Dr. Zara Torlone

Dr. Zara Torlone

Zara Martirosova Torlone is Professor in the Department of Classics at Miami University, USA. She has received her B.A. in Classical Philology from Moscow University and her Ph.D. in Classics from Columbia University. She is the author of Russia and the Classics: Poetry’s Foreign Muse (Duckworth, 2009), Latin Love Poetry (Bloomsbury, co-authored, 2014), and Vergil in Russia: National Identity and Classical Reception (Oxford University Press, 2015). She also authored articles on Roman poetry and novel, Russian reception of antiquity, Roman games, and textual criticism. Her most recent publications are a co-edited volume on Classical Reception in Eastern and Central Europe to which she also contributed (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017) and an edited volume Vergil’s Translators (co-edited)


  • Ph.D., Classics, Columbia University, 1999
  • American Academy in Rome, Summer, 1997
  • M.Phil., Classics, Columbia University, 1997
  • M.A., Classics, Columbia University, 1994
  • B.A., Classical Philology, magna cum laude, Moscow University, 1990

Ph.D. Dissertation

"Eclogue and Elegy: The Intergeneric and Intertextual Dialogue between Vergil's Eclogues and Roman Love Elegy" (advisor: James E.G. Zetzel).

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Reception of Antiquity in Russian Literature
  • Translation Theory
  • Latin Poetry: Vergil and Roman Elegy
  • Textual Criticism
  • Latin Prose under Nero
  • Ancient and Modern Literary Theory

Courses Taught at Miami 

  • Advanced Latin: Roman Love Elegy
  • Arts and Empire in Classical World and Russia
  • Classical Mythology (honors course)
  • Classical Mythology (thematic sequence course)
  • Classical Tradition in Russian Poetry
  • Elementary Greek
  • Elementary Latin 
  • First Year Seminar. Nostalgia: Past, Present, Future
  • Greek and Roman Lyric Poetry
  • Greek Civilization in its Mediterranean Context
  • Greek Paleography and Textual Criticism (Independent Study)
  • Havighurst Center Colloquia (taught two times): National Identity and its Discontents; Russia Abroad: Homesick and Sick of Home.
  • Helen of Troy in Literature from Homer to Goethe (undergraduate seminar)
  • Homer's Odyssey
  • Intermediate Greek: Lysias and Plato
  • Intermediate Latin: Vergil's Aeneid, Eclogues
  • Introduction to Russian and Eastern European Studies
  • Literature Humanities: Columbia University Core Curriculum
  • Oedipus Rex (Independent Study)
  • Ovid's Amores, Ars Amatoria
  • Roman Civilization              
  • Roman Elegy (in translation)
  • Roman Novel: Petronius and Apuleius

Grants and Awards 

  • 2013 - Summer - Howe Writing Center grant for developing writing in the First Year Seminar, Miami University ($2,000)
  • 2013 - Summer - Faculty Research Appointment, Miami University ($6,000)
  • 2012-2013 - Loeb Classical Library Foundation Research Grant, Harvard University ($35,000)
  • Spring 2008 - Loeb Classical Library Foundation Research Grant, Harvard University ($25,000)
  • 2008 - Summer - Faculty Research Appointment, Miami University ($6,000)
  • Spring 2009 - Faculty Research Appointment, Miami University
  • 2001-2004 Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, Miami University ($12,000 per annum)
  • 1997 - New York Classical Club Scholarship for Study in Rome ($4,000)
  • 1994-1996 - Presidential Fellowship, Columbia University ($10,000)
  • 1992 -1993 - Classics Scholarship, Columbia University ($10,000)

Works in Progress


  1. Travestied Aeneids (co-authored with Susanna Braund)
  2. Russian Mythological Tragedy and the Emergence of Lyric Voice, Oxford University Press (letter of interest received).
  3. Russia’s Italy (co-authored with Stephen Norris)

Articles (all of the articles are accepted and under contract)

  1. “Muted Voices: Marina Tsvetaeva’s Classical Heroines” In Brill’s Companion to Classical Reception and Modern World Poetry (ed. Polina Tambakaki) 2019.
  2. “Russian Translations of Homer and Vergil,” in Blackwell Companion to Translation of Greek and Roman Epic (ed. Richard Armstrong) 2019.
  3. “Boris Akunin’s Little Theory”, contributed to the volume on Boris Akunin, to be published in the volume edited by Steven Norris for Northern Illinois University Press.

