Dr. Deborah Lyons

Dr. Deborah Lyons


  • Greek Poetry (epic, lyric, drama)
  • Greek Religion
  • Mythology
  • Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Anthropology and Classics
  • Ancient and Modern Literary Theory


  • Princeton University. Ph.D.. 1989
  • Princeton University. M.A. 1983
  • University of Heidelberg, Seminar für Altphilologie. 1984-1985
  • American School of Classical Studies, Athens. Summer 1983
  • Wesleyan University -- B.A. magna cum laude. June 1976
  • Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies, Rome. Spring 1975


  • Associate Professor, Miami University, 2010-
  • Assistant Professor, 2004-2010
  • Senior Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University, 2000-2004
  • Visiting Associate Professor, 1999-2000
  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of Michigan, 1998-1999
  • Associate Professor, University of Rochester, 1996--1998
  • Assistant Professor, 1989--1996; Instructor, 1988
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Princeton University, 1987-88
  • Lecturer, Princeton University 1986-87
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Princeton University, 1984-86


  • Greek - Elementary and Intermediate; Aeschylus; Euripides; Herodotus; Homer; Homeric Hymns; Orators; Graduate courses: Sophocles, Greek Lyric Poetry, Classics Proseminar, Early Greek Laws and Lawgivers
  • Latin  - Elementary and Intermediate; Catullus; Cicero; Horace; Ovid; Vergil’s Eclogues; Vergil’s Aeneid; Roman Elegy; Roman Prose Fiction
  • Courses in Translation - Ancient Religions; Ancient Sexualities; Classical Mythology; Greek Tragedy; Family, Gender, and Sexuality in Classical Greece; Women in Antiquity; The Age of Pericles; Gender and the Gift: Ancient Texts and Modern Ethnography; From Text to Hypertext: The Medieval Book and Beyond; Myth and Ritual in Ancient Greece and Mesopotamia (co-taught)



  • Ex Oriente Lex: Near Eastern Influences on Greek and Roman Law, essays by Raymond Westbrook, co-edited with Kurt Raaflaub. Johns Hopkins University Press (forthcoming, January 2015).
  • Dangerous Gifts: Gender and Exchange in Ancient Greece. University of Texas Press, 2012.
  • Women and Property in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Societies, co-edited with Raymond Westbrook, Center for Hellenic Studies, 2005.
  • Gender and Immortality: Heroines in Ancient Greek Myth and Cult. Princeton University Press, 1997.

Work in Progress

  • Immortality and its Discontents (a study of the limits of immortality in ancient Greek thought)
  •  “What the Women Know: Plutarch and Pausanias on Women’s Ritual Competence,” commissioned for the volume, Women’s Ritual Competence in the Ancient Mediterranean. eds. Dillon, Eidenow, and Maurizio.  Ashgate.
  •  “Female Goods in the Domestic and Symbolic Economy,” forthcoming in publication of the conference “The Material Sides of Marriage,” Finnish Institute, Rome.


  • “Arion the Methymnian and Dionysos Methymnaios: Myth and Cult in Herodotus’ Histories.” in Approaching the Ancient Artifact: Decoration, Function, and Meaning, ed. Avramidou and Demetriou. De Gruyter , 2014.
  •  “Westbrook among the Classicists.” Maarav, A Journal for the Study of the Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures 18.1-2 (2011) 151-156. (Appeared November 2013.)
  •  “Pandora and the Αmbiguous Works of Women: All-Taking or All-Giving?” in Women and the Gift: Beyond the Given and the All Giving. ed. Morny Joy. Bloomington: Indiana Unversity Press, 2013.
  •  Homer Dictionary, ed. Margalit Finkelberg. Oxford: Blackwell, 2010. Articles on “Women” and “Marrriage,” shorter entries on a range of mythic figures.
  •  “Heroines, Heroes, and Apotheosis: Where the Bodies are Buried.” in Übermensch - Vorbild - Kultfigur in der griechischen Antike, ed. Marion Meyer and Ralf von den Hoff. Vienna: Rombach, 2010: 71-84.
  •  ”The Scandal of Women’s Ritual,” in Finding Persephone: Women’s Rituals in the Ancient Mediterranean, ed. A. Tzanetou and M. Parca. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007: 29-51.
  •  ”Dangerous Gifts: Ideologies of Marriage and Exchange in Ancient Greece,” Classical Antiquity  22.1 (2003) 93-134.
  •  “Manto and Manteia: Prophecy in the Myths and Cults of Heroines,” in Sibille e linguaggi oracolari, Ileana Chirassi Colombo and Tullio Seppilli, eds. Pisa, 1998: 227-237.
  •  “The Politics of Poetics: Northrop Frye’s Rewriting of Aristotle,” Helios 24.2 (1997) 136-50.


