Elizabeth Heintges

Graduate Student



  • Space, geography, and landscape in Latin and Hellenistic Greek literature
  • Cultural, social, and economic history of Hellenistic and Roman Sicily
  • Late Antique poetry
  • Epigraphy and archaeology

A New York City native, Elizabeth received her B.A. in Classics from Reed College (2013), where she wrote her undergraduate thesis on genre and intertextuality in the Cyrenean ktisis narratives of Callimachus and Pindar. She joined the Ph.D. program after receiving a M.A. in Classics from Columbia (2015).

Elizabeth’s research examines constructions of space, geography, landscape, and memory in Hellenistic Greek and Roman literature (with an eye to comparanda in the historical and archaeological record). Her primary focus in this project is the island of Sicily (from the 3rd c. BCE onward), its polysemy in the ancient cultural imaginary, and its role as a locus of cultural exchange, military conflict, agricultural production, bucolic idyll, and myth. 

Elizabeth has given papers on volcanic imagery in Claudian's De raptu Proserpinae, space and epigraphic epigram in Martial, generic paradigms in Daphnis and Chloe and post-Theocritean bucolic, and the rhetoric of aging in archaic Greek lyric. She has also published articles on early Seleucid coinage and on aging and epinician poetry.

At Columbia, Elizabeth is currently a teaching fellow and instructor-of-record for the 2017-2018 Elementary Greek sequence. Previously, she has served as a Teaching Assistant for "Egypt in the Classical World," and Greek 2102 (Homer). She is the current coordinator of the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean and former co-organizer of the departmental colloquium series. Elizabeth is also a vocal supporter of and active participant in the Barnard/Columbia Ancient Drama Group's productions of Greek drama, acting in Sophocles' Trachiniae (Deianeira/Heracles), Euripides' Ion (Creusa), and Aeschylus' Choephoroi (chorus/Nurse). She also previously was part of the Columbia archaeological team excavating at Hadrian's Villa (Lazio, Italy) from 2015 to 2016.

To balance her studies, Elizabeth enjoys a healthy crossword puzzle obsession, evenings at the opera, cooking spicy foods, and binge-watching episodes of "University Challenge."