Selected Publications


  1. Vergil in Russia: National Identity and Classical Reception. Oxford University Press, 2015.
    Review by: John Watkins, Mediterranean Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2 (2017), pp. 268-272
  2. Roman Love Poetry (co-authored with Denise McCoskey). IB Tauris and Oxford University Press (2013). A review can be found in Classical Review
  3. Soul and Passion: Marina Tsvetaeva’s Classical Plays. Introduction, Translation and Commentary (co-authored with Maria S. Fox, published for educational purposes). Create Space (2011).
  4. Russia and the Classics: Poetry’s Foreign Muse. Bloomsbury (Duckworth). London, UK (2009).

Chapters in Volumes

  1. Writing Arenas: Roman Writers and Their Games” (in the peer-reviewed Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity). Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell (2013): 412-421.
  2. “Joseph Brodsky’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’: Gender, Genre, and Reception” (in the peer-reviewed volume Emotion, Gender, and Literary Genre in Antiquity). Bloomsbury, London (2011): 241-260.
  3. “The Tale of Two Cities: Ancient Rome and St. Petersburg of Osip Mandelshtam” (in the peer-reviewed volume Preserving Petersburg: History, Tradition, Memory, and Loss). Bloomington: Indiana University Press (2008): 88-114.
  4. In Blackwell-Wiley Handbook on Classical Reception of Antiquity in Eastern and Central Europe.
    1. “Classical Reception in Eastern and Central Europe: An Introduction”
    2. “Vergil in Russia: The Milestones of Identity”
  5. “Epic Failures: Vasilii Zhukovskii’s Translation of Aeneid 2 and Russian Translations of the Aeneid,” in Virgil and his Translators (Oxford University Press, 2018).
  6. “Introduction: The Translation History of Virgil. The Elevator Version,” (co-authored with Susanna Braund) in Virgil and his Translators (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Edited Volumes

  1. Virgil and his Translators (co-editor with Susanna Braund), (Oxford University Press, September 2018).
  2. Blackwell-Wiley Handbook on Classical Reception in Eastern and Central Europe (2017).
  3. Invited guest editor: Classical Reception in Eastern Europe. Classical Receptions Journal: Special Issue. Oxford Journals, 5. no. 3 (2013).
  4. Insiders and Outsiders in Russian Cinema (collection of essays, co-edited with Stephen Norris). Bloomington: Indiana University Press (2008).

Encyclopedia Entries

The Virgil Encyclopedia, entries on Viacheslav Ivanov, Vasilii Petrov, Vladimir Solov’ev, Joseph Brodsky. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (2013).


  1. “Happy Vergil Goes North: The Aeneid in Russian Letters,” Classical World, 111.1: 27-45. Podcast https://www.press.jhu.edu/news/blog/two-sides-virgil
  2. “Introduction to a Special Issue. ‘The Missing Link’: Classical Reception in the ‘Younger’ Europe,’” Classical Receptions Journal, vol. 5. no. 3 (2013): 257-267.
  3. “Russian Tityrus: Joseph Brodsky in Arcadia,” Classical Receptions Journal, vol. 5. no. 3 (2013): 285-298.
  4. “Vasilii Petrov and the First Russian Translation of the Aeneid,” Classical Receptions Journal, vol. 3 no. 2 (2011): 227- 247. 
  5. “Viacheslav Ivanov’s Vergils Historiosophie: Translation, Background, and Commentary” (co-authored with John M. Jeep). Toronto Slavic Quarterly 27 (2009). Academic Electronic Journal of the University of Toronto. http://www.utoronto.ca/tsq/27/jeep-torlone27.shtml.
  6. “The Joy of Exile: Ovid and Russian Poets,” Genre: A Thematic Journal for Comparative Literature and Classics. Long Beach, CA: California State University (January, 2009): 1-26.
  7. “The Olympic Victor List in Eusebius’ Chronika: Background, Text, and Translation,” (coauthored with Paul Christesen of Dartmouth College). Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval Thought, History, and Religion 61 (January 2007): 33-91.
  8. “Classical Myth in Three Poems of Joseph Brodsky,” Classical and Modern Literature, vol. 23. no.1 (2003): 95-114.
  9. “Classical Philology in Russia: Past, Present, and Future,” Classical Bulletin, 78.2. (2003): 195-206.
  10. "Ex omnibus in unum, nec hoc nec illud: Epic Frame and Generic Juxtaposition in Petronius' Satyricon," (coauthored with Paul Christesen). Materiali e Discussioni 49 (2003): 135-172.
  11. "From Daphnis to Gallus: the Metamorphosis of a Pastoral Hero in the Eclogues," New England Classical Journal, 29.4 (2002): 204-221.


