Laura Swift

I am Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University, where I have worked since 2012. Before that I taught at UCL and Oxford. My research focuses on Greek tragedy and archaic poetry.

I am currently completing a commentary on the seventh-century BC poet Archilochus. In antiquity, Archilochus was considered one of the most important poets and rated second only to Homer, but the fragmentary state of his text has led to his being neglected by modern scholars. However, the discovery of new Archilochus poems throughout the latter half of the twentieth century (and most recently a major new fragment in 2005) has reaffirmed his importance in the development of Greek poetry. I also work on other aspects of lyric poetry including Sappho and Stesichorus, and am editing a new Blackwell Companion to Greek Lyric Poetry

My other major research interest is Greek tragedy, and in particular on the relationship between the tragic chorus and other types of choral song performed in Greek society. My book The Hidden Chorus (2010) argued for the central importance of choral song as a cultural tool in Greek society, and suggested a reading of tragedy that placed as much weight on the musical contexts of fifth-century Athens as much scholars have traditionally placed on historical or political ones. I have also published more broadly on tragedy, including a book on Euripides' Ion (2008) and recent student-focused introduction to Greek tragedy (2016).

For a full biography and list of publications, see my homepage