Craig Williams

Professor of Classics and Center for Translation Studies

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Craig Williams (BA Yale 1986, MA and MPhil Yale 1990, PhD Yale 1992) is the author of Roman Homosexuality (Oxford University Press 1999; revised edition 2010), a commentary on Book 2 of Martial’s epigrams (Oxford University Press 2004), A Martial Reader (Bolchazy-Carducci 2011), Reading Roman Friendship (Cambridge University Press 2012), and numerous articles and reviews on Latin literature and Roman culture. His research interests include: gender and sexuality in Latin literature and in historical fiction set in ancient Rome; Roman friendship and its reception; animal-human relations in Greek and Latin literature. In his current book project, Orpheus Crosses the Atlantic, he explores the ways in which Native North American writers use their knowledge of ancient Greece and Rome; he has recently been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship in support of this project. Prof Williams was previously on the faculty of Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, and has also taught at the Freie Universität Berlin and Columbia University. While at Brooklyn College he was awarded a Leonard and Claire Tow Endowed Professorship, and he has several times been a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at both the Humboldt-Universität and the Freie Universität in Berlin. He has been selected as an Associate of the University of Illinois Center for Advanced Study in 2017-2018.

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Gender and sexuality in Latin literature; Latin epigram; animal studies; translation studies; Native American receptions of the Greco-Roman classics


  • Yale University, PhD in Classical Languages and Literatures 1992
  • Yale University, MA and MPhil in Classical Languages and Literatures 1990
  • Yale College, BA summa cum laude in Classical Languages and Literatures 1986

Distinctions / Awards

  • Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Fifth Annual Distinguished Lecturer, 2014
  • University of Illinois Center for Advanced Study, Associate for 2017-2018
  • Leonard and Claire Tow Endowed Professorship, Brooklyn College, 2006-2008
  • Ethyle Wolfe Institute for the Humanities at Brooklyn College, Research Fellowship, 2000-2001
  • Outstanding Academic Title for 1999, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
  • John Addison Porter Prize for an outstanding dissertation in the humanities, Yale University, 1992



  • LAT 302 (Ovid's Metamorphoses)
  • LAT 411/511 (Intermediate and Advanced Latin Prose Composition)
  • LAT 491 (Martial and Latin Epigram)
  • LAT 491 (Roman Friendship)
  • LAT 520 (Apuleius' Metamorphoses)
  • LAT 520 (Petronius' Satyricon)
  • LAT 520 (Survey of Latin Literature)
  • LAT 580 (Propertius)
  • CLCV/CWL 220 (Origins of Western Literature: The Animal Self)
  • CLCV/CWL 490 (Topics in Classical Literature: The Animal Self)

Office Hours

  • Thursdays 2:00-3:00 and by appointment



  • Reading Roman Friendship. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • A Martial Reader: Selections from the Epigrams. Bolchazy-Carducci, 2011.
  • Roman Homosexuality (2nd edition). Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Martial: Epigrams, Book Two. Edited with Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity. Oxford University Press, 1999.

