Amy Richlin

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Amy Richlin
Amy Ellen Richlin

(1951-12-12) December 12, 1951 (age 67)
Years active1977–present
Known forClassics writer and professor

Amy Ellen Richlin (born December 12, 1951) is a professor in the Department of Classics at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Her specialist areas include Latin literature, the history of sexuality, and feminist theory.[1]

Academic career[edit]

Richlin studied at Smith College, then transferred to Princeton University in 1970,[2] graduating in 1973, and then studied for her PhD at Yale University writing her dissertation on "Sexual Terms and Themes in Roman Satire and Related Genres".[3] Since 1977, she has taught at Rutgers University (1977–1979), Dartmouth College (1979–1982), Lehigh University (1982–1989), and the University of Southern California (1989–2005), before moving to the University of California at Los Angeles.[4]

Published works[edit]

Her first book was The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor (1983; rev 1992).[5] She developed the theme in collected works including Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome (1992), and Feminist Theory and the Classics (co-edited with Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, 1993).[1][6] She has publicly cited Australian classical scholar Suzanne Dixon as a great influence in shaping her work on gender politics.[7] Richlin was the first to publish the word 'fuck' in the journal Classical Philology.[8] [9]


In Rome and the Mysterious Orient, Richlin translated three works – Curculio, Persa and Poenulus – by the Roman playwright Plautus (notably using "references taken right out of American pop culture" to make Plautus more understandable to modern audiences).[10][11] For example, the conventionally translated text:

The lover that first set out on the highways of love with an empty purse went in for harder labours than Hercules

was translated by Richlin as:

The dude who first set out to go on the road of love without no dough, / this guy had to go through way more shit than all them Labors of Hercules."[11]

Her translation of Plautus' Rudens was adapted in a play Tug of War performed at the Getty Villa in 2007.[6][12]

Richlin also engaged on a long-term project on the amatory letters of the young Marcus Aurelius and his teacher, Cornelius Fronto,[1] with Marcus Aurelius in Love published in 2007.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Amy Richlin". Department of Classics, UCLA. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  2. ^ Wyles, Rosie; Hall, Edith (2016). Women Classical Scholars: Unsealing the Fountain from the Renaissance to Jacqueline de Romilly. Oxford University Press. p. 274. ISBN 9780198725206.
  3. ^ Richlin, Amy (2014). Arguments with Silence: Writing the History of Roman Women. University of Michigan Press. p. 17. ISBN 0472035924.
  4. ^ "Amy Richlin CV" (PDF). UCLA. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  5. ^ Richlin, Amy (1992). The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198023333.
  6. ^ a b c "The 2008 Spring Public Lecture Series". Institute for Antiquity and Christianity. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  7. ^ Richlin, Amy (2013). Arguments with Silence. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p. 82.
  8. ^ Richlin, Amy (January 1981). "The Meaning of Irrumare in Catullus and Martial". Classical Philology. 76: 40–46 – via Jstor.
  9. ^ Calder III and Hallett, William M., and Judith P., (1996). "Introduction: Six North American Women Classicists". The Classical World: 83–96.
  10. ^ "UCLA classics professor spikes her version of the Roman Plautus with shots of American culture (1 June 2006)". History News Network. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b Rome and the Mysterious Orient: Three Plays by Plautus, translated with introductions and notes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005. Pp. xiv, 288. ISBN 0-520-24274-2. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2006.05.35 by Vincent Hunink).
  12. ^ Verini, Bob (7 September 2007). "Review: 'Tug of War'". Variety. Retrieved 23 January 2017.