  •  A City of Images: iconography and society in ancient Greece, J.-P. Vernant, C. Bérard, et al.  Princeton University Press, 1989.
  •  “Between Shame and Glory: The Identity of the Young Spartan Warrior” in Mortals and Immortals: Collected Essays of J.-P. Vernant, Princeton University Press, 1991.
  •  “The Sexual Life of Satyrs” by F. Lissarrague and “One, Two, Three...Eros” by J.-P. Vernant in Before Sexuality, Princeton University Press, 1990.


  •  On Greek Religion, Robert Parker. Classical Review (2013) 488 – 490.
  •  Comparer en histoire des religions antiques, Bruce Lincoln and Claude Calame, eds. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2013 11.15.
  •  Le complexe de Zeus : Représentations de la paternité en Grèce, Jean-Baptiste Bonnard.  Classical Review 56 (2007) 150-151.
  • Exchange and the Maiden: Marriage in Sophoclean Tragedy. Kirk Ormand. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2000 02.25.
  •  Law, Violence and Community in Classical Athens. David Cohen, and Greeks Bearing Gifts: the public use of private relationships in the Greek world, 435-323 B.C. Lynette G. Mitchell American Ethnologist 25.3 (1998) 539-540.
  •  Mythes grecs au figuré. ed. Georgoudi and Vernant. American Journal of Archaeology (spring 1998).
  •  Athenian Religion. Robert Parker. New England Classical Journal 24 (1997).
  •  Worshipping Athena. Jenifer Neils. New England Classical Journal 24 (1997).
  •  Dangerous Voices: Women’s Laments and Greek Literature. Gail Holst-Warhaft. International Journal of the Classical Tradition. 3.4 (1997-8).
  •  Reciprocity and Ritual: Homer and Tragedy in the Developing City-State. Richard Seaford. New England Classical Journal 23 (1995-6).
  •  The Homeric Hymn to Demeter. ed. Helene Foley. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 64 (1996).
  •  Religion in the Ancient Greek City. L. Bruit Zaidman and P. Schmitt Pantel. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 64 (1996).
  •  Hekate Soteira: a study of Hekate’s roles in the Chaldean Oracles and related literature. Sarah Iles Johnston. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 61 (1993). 

Miscellaneous Publications

  • Annotations to biographies of Corinna and Sappho for Mary Hays’ Female Biography, ed. Gina Luria Walker (London: Chawton House Library, Pickering and Chatto,  2013)
  •  Articles on Greek Religion for reference works published by the Brown Company, London, 2003.
  •  Contributions to HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, San Francisco, 1995. (Short entries on Greek religion)