  1. Harrison, Stephen. Victorian Horace. Classics and Class. Bloomsbury, 2018 (Classical World, 111.2): 277-278.
  2. Kunichika, Michael. “Our Native Antiquity”: Archaeology and Aesthetics in the Culture of Russian Modernism. Studies in Russian and Slavic Literatures, Cultures, and History. Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2015.
  3. Bloomer, W. Martin. The School of Rome: Latin Studies and the Origins of Liberal Education (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2012.03.19.).
  4. A Companion to Classical Receptions. Eds. Lorna Hardwick and Christopher Stray. Blackwell Publishing, 2008. (The Classical Outlook 86.1: 42-43).
  5. Maria Carducci Bolchazy (ed.) Classical Considerations: Useful Wisdom from Greece and Rome (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, August 10, 2006).
  6. Jacob E. Nyenhius, Myth and the Creative Process. Michael Ayrton and the Myth of Daedalus, the Maze Maker (Classical Outlook, 83.3. 122-123, 2006).
  7. Charles Martindale, Latin Poetry and the Judgment of Taste. An essay on Aesthetics (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 09-10-2005).
  8. M. Gumpert, Grafting Helen. The Abduction of the Classical Past (The Classical Outlook, vol. 80, No. 3, 2003: 123-124).
  9. R.E. Meagher, The Meaning of Helen: In Search of an Ancient Icon (The Classical Outlook, vol. 80, 2003, No. 2: 92-93).
  10. L. Hardwick and S. Harrison, Classics in the Modern World. A ‘Democratic Turn? (Classical Journal)

Other Scholarly Works

Translation from Russian

  1. An essay on the Russian classicist Olga Freidenberg. The essay was written by a Russian scholar and translated into English and edited by me for a volume Unsealing the Fountain: Pioneering Female Philologists from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century (ed. by Edith Hall, Classical Presences, Oxford University Press, 2016).
  2. “Joy of Exile: Ovid and Russian Poets,” was translated into Chinese and published in the prominent editorial at the University of Shanghai.


  1. Soul and Passion: Marina Tsvetaeva’s Classical Plays.” ASEEES, Boston, November 2018.
  2. “Catherine the Great’s Greek Project and Vasilii Petrov’s Aeneid,” Association for Eastern European and Eurasian Studies. Washington, DC, November 2016.
  3.  “The Greek Revival under Catherine the Great and the First Russian translation of the Aeneid,” Mediterranean Studies Association Congress, Athens, Greece, May 2015. I organized a panel on the Greek Revival under Catherine the Great.
  4. “Joy of Exile: Ovid in Russian Poetry,” Young Researchers Conference sponsored by the Havighurst Center, Cuma, Italy, June 2015. I was also the organizer of the conference.
  5. “Lost in Translation: Russian Translation of the Aeneid,” Symposium Cumanum 2015.
  6.  “Russian Tityrus: Joseph Brodsky in Arcadia,” American Philological Association (APA), 2013.
  7. “Russian Translations of the Aeneid,” by invitation of UBC, workshop Vergil’s Translators, September, 2012, Vancouver, Canada.
  8. “Odysseus Ancient and Modern: Juxtaposition as a Pedagogical Tool,” APA, 2011.
  9. “Russian Meliboeus: Joseph Brodsky in Arcadia,” Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), 2010.
  10. “Russian Reception of Vergil’s Aeneid: Civic Identity and the Classics,”  June 2009 Symposium Cumanum, Cumae, Italy.
  11. “Vergil goes North: Aeneas’ Journey in Russian Poetry,” APA, January 2009.
  12. “Voicing Passions: Phaedra of Euripides and Marina Tsvetaeva,” ASEEES, November 2008. Washington, DC.
  13. “The Joy of Nostalgia: Reception of Ovid in Russian Poetry,” APA, January 2008.
  14. “Living through the Soviet Empire,” Havighurst Center Colloquia, April 2007.
  15. “Ovid and Osip Mandelshtam,” Classical Association of the Midwest and South. (CAMWS), April 2007.
  16. “Et in Arcadia Gallus: Eclogues and Elegy,” APA, January 2007.
  17. “The Tale of Two Cities: Ancient Rome and St. Petersburg of Osip Mandelshtam: Rewriting Ovid’s Exile,” ASEEES, November 2006.
  18. Carmina Digna and the Art of Allusion: Theocritus, Vergil’s Ninth Eclogue and New Gallus,” CAMWS, 2006.
  19.  “Elegiac Discourse in the Eclogues: The Meaning of Libertas in the First Eclogue,” APA, 2005.
  20. Frater Adempte Mihi: Catullus 68 and 101,” American Classical League Institute, 2004.
  21. “Reception of Antiquity: a View from Russia,” Miami University Lyceum Lecture Series, 2003.
  22. “The Tale of Two Cities: Ancient Rome and St. Petersburg of Osip Mandelshtam,” Havighurst Center Colloquia, 2003.
  23. "Can the aurea mediocritas be Found? Teaching Classics in Russia and America," Ohio Classical Conference (OCC), 2003.
  24. "Joseph Brodsky's Classical Antiquity," Havighurst Colloquia, 2002.
  25. “The Spectacle of Genre in Petronius’ Cena Trimalchionis,” CAMWS, 2002.
  26. "The Fragment of Gallus from Qasr Ibrîm and the Extent of its Influence on Roman Love Poetry," CAMWS 2001.c