Book Contributions

  • Williams, Craig. "Roman Error: Classical Reception and the Problem of Rome’s Flaws." Friends, Romans, Errors: Moments in the Reception of amicitia. Ed. Basil Dufallo. Oxford University Press, 2017. 53-73.
  • Williams, Craig. "Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities ." ’Too Gross for Our Present Notions of Propriety’: Roman Homosexuality in Two Nineteenth-Century Translations of Martial’s Epigrams. Ed. Jennifer Ingleheart. Oxford University Press, 2015. 288-306.
  • Williams, Craig. "Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities ." Roman Homosexuality in Historical Fiction from Robert Graves to Steven Saylor. Ed. Jennifer Ingleheart. Oxford University Press, 2015. 176-193.
  • Williams, Craig. "A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities." Sexual Themes in Greek and Latin Graffiti . Blackwell, 2014. 493-508.
  • Williams, Craig. "Perpetua’s Passions. Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis." Perpetua’s Gender. A Latinist Reads the Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis. Ed. Jan Bremmer and Marco Formisano. Oxford University Press, 2012. 54-77.
  • Williams, Craig. "Gender-Inszenierungen in der antiken Literatur." Cessamus mimum componere? Performances of Gender in Petronius’ Satyricon. Ed. Marco Formisano and Therese Fuhrer. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2010. 25-44.
  • Williams, Craig. "Epigramma longum. Da Marziale alla tarda antichità." Epigrammata longa e strategie metapoetiche in Marziale. Ed. Alfredo Morelli. Università degli Studi di Cassino, 2008. 217-233.
  • Williams, Craig. "Freundschaft und Gefolgschaft in den auswärtigen Beziehungen der Römer." Friends of the Roman People. Some Remarks on the Language of amicitia. Ed. Altay Coskun. Peter Lang, 2008. 29-44.
  • Williams, Craig. "Wissensästhetik. Wissen über die Antike in ästhetischer Vermittlung." Rom in der Postmoderne. Darstellungen der Antike in zwei historischen Romanen. Ed. E. Osterkamp. DeGruyter, 2008. 325-344.
  • Williams, Craig. "Flavian Poetry." Identified Quotations and Literary Models: The Example of Martial 2.41. Ed. Ruurd Nauta. Brill, 2005. 329-348.
  • Williams, Craig. "Queer Representations: Reading Lives, Reading Cultures." Pudicitia and Pueri: Roman Concepts of Male Sexual Experience. Ed. Martin Duberman. New York University Press, 1997. 25-38.

Journal Articles

  • "The Rhetoricity of Gender and the Ideal of mediocritas in Vitruvius' De architectura." Arethusa 49.2 (2016): 227-250.
  • "The Meanings of Softness: Some Remarks on the Semantics of mollitia." Eugesta: Journal on Gender Studies in Antiquity 3 (2013): 240-263. <>.
  • "When a Dolphin Loves a Boy: Some Greco-Roman and Native American Love Stories." Classical Antiquity 32 (2013): 200-242.
  • "Ovid, Martial, and Poetic Immortality: Traces of Amores 1.15 in the Epigrams." Arethusa 35 (2002): 417-433.
  • "Sit nequior omnibus libellis. Text, Poet, and Reader in the Epigrams of Martial." Philologus 146 (2002): 150-171.
  • "Greek Love at Rome." Classical Quarterly 45 (1995): 517-539.


  • Rev. of Andrew Lear and Eva Cantarella, Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty: Boys Were Their Gods (Routledge 2008)Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.2009.04.65 (2009):
  • Rev. of Rebecca Langlands, Sexual Morality in Ancient Rome (Cambridge 2006)Classical World 102 (2009): 341-342.
  • Rev. of Myles McDonnell, Roman Manliness: Virtus and the Roman Republic (Cambridge 2006)Journal of Roman Studies 98 (2008): 204-205.
  • Rev. of Christian Schöffel, ed., Martial Buch 8. Einleitung, Text, Übersetzung, Kommentar (Franz Steiner Verlag 2002). Classical Review 56 (2006): 125-127.
  • Rev. of Antonella Borgo, Retorica e poetica nei proemi di Marziale (Loffredo Editore 2003). Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2005): <>.
  • Rev. of Lindsay and Patricia Watson, eds., Martial: Select Epigrams (Cambridge University Press 2003)Classical Review 54 (2004): 407-410.
  • Rev. of Martha Nussbaum and Juha Sihvola, eds., The Sleep of Reason: Erotic Experience and Sexual Ethics in Ancient Greece and Rome (University of Chicago Press 2002)American Journal of Philology 99 (2004): 86-89.
  • Rev. of Thomas McGinn, Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press 1998)Classical World 95 (2002): 191-192.
  • Rev. of John R. Clarke, Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art 100 B.C. – A.D. 250 (University of California Press 1998)GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 6 (2000): 347-350.
  • Rev. of Maria Wyke, ed., Parchments of Gender: Deciphering the Body in Antiquity (Oxford University Press 1998)American Historical Review 105 (2000): 1360-1362.