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Mathias Hanses

Mathias Hanses

Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

310 Weaver Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-0061


  1. Ph.D. in Classics, Columbia University (2015)
  2. M.Phil. in Classics, Columbia University (2012)
  3. M.A. in Classics, University of Illinois (2009)
  4. B.A./M.A. in American Studies, University of Münster, Germany (2009)


Dr. Hanses’s research interests lie in ancient comedy and humor, intertextuality in Latin prose and poetry, and the History of Ideas (both ancient and modern). He has also published on Greek and Latin wordplay, ideological biases in Roman historiography, and the reception of the Classics in Europe and North America.

He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “The Life of Comedy after the Death of Plautus,” which examines Roman comedy and its influence from the stage onto the pages of Latin literature (ranging from Cicero to Juvenal). More recently, he has begun collaborating with Stephen Wheeler on a Digital Humanities edition of the works of the 16th-century poet Juan Latino, a Black African former slave who served as Professor of Latin in Grenada, Spain.

Dr. Hanses has presented his research in Britain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Canada, and the US. His teaching focuses on Latin literature of the Roman Republic and Empire, as well as on the wider subject of Humor in the Ancient World.

Select Publications

“Juvenal and the Revival of Greek New Comedy at Rome.” In: C. W. Marshall and T. Hawkins, eds. Athenian Comedy in the Roman Empire. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. 25-41.

“Plautinisches im Ovid: The Amphitruo and the Metamorphoses.” In: I. N. Perysinakis and Evangelos Karakasis, eds. Plautine Trends: Studies in Plautine Comedy and Its Reception. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014. 223-256.

“The Pun and the Moon in the Sky: Aratus’ ΛΕΠΤΗ Acrostic.” CQ 64 (2014): 609-614.

Mulier inopia et cognatorum neglegentia coacta: Thornton Wilder’s Tragic Take on The Woman of Andros.” In: A. Augoustakis and A. Traill, eds. A Companion to Terence. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. 429-445

Summo genere gnatus: Aristocratic Bias in Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius.” RhM 154 (2011): 152-175

“Antikebilder im ‘Federalist’ / ‘Antifederalist.’” In: U. Niggemann and K. Ruffing, eds. Antike als Modell in Nordamerika? Konstruktion und Verargumentierung, 1763-1809. Munich: Oldenbourg, 2011. 85-110.


Latin 101: “Elementary Latin I”

Latin 102: “Elementary Latin II”

Latin 402: “Terence’s Eunuchus: A Roman Comedy and Its Afterlife”

CAMS 400W: “Humor in the Ancient World”

Mathias Hanses’s CV

Student Testimonial

“The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an incredibly helpful community of individuals who love to learn. The faculty members of this department are very thoughtful and provide invaluable assistance to otherwise confused undergraduates. (...)
The smaller department size allows students to establish relationships with faculty and to establish a community in a school that might otherwise seem dauntingly large. The Classics and the study of the ancient Mediterranean world are strong at Penn State. For a school that prides itself on cutting-edge research and applied sciences, Penn State is a superb promoter of the Humanities. This support allows the CAMS department to recruit world-class faculty, provide generous funding and aid to undergraduates, and establish resources for research. The structure of the department was a perfect fit for me and allowed me to explore a wide-range of subjects related to my interests. In my four years in the program, I strengthened my Latin and Greek and was also able to study Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian. I now look forward to continuing my training in philology as I pursue graduate study.”

Timothy W. Dooley
2011 CAMS graduate

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