Jane Lightfoot

Charlton Fellow and Tutor in Classics; Professor of Greek Literature
MA DPhil Oxf


Jane completed both undergraduate and graduate studies at Oxford, and spent six years as a Prize Fellow and then a further three as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at All Souls College.  She has been Charlton Fellow and Tutor in Classical Languages and Literature in New College since 2003.  Whether indulging classical interests or not, she loves reading, writing, and travelling, and her greatest loves of all are Schubert and Thomas Mann.


Jane teaches Homer and Virgil, the backbone of classical literature in Mods.  She is essentially a Hellenist, though, and teaches most areas of Greek literature in Greats, from Early Greek Hexameter poetry through classical Attic literature and Herodotus, to the Hellenistic poets. She lectures for the Faculty on topics in classical and Hellenistic literature.

Research Interests 

Jane is interested in most aspects of Greek literature, but her publications to date have concentrated on Hellenistic and imperial literature, both poetry and prose.  Interests in the religions, art, and archaeology of the Roman Near East, in ethnography, and in Greek textual criticism and palaeography were brought together in her book in Lucian. Her work on the Sibylline oracles concerned oracular literature and prophecy, both pagan and Judaeo-Christian, and her study of Dionysius Periegetes explores ancient geography and didactic poetry. In general she likes to find under-investigated authors and texts which can shed new light on the classical world, and tries to bridge areas too often studied separately.

Selected Publications List

  • Parthenius of Nicaea (Oxford, 1999)
  • Lucian, On the Syrian Goddess (Oxford, 2003)
  • The Sibylline Oracles (Oxford, 2007)
  • A Hellenistic Collection (Cambridge, MA, 2009).
  • Dionysius Periegetes, Description of the Known World: With Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (Oxford, 2014).