Serial Killers in the Ancient WorldDid serial killers roam the ancient world? This talk argues that serial homicide is not unique to modern times. Many stories from Greek and Roman literature describe mutilation murders that will sound familiar to anyone who has heard about Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and other notorious serial killers. This talk presents stories from classical mythology and history that are not for the faint of heart: here you will find tales of torture, sexual deviance, and cannibalism, among other horrors.


Debbie Felton is Professor of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she teaches ancient Greek and Latin as well as various courses in translation, such as “Fairy Tales in the Ancient World” and “Magic in the Ancient Mediterranean.” She specializes in folklore in classical literature and has published on various folklore-related topics including ghosts and witches. She is the author of Ghost Stories from Classical Antiquity (1999) and Serial Killers in Classical Myth and History (2021). She has also edited several volumes, including The Oxford Handbook of Monsters in Classical Myth (2024).

image (caption: Theseus fighting Prokrustes, Attic kylix, c. 440-430 BC. British Museum).

Curated & Hosted by

Marguerite Johnson is a cultural historian of the ancient Mediterranean, specialising in sexuality and gender, particularly in the poetry of Sappho, Catullus, and Ovid, as well as magical traditions in Greece, Rome, and the Near East. She also researches Classical Reception Studies, with a regular focus on Australia. In addition to ancient world studies, Marguerite is interested in sexual histories in modernity as well as magic in the west more broadly, especially the practices and art of Australian witch, Rosaleen Norton. She is Honorary Professor of Classics and Ancient History at The University of Queensland, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

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24 Nov 2024 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

£6 - £10 & By Donation

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