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Aaron Quill

Member of the Department of Classics and Ancient History



I received my first-class Undergraduate degree in Classics from Swansea University in 2019. I then received a centenary scholarship to undertake a master’s degree in Ancient Narrative Literature, also at Swansea University, for which I achieved a Distinction. During my time at Swansea University, I was a member of the KYKNOS Ancient Narrative Literature reading group from 2016-2020.

PhD Research Project

My PhD thesis, provisionally entitled 'Heroism and Narrative in Herodotus' "Histories"', reassesses Herodotus’ heroic figures in the light of postcolonial and feminist critiques of heroes’ instrumentality in imperialist constructions of the past. This thesis examines the ways in which Herodotus appears to distance his presentation of heroic figures from the standard set by Homeric epic.

It is a well-trodden path of Herodotean scholarship to cite Herodotus’ ancient reputation as the ‘Prose Homer of History’ (The Pride of Halicarnassus, SEG 48.1130, l.43) or that he was ‘Most Homeric’ ([Long.] Subl. 13.3). My current project, predominantly sociolinguistic, examines key terms in the Homeric arsenal for presenting characters as heroic and illustrates the disparate use Herodotus makes of these crucial terms despite his Homeric accolade. This project draws on the field of narratology to add another layer of understanding when unpicking Herodotus’ presentation of heroes and heroic narratives. Through utilising a combination of both close narratological and philological analysis, this study will demonstrate that Herodotus presents a number of leading characters, often with key narrative roles, on a scale from laudation on the one end to satire on the other. My work implements a number of cross-disciplinary methodologies, in addition to narratology and linguistic analysis, such as reader-response theory, gender studies, post-colonial theories, as well as applying the techniques of the nascent, yet innovative, field of heroism science.

Research interests

  • Aeschylus
  • Class/Social Status
  • Euripides
  • Gender
  • Herodotus
  • Heroes/Heroines
  • Heroism
  • Homer
  • Intertextuality
  • Narratology
  • Philology
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Sophocles