  • “Once More into the Cauldron: Greek Goddesses and the Failure of Immortality.” Classical Association of the United Kingdom, Nottingham, April 2014.
  •  “How (Not) to Become Immortal in Early Greek Poetry,” Harvard University Department of Classics, April 2014.
  • “Female Goods in the Ancient Greek Domestic and Symbolic Economy.”  Conference:  “The MaterialSides of Marriage: Female goods and women’s economic role in the domestic sphere in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Times,” Finnish Institute, Rome, November 2013.
  • “Arion the Methymnian and Dionysos Methymnaios: Myth and Cult in Herodotus’ Histories.” Mediterranean Studies Conference, Pula, Croatia, May-June 2012.
  • “Helen of Troy: from Object to Subject and Back Again,” presented at conference on “Reception and the Gift of Beauty in the Western Tradition.”  Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition, University of Bristol, 8-9 July 2010. Also presented at the Ohio Classical Conference, October 2010.
  • “Westbrook among the Classicists” presented at Society for Biblical Literature, New Orleans, November 2009.
  • “Seeing Greece through Rome and Vice Versa: Plutarch, Pausanias and the Imagined Greek Past,” preesented at  the Symposium Cumanum, Villa Vergiliana, Cuma, Italy. June 2008
  • Artisanal vs. Domestic Production and the Gendered Division of Labor in Early Greek Poetry presented at Feminism and Classics V, Ann Arbor, May 2008.
  • “Arion and Dionysos Methymnaios:  A Reading of Herodotus 1.23-4.” American Philological Association annual meeting, San Diego, January 2008.
  • “The Heroine as Ancient Greek Religious Concept: Transgression, Transformation, Apotheosis” presented at the conference Helden wie sie. Übermensch - Vorbild - Kultfigur in der griechischen Antike, Vienna, February 2007.
  • Introduction to Panel on Age Discrimination and the Classics Job Market, APA annual meeting, Montreal, January 2006.
  • “The Scandal of Women’s Ritual,” keynote address at conference on “Women’s Rituals in Context,” October 2002, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.
  • ”Knowing Women’s Ritual: An Antiquarian’s Dilemma,” Ancient Studies Colloquium, Johns Hopkins University, October 2000.
  • “Some Greek and Roman Answers: Looking at Plutarch Looking at Greek Religion,” APA annual meeting, Dallas, December 1999.
  • “Dangerous Gifts: Ideologies of Marriage and Exchange in Ancient Greece,”  University of Chicago and University of Michigan, February 1999.
  • “A Family Romance: Sisters and Brothers in Greek Myth and Tragedy,” Duke University, February 1998.
  • "The Trojan War, the Crisis of Reciprocity, and the Traffic in Women,” University of Iowa, February 1998.
  • “Dangerous Gifts: Marriage, Agency, and Exchange in Greek Myth,” University of North Carolina, Greensboro and Chapel Hill, November 1997; UCLA, May 1998.
  • “Feminist Anthropology and Feminist Work in Classics,” workshop at conference on “Feminism and Classics: Framing the Research Agenda” at Princeton University, November 1996.
  • “Antigone’s Choice: Sibling Alliances in Greek Myth and Tragedy,” University of Buffalo, April, 1996.
  • “The Politics of Poetics: Northrop Frye’s Rewriting of Aristotle,” American Philological Association annual meeting, December 1993 and the International Society for the Classical Tradition, second international meeting, March 1995.
  • “Manto e le altre: le eroine mantiche,” conference on “Sibille e linguaggi oracolari,” University of Macerata, September 1994.                                     
  • Gunaion heineka doron: the Dangers of ‘Womanly Gifts’ in Homer and Hesiod,” American Philological Association annual meeting, December 1992.
  • “Towards an Economics of Gender in Archaic Greece,” Social Anthropology Seminar, Harvard University, November, 1992.
  • “When the Gift Gives itself Away: the Economics of Gender in Archaic Greece,” Amherst College, Wesleyan University, the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies (Harvard University), University of Buffalo, Union College, and Rice University.
  • “The Naming of Heroines: Kleos and Gender in Greek Myth,” American Philological Association annual meeting, December 1990.
  • “Women and the Transfer of Kingship in Homeric Epic,” conference on “Women and Sovereignty,” St Andrews University, August 1990.
  • “From Heroine to Goddess: Apotheosis and Gender in Greek Myth,” Classical Assoc. of the Atlantic States conference, fall 1989.


Professional Activities

  • Manuscript reviewer for University of Texas Press, Cambridge University Press, University of California Press, University of Wisconsin Press, Oxford University Press
  • Referee for American Journal of Philology, Classical Review, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Journal of the History of Ideas, TAPA, Classical Journal, Classical Philology, Classical World, Helios, Mosaic.
  • Women’s Classical Caucus, co-ordinator of publication awards and steering committee ex officio, 2011-
  • Organizer, panel on “Age Discrimination in the Classics Job Market,” APA annual meeting, Montreal, January 2006
  • Member, Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups, American Philological Association, 2005-2008 and chair, Task force on Age Discrimination
  • Co-organizer,  Center for Hellenic Studies Colloquium on “Women and Property in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Societies,”  Washington , DC. August 2002
  • Organizer, Ancient Studies Colloquium: “Gender and Ritual Practice,” Departments of Classics and Near Eastern Studies, Johns Hopkins University, October 2000
  • Member of board of advisors (1997-8) and co-organizer (1999) of American Philological Association three-year panel on “Celebration and Contestation: Reading Ancient Ritual.”
  • Pearson Graduate Fellowship committee, American Philological Association, 1994-9
  • Co-organizer of panel on “Immortal Mortals: Heroic Ideology in Greek Myth and Cult,” American Philological Association annual meeting, December 1990

Miami University Activities

  • Chief Departmental Advisor, 2013-
  • Member of Graduate Faculty (A Level)
  • Humanities Center committee , 2009-2010
  • Organizer of Altman Scholars in Residence Program on Greece and the Ancient Near East, 2009
  • Graduate Students’ Achievement Fund Committee, fall 2007-2010
  • Subcommittee on Faculty Research Grants, fall 2007
  • Summer Reading discussion leader, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
  • Faculty Advisor to Undergraduate Classics Conference, 2005; 2011; 2012; 2015
  • Faculty Advisor to Classics Club, 2011-


  • Member, NEH Summer Institute on Mortality, Athens, Greece, 2014
  • Miami University Faculty Improvement Leave, 2013-14
  • Women’s Classical Caucus of the American Philological Association, Best Article Award, January 2009 for “The Scandal of Women’s Ritual.”
  • Faculty Research Appointment, Miami University, summer 2005.
  • Fellowship, National Humanities Center, 1997-8
  • Fellowship, Center for Hellenic Studies, 1996-7
  • University of Rochester nomination for NEH summer stipend (program suspended), 1995
  • University of Rochester Mellon Fellowship, fall 1992
  • Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities, Harvard University, 1991-92