Caleb Simone

Graduate Student profile


  • Greek literature, especially poetry

  • Greek art, archaeology, and epigraphy

  • Aesthetics and embodiment; cultural history of the body and the senses

  • Early modern reception of Greek thought and culture

With research interests in ancient Greek literature and art, I focus on media, performance culture, and the senses in antiquity. My dissertation explores the relationship between sound and the body in the ancient world through a study of the double-pipes or aulos, a wind instrument closely connected with group movement. Reading Greek texts alongside figural imagery, I chart the shifting cultural discourse that unfolds around aulos performance practices from archaic festivals through the canonical tragedians and philosophical critiques into early Christian thought.

 In an outreach extension of this dissertation, I am directing the Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama group’s spring 2019 production. I won support from the Gladys Krieble Delmas and Onassis Foundations to introduce professional partners to stage the first modern production of a Greek drama to feature a full score on reconstructed models of the aulos. Alongside these projects, I am co-organizing with Verity Platt and Nancy Worman a roundtable discussion on ancient Greek aesthetics with a focus on the sensory aspects of art and performance and the cultural practices that inform them.

 A forthcoming essay considers generic connections between tragedy, lyric, and comedy, offering a reading of Euripides’ fragmentary Hypsipyle in light Aristophanes’ parody of the play’s singing heroine as “Euripides’ Muse.” I show how Hypsipyle’s monody appropriates a Sapphic persona that musically embodies the cultic connections Euripides forges in the play.

 Finally, alongside my work at Columbia I have piloted and continue to develop a public aftercare program with the Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study to expand access to ancient Greek language and culture through embodied activities in the classroom. Beyond my academic work, I enjoy exploring the city and wider state of New York with my wife Ashley and two sons.