.

          Euripides (L09 Greek 422)

          The tragedies of Euripides are among the most powerful dramas ever produced. In this class we will read Euripides’ Medea in Greek as well as scholarly works on the tragedy and its contexts. Among the topics discussed will be language and style, meter and music, mythological and historical backgrounds, elements of performance, and Euripides’ influence in the modern world.

            Herodotus (L09 Greek 430)

            In this course we read selections from Herodotus’ Histories in Greek and the entire work in English translation, concentrating especially on Herodotus’ attitudes towards cultural differences, especially that between “East” and “West.”

              Horace (L10 Latin 432)

              The Odes of Horace rank among the world´s greatest lyric poems. In this course we will read a number of the Odes in Latin, concentrating on the sound of the verse, how Horace uses the Latin language, and Horace himself as a man, a poet, and a Roman of the Augustan Age. Readings in secondary sources in English will give us further insights into what the Odes tell us about Horace, Rome, and the workings of lyric poetry.

                Seneca and Roman Tragedy (L10 Latin 416)

                The tragedies of Seneca are fascinating works in themselves and have had a profound influence on modern theatre and literature. In this class we will read together Seneca’s Phaedra in Latin, other Senecan plays in English translation, and various works of ancient literature and modern scholarship related to the plays. Each student will also choose an additional Senecan tragedy to read in Latin, and graduate student class members will read Seneca’s Thyestes in Latin. Among the topics discussed will be the tradition of tragedy in Rome, questions of performance, and Seneca’s responses to the politics and philosophy of his age.

                  Catullus (L10 Latin 531)

                  We will read, discuss, and write about the entire corpus of Catullus and scholarly works on Catullus and his poems, examining the sound and style of the poems, their literary and cultural background, their influence on later literature, and how various modern approaches can help us understand them.

                    Livy (L10 Latin 533)

                    This course is designed as an introduction to the Ab urbe condita of Livy. We will read extensive selections from the work in Latin and will discuss various questions, including Livy's relationship with earlier and later writers, his style and literary techniques, and his moral, political, and philosophical preconceptions.

                      Classical to Renaissance Literature (L93 Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities 201C)

                      Students enrolled in this course engage in close and sustained reading of a set of texts that are indispensable for an understanding of the European literary tradition, texts that continue to offer invaluable insights into humanity and the world around us. Homer's Iliad is the foundation of our class. We then go on to trace ways in which later poets and dramatists engage the work of predecessors who inspire and challenge them. Readings move from translations of Greek, Latin, French, Japanese, and Italian, to poetry and drama composed in English. In addition to Homer, we will read works of Sappho, Sophocles, Plato, Vergil, Ovid, Marie de France, Dante, Petrarch, Zeami, and Shakespeare.

                        Selected Publications


                        Music in Roman Comedy (Cambridge 2012)
                        Roman Theatre  (Cambridge 2012)
                        The Theater of Plautus: Playing to the Audience (Austin 1998)
                        Artistry and Ideology: Livy's Vocabulary of Virtue (Frankfurt 1989)

                        Edited Volumes

                        Form und Bedeutung im lateinischen Drama / Form and Meaning in Latin Drama, ed. by Timothy J. Moore and Wolfgang Polleichtner.

                        Aristophanes and Menander: Three Comedies: Peace, Money, the God, Samia, translated by Douglass Parker, ed. with introductions and notes by Timothy J. Moore.  

                        Recent Articles and Book Chapters

                        “Stinging Auloi: Aristophanes, Acharnians 860-71,” Greek and Roman Musical Studies 5 (2017): 178-190.

                        “Sophocles after Ferguson: Antigone in St. Louis, 2014,” Didaskalia 13 (2016–2017): 49-68. http://didaskalia.net/issues/13/10/

                        “Music in Roman Tragedy,” in Roman Drama and its Contexts, edd. Stavros Frangoulidis, Stephen J. Harrison, and Gesine Manuwald (Trends in Classics Supplementary Volume 34, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016) 345-361.

                        “Roman Comedy in Performance: Using the Videos of the 2012 NEH Summer Institute,” Didaskalia 12 (2015): 37-50. (http://www.didaskalia.net/issues/12/6/).

                        “The 2012 NEH Summer Institute on Roman Comedy in Performance: Genesis and Reflections” (with Sharon L. James and Meredith Safran), Classical Journal 111 (2015): 1-9.

                        “Using Music in Teaching Roman Comedy” (with T.H.M. Gellar-Goad), Classical Journal 111 (2015): 37-51.

                        “Music and Gender in Terence’s Hecyra,” in Women in the Drama of the Roman Republic, edited by Dorota Dutsch, Sharon James, and David Konstan (University of Wisconsin Press, 2015) 68-87.

