Simone Oppen

Graduate Student
615 Hamilton Hall


  • Greek drama
  • Greek historiography
  • Interactions between ancient Greece and the Near East

Simone received a B.A. in Classical Languages and Comparative Literature (with a minor in Dance and Performance Studies) from U.C. Berkeley in 2009 and M.A. (2012) and M.Phil. (2015) degrees in Classics from Columbia. She has presented on the portrayal of Danaë in Aeschylus’ Dictyulci and Simonides PMG 543, the reception of Plato’s Socrates in American legal education, and choral projection in Aeschylus’ Choephori and published an edition of a Homeric papyrus (P.Oxy. III.585). Directing (Hippolytus), co-directing (Choephori), and performing (Ion) Euripides and Aeschylus in the original language brought Simone into this field and continue to fascinate her. Travel to ancient sites, thanks to the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, and excavation at Hadrian’s Villa inspire her to delve further into the archaeology of performance.

Simone is currently working to more fully understand Greek drama in its historical and material contexts. This work has led in turn to her second main research interest in Herodotus and the interactions between ancient Greece and the Near East depicted therein. As a grateful recipient of a Fulbright-Mach fellowship, she is doing dissertation research on the portrayal of hierosylia and the Near Eastern use of Greek sanctuaries during the Greco-Persian Wars in Aeschylus and Herodotus at the University of Innsbruck for the 2015-16 academic year.