David Wray

Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and the College, Director of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities
David Wray
(773) 702-8563

Ph.D., Harvard University, 1996

Special Interests

Greek, Roman, early modern French, and 20th-century American poetry and poetics; gender; theory and practice of literary translation; ancient and modern relations between literature and philosophy.

David Wray is the author of Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood (Cambridge 2001) and is currently writing Phaedra's Virtue: Ethics, Gender, and Seneca's Tragedy. His research and teaching interests include Hellenistic and Roman poetry (especially Apollonius Rhodius, Catullus, Lucretius, Virgil, Tibullus, Ovid, Seneca, Lucan, and Statius); Greek epic and tragedy; Roman philosophy; ancient and modern relations between literature and philosophy; gender; theory and practice of literary translation; and the reception of Greco-Roman thought and literature, from Shakespeare and Corneille to Pound and Zukofsky. He is a member of the University's Poetry and Poetics program.

Honors and Awards

  • 2005-2006, Mark Ashin Fellowship (for innovative and effective teaching in the College of the University of Chicago)
  • 2001-2002, Franke Institute for the Humanities fellow, University of Chicago
  • 1980, Scholarship from Emory University chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, for summer study at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens
  • 1979, Phi Beta Kappa, Emory University

Most Recent Courses Taught

  • Roman Epic
  • Tragedy and the Tragic
  • Intermediate Greek
  • Human Being and Citizen
  • Lucretius
  • Latin Poetry Survey
  • Pindar
  • Virgil
  • Roman Elegy
  • Aeneids in Translation



  • Seneca and the Self, co-edited with Shadi Bartsch (Cambridge University Press 2009).
  • Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood (Cambridge University Press 2001).

Articles and Contributions to Edited Volumes

  • "Apollonius' Masterplot: A Reading of Argonautica I," in Hellenistica Groningana IV: Apollonius Rhodius, ed. M. A. Harder et al. (Groningen 2000) 239-65.
  • "Lucretius," in Dictionary of Literary Biography: Roman Authors, ed. W. W. Briggs (Detroit 1999).
  • "Attis' Groin Weights (Catullus 63.5)," Classical Philology 96 (2001): 120-26.
  • "What Poets Do: Tibullus on 'Easy' Hands," Classical Philology (forthcoming).
  • "‘cool rare air’: Zukofsky’s Breathing with Catullus and Plautus," Chicago Review 50: 2/3/4: 52-99.
  • "Louis Zukofsky’s ‘First Half of “A”-9’" in From Poetry to Verse: The Making of Modern Poetry (Chicago 2005).
  • "Wood: Statius’ Poetics of Genius," Arethusa 40 (2007) 127-43.


  • The Odes of Horace, tr. David Ferry, in Modernism/Modernity 6 (1999): 169-171.
  • The Passions in Roman Thought and Literature, S. Braund and C. Gill, eds., in Classical Philology 94 (1999): 481-6.
  • Christopher Nappa, Aspects of Catullus' Social Fiction, in Journal of Roman Studies 92 (2002): 234.
  • Don Fowler, Lucretius on Atomic Motion, in Journal of Roman Studies 94 (2004): 238-9.
  • Roland Mayer, Seneca: Phaedra, in Classical Review 54 (2004): 101-2.
  • Paul Veyne, Seneca: The Life of a Stoic, in Classical Review 55 (2005): 141-3.
  • Sean Gurd, Iphigenias at Aulis, in Classical and Modern Literature 27.1 (2008): 211-20.

Literary Translations

  • "Theocritus, Thyrsis and the Goatherd (Idyll 1)," Near South (Spring 2001): 12-18.
  • "How to be Tibullus (Elegiae 1.1)," Chicago Review 48.4 (Winter 2002/3): 102-7.

Works in Progress

  • Phaedra's Virtue (book).
  • Four Mythological Plays by Pierre Corneille: Medea, Oedipus, Andromeda, and The Golden Fleece (translation).