Michael Lurie

Assistant Professor of Classics

My work is concerned with Greek and Roman literature and thought, from Homer to late antiquity, and their reception in modern intellectual history.  My current projects include a book on traditions of pessimism — a complex set of ideas about the nature of the world and human life — in Greek pre-Platonic literature and thought and their role in the radical re-interpretations of Greek culture advanced in the 1870s by Jacob Burckhardt and Friedrich Nietzsche as well as on a study in the intellectual history of Greek tragic poetry and theology from the Renaissance to the late 19th century.  

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Before coming to Dartmouth, I taught Classics at the University of Göttingen in Germany and the University of Edinburgh in the UK and held research fellowships at Oxford, Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the National Humanities Center.  For 2018/19, I have been awarded a senior fellowship at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research.

Undergraduate and graduate teaching has always been an important and exhilarating part of my academic life.  For a scholar and an intellectual, teaching is arguably the most profound way of making a lasting impact and a difference in the world; even more so if one is teaching ancient literature.  For much of its existence, ancient literature in general and Greek literature in particular was a central and powerful medium of the exploration of the world and man's place in it which dealt with crucial questions and problems of human existence and human society and I strongly believe that a serious, open-minded, and creative engagement with it can not only sharpen one’s mind and deepen one’s understanding of our own history, society, and culture, but can also be an all-engrossing, soul-changing experience.

I regularly teach Elementary and Intermediate Greek, advanced Greek courses on Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus, and Thucydides as well as an introductory, yet at the same time conceptual course on ancient drama in translation (CLST 2: 'The Tragic Sense of Life: Greek Tragedy and Modernity') and a First Year Seminar on 'Pessimism and the Pursuit of Happiness.'  I have supervised many senior theses on various literary and philosophical aspects of the intellectual history of the ancient world and its reception.

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Personal Website
319 Reed Hall
HB 6086
Dr. phil. University of Berne (Switzerland)
lic. phil. University of Berne (Switzerland)

Selected Publications

Der schiffbrüchige Odysseus oder: Wie Arkesilaos zum Skeptiker wurde. Zu Timon von Phleius fr. 806 SH (32 D), Philologus (2014) 183–186

‘Facing up to tragedy: Toward an intellectual history of Sophocles in Europe from Camerarius to Nietzsche’, in: The Blackwell Companion to Sophocles, ed. K. Ormand (Oxford 2012) 440–461

Die Suche nach der Schuld. Sophokles’ Oedipus Rex, Aristoteles’ Poetik und das Tragödienverständnis der Neuzeit (München/Leipzig: Teubner 2004; repr. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter 2013)