Invited Lectures

  1. “Joy of Exile: Ovid and Russian Poets,” UBC, Vancouver, November 2017.
  2. “Catherine the Great as Dido Queen of Carthage and the First Russian Translation of the Aeneid,” by the invitation of the Classics Department and Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Virginia, October 2016.
  3. “Writing Catherine as Dido,” National Kapodistrian University of Athens, May 2015, by invitation of the Department of Classics.
  4. “Vergil In Russia: National Identity and Classical Reception,’ Ohio State University, by invitation of the Department of Classics, November 2013.

Additional Information

Academic Positions  

  • 2013-2014:  Havighurst Center Core Faculty
  • 2015 - present: Professor of Classics
  • 2009-2015: Associate Professor of Classics
  • 2005-2009: Assistant Professor of Classics
  • 2001-2005: Miami University, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
  • 2001-2005: Havighurst Center Post-Doctoral Fellow/Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
  • 2000-2001: Miami University, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
  • 1998-2000; Bard College, Visiting Assistant Professor

Teaching Experience

  • 2000 – present, Miami University 
  • 1998 - 2000 Bard College, New York
  • 1992 - 1998 Columbia University
  • 1990 -1991 Yerevan State University, Armenia

Manuscript and Book Reviewer

Classical Receptions Journal, Yale University Press, Classical World.

Service to the Profession

Offices held in professional societies

Vice-President for the state of Ohio for 2010-present. CAMWS (The Classical Association of the Middle West and South).
Conferences and Conference Panels Organized
  • “Russian Pastoral,” panel organized for Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, Los Angeles, California 2010.
  • Young Researchers Conference 2014, Havighurst Center: Villa Vergiliana.
  • “Symposium Cumanum 2015: Vergil’s Translators,” conference organized at the Villa Vergiliana through the Vergilian Society, Italy. The conference featured 21 scholars from all over the world who presented their papers both in oral and written form.  A major publication with Oxford University Press resulted from this conference.
  • Mediterranean Studies Association Congress: panel organizer: “Greek Revival under Catherine the Great of Russia.”  
  • Young Researchers Conference 2016, Havighurst Center: Villa Vergiliana.
  • “Russian Mythological Tragedy: Performance and Ideology,” panel organized for Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, Boston, MA.

Service as manuscript reviewer

  • Referee, articles, Classical Outlook, Spring 2005.
  • Referee, articles, American Journal of Philology
  • Referee, text-book, Yale University Press, 2008.
  • Referee, Classical Receptions Journal, Oxford Journals, 2013-present
  • Referee, Classical World, 2016.

Service to Miami University

Chief Departmental Adviser 2013-present

Department of Classics Latin Committee, 2007-8: reviewed Latin curriculum for the departmental language major.

Faculty advisor for the Annual Undergraduate Conference for the Department of Classics, 2001-2010. The conference has been a great success and for several years we have secured inside and outside funding for the keynote speakers invited from Dartmouth College (2006), Ohio State University (2007), Purdue University (2008), and Cornell University (2009) The conference attracts students beyond Miami University. In the past years we have had students from Harvard University, Dartmouth College, the University of Michigan, Earlham College, Xavier University, Indiana University at Bloomington, Wooster College, and Kenyon College. 
Havighurst Advisory Committee, 2013. The committee oversees the distribution of different funds to support various programs throughout the University and enhance the promotion of Russian studies and interest in Russia.  
Havighurst Library Committee, 2013-present. The goal of the committee is to enrich and develop Miami University’s Russian/Slavic holdings.
Steering Committee for e-learning, fall 2013. The goal of the committee was to develop a document outlining main guidelines for developing on-line courses for Miami University. The document has been submitted to the Dean of the College.
Humanities Works Committee. This committee was designed as an initiative of Humanities Center and Career Services at Miami to provide comprehensive guide to students considering a major in Humanities but unsure about what career they can pursue after the graduation. The primary goal of the committee is to design an on-line portal and a brochure that can introduce students to different career opportunities relevant to the major in the Humanities that they might choose.  
2017-2019 Facilitator of the Faculty Learning Community for International Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students.

2017-2018 Provost Fellow in charge of the project on accelerated delivery courses. The final report submitted to the Provost’s Office.