                        “Meter and Music,” in The Blackwell Companion to Terence, edd. Antonios Augoustakis and Adriana Traill (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) 89-110.

                        Andria: Terence’s Musical Experiment,” in Form und Bedeutung im lateinischen Drama / Form and Meaning in Latin Drama, edd. Timothy J. Moore and Wolfgang Polleichtner (Bochumer Altertumswissenschaftliches Colloquium 95. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2013) 87-114.

                        “Song in the Greek Classroom,” Teaching Classical Languages 4.2 (Spring 2013): 66-85 (http://tcl.camws.org/sites/default/files/Moore_0.pdf).

                        “Rodgers and Hart’s ‘The Boys from Syracuse’: Shakespeare Made Plautine,” in Ancient Comedy and Reception, ed. Douglas Olson. Boston University Studies in the Classical Tradition (Leiden: Brill, 2013) 762-785.

                        “Don’t Skip the Meter! Introducing Students to the Music of Roman Comedy,” Classical Journal 108 (2012/13) 218-234.

                        “An Aulos in Eelde, the Netherlands,” in Studien zur Musikarchäologie VIII, edd. R. Eichmann, F. Jianjun, and L.-C. Koch (Orient-Archäologie 27. Rahden: Leidorf, 2012) 91-101.

                        “A Musical Merchant: The Cantica of Mercator,” New England Classical Journal 37 (2010) 15-26.

                        “Livy’s Hannibal and the Roman Tradition,” in Livy and Intertextuality, ed. Wolfgang Polleichtner. Bochumer Altertumswissenschaftliches Colloquium 84 (Trier, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2010) 135-167.

                        Three Comedies

                        Three Comedies

                        Three Comedies features the work of three dramatic geniuses of the glorious, no-holds-barred tradition of ancient Athenian comedy. Here Aristophanes, the eight-hundred-pound gorilla of Old and Middle Comedy meets Menander, elephant in the room of New Comedy, in a match made possible by Douglass Parker—if not Athenian exactly, or even ancient, possibly the maddest chameleon ever to absorb the true colors of an ancient choral song, transpose a lost pun, or channel a venerable, giant, dung-eating cockroach for the benefit of those who couldn’t be there the first time.

                        Timothy J. Moore offers concise and informative introductions and notes to Parker’s brilliant translation of Aristophanes' fantastical Peace and Money, the God and Menander’s lively, domestic Samia—and includes, as a bonus, Parker's James Constantine Lecture at the University of Virginia, "A Desolation Called Peace: Trials of an Aristophanic Translator."

                        Roman Theatre

                        Roman Theatre

                        When we think of ancient theatre today, we tend to think of Greek theatre. Yet the Romans also had a lively and varied set of theatrical traditions, which have had a considerable influence on later drama. This book offers an introduction to these traditions, including the origins of Roman theatre, the extant plays of Plautus, Terence and Seneca, and the many works of comedy, tragedy, mime and pantomime that no longer survive as written texts. The emphasis throughout is on performance, the role of these theatrical works within Roman society, and Roman theatre’s legacy.

                        Music in Roman Comedy

                        Music in Roman Comedy

                        The plays of Plautus and Terence were profoundly musical: large portions of all the plays were sung to accompaniment, and variations in melody, rhythm and dance were essential elements in bringing both pleasure and meaning to their performance. This book explains the nature of Roman comedy's music: the accompanying tibia, the style of vocal performance, the importance of dance, characteristics of melody, the relationship between meter and rhythm, and the effects of different meters and of variations within individual verses. It provides musical analyses of songs, scenes and whole plays, and draws analogies between Roman comedy's music and the music of modern opera, film and musical theatre. The book will change our understanding of the nature of Roman comedy and will be of interest to students of ancient theatre and Latin literature, scholars and students working on the history of music and theatre, and performers working with ancient plays.

                        The Theater of Plautus: Playing to the Audience

                        The Theater of Plautus: Playing to the Audience

                        The relationship between actors and spectators has been of perennial interest to playwrights. The Roman playwright Plautus (ca. 200 BCE) was particularly adept at manipulating this relationship. Plautus allowed his actors to acknowledge freely the illusion in which they were taking part, to elicit laughter through humorous asides and monologues, and simultaneously to flatter and tease the spectators.

                        These metatheatrical techniques are the focus of Timothy J. Moore's innovative study of the comedies of Plautus. The first part of the book examines Plautus' techniques in detail, while the second part explores how he used them in the plays PseudolusAmphitruoCurculioTruculentusCasina, and Captivi. Moore shows that Plautus employed these dramatic devices not only to entertain his audience but also to satirize aspects of Roman society, such as shady business practices and extravagant spending on prostitutes, and to challenge his spectators' preconceptions about such issues as marriage and slavery. These findings forge new links between Roman comedy and the social and historical context of its performance.