James McNamara
Lecturer in Classics


BA in Latin, Greek and German and MA in Classics: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

PhD: Trinity College, Cambridge (2014)

Since then I have held postdoctoral positions at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and Victoria University of Wellington, before taking up a year-long lectureship at Trinity, Oxford for 2018-19.

I also have experience of university in Germany: DAAD Semesterstipendium in Germanistik at Humboldt University, Berlin; two months of research towards my MA, primarily in Berlin and the west of Germany, as well as several years organising the exchange in Classics and Archaeology between Cambridge and LMU-Munich.


I have taught Latin language and literature extensively in Cambridge and Wellington.

In Cambridge I was Director of Studies in Classics at Corpus Christi and Sidney Sussex Colleges.


My interests are primarily in Roman historiography, rhetoric and ethnography, especially the works of Tacitus.

Commissioned and forthcoming:

Ten articles for the Tacitus Encyclopedia edited by Victoria Pagán, including Germania, Batavia and the conspirator Calpurnius Piso.

‘The monstrosity of Cato in Lucan’s Civil War’ for F. Spiegel & G. Chesi (edd.), Undoing the Human: Classics and the Posthuman (Bloomsbury)

‘Lost in Germania: the absence of history in Tacitus’ ethnography’ for T. Geue & E. Giusti (edd.), Unspoken Rome: Absence in Latin Texts

I am also interested in the history of classical education, and in this area I have published:

Lehrbuchgermanen: the representation of the Germani in Latin textbooks in Germany from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century’, Pegasus 15.1 (2015) 83-155.

I was the convener of an international conference on Tacitus at Victoria University of Wellington, 27-29 August 2018, titled “Tacitus’ Wonders”, with Prof. Victoria Pagán of the University of Florida as keynote speaker:


A volume of proceedings is planned.

In 2017 I contributed a translation of a portion of William Camden’s Annales to the ‘Camden’s Annals Project’, which opened up to me a new research interest in the reception of Classical historians in early modern historiography.