Mario Erasmo
235 Park Hall

Academic History

Yale University: Ph.D. 1995, M.Phil 1993, M.A. 1992: Classical Studies
University of Ottawa: M.A. 1990: Classical Studies
Carleton University: B.A. Hon 1989: Classical Studies

Research Interests

As a Cultural Historian, I take an interdisciplinary approach to explore the Legacy of Classical Antiquity.  I am the Series Editor for IB Tauris' "Strolling Through" series and author of two forthcoming historical walking guides: Strolling Through Rome: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Eternal City (2014) and Strolling Through Florence: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Renaissance City (2015) that take visitors step-by-step through the eras and areas of the cities to experience first-hand the sites and art that have played an enormous role in shaping Western Culture. I lead tours throughout Italy and Europe on multiple study abroad programs: UGA Department of Horticulture of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science's Art and Gardens of Italy, France, England, Scotland and Ireland and UGA Studies Abroad Program in Cortona. Itineraries follow the footsteps of Grand Tour visitors at ancient sites, museums, cemeteries, and villas to trace contemporary cultural exchanges and the collection of ancient art and the spread of Neoclassicism in Europe and North America.

        I am currently editing A Cultural History of Death: Antiquity a multi-volume series (Bloomsbury, 2016) that assembles leading scholars to examine themes of dying, disposal, and commemoration in multiple volumes from Antiquity to the Present.  In Death: Antiquity And Its Legacy I.B.Tauris/ Oxford University Press Ancients and Moderns series (2012), I explore how ancient death rituals inform and engage modern funerary and burial practices through select themes from the Medieval period and the Renaissance to the Present: embalming and cremation, Neoclassical and Victorian monuments, the topography of death (actual and virtual cemeteries), commemoration (epitaphs to tattoos), on-going social relationships with the dead at the site of death and/or burial and in the home, and Dark Tourism.  This book expands upon my Reading Death in Ancient Rome (Columbus, 2008) in which I examine death ritual as a cultural and literary intertext of epitaphs, drama, and epic to analyze authorial agendas that are often at odds with actual rituals.

        The potential for theatre space to elicit scripted and unscripted actor and audience responses is explored in Roman Tragedy: Theatre to Theatricality (Austin, 2004) that was the first monograph devoted to Roman tragedy in over 125 years. I focus on the reciprocity between the reality of the theatre, actual and figurative, and the audience. I take a semiotic approach to explore the inter (and intra-) textuality of theatre texts and performances within their ancient cultural contexts from the founding of the Roman theatre to the political role of theatre (textual and architectural) and metatheatre in the Late Republic and Early Empire.  Archaic Latin Verse (Focus Publishing, 2nd edition: 2004) is a text and commentary edition of Latin verse from carmina to the historical epics of Livius, Naevius and Ennius, including selections from the earliest Roman tragedies and comedies, and fragments from the satires of Lucilius. Commentary notes contextualize the passages within their cultural contexts and anticipate their imitation by later dramatists, and Augustan and Silver Epic poets with their own political and cultural agendas.

2013/2014 Graduate Proseminar Topic: Dead Vergil from Statius to the Grand Tour: Death in the Epic and (Sub-) Urban Landscape of Rome and Naples.

large_erasmo_teaching.jpgCourses Taught

Classical Culture

CLAS4380/6380 Death: Antiquity And Its Legacy

CLAS4390/6390 The Grand Tour: Visions and Revisions of Classical Antiquity

CLAS4300/6300 The Legacy of Classical Antiquity

CLAS4300/6300 Reading Rome: Viewing and Reading the City

CLAS4370/6370 The Roman Theatre and Theatricality

CLAS1010 Introduction to Roman Culture

CLAS1000 Introduction to Greek Culture


LAT8020 Seneca; Silver Epic; Archaic Latin Verse; Horace

LAT6500 Survey of Latin Poetry (Archaic Verse to Ausonius)

LAT6600 Survey of Latin Prose(Archaic Oratory to Apuleius)

LAT4020 Silver Epic

LAT4070 Roman Drama

LAT4210 Horace

LAT4200 Catullus

LAT3010 Vergil


GREK6030/4030 Lyric Poetry

GREK6200/4200 Hellenistic Poetry


In Department
Research Interests: