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Dr Alice König

Lecturer in Latin & Classical Studies
On research leave, Schools contact

arw6@st-andrews.ac.uk

Phone: 01334 462607

Room: S18

Research profile

Research Interests

  • Imperial Latin literature, especially Flavian, Nervan and Trajanic literature 
  • intertextuality and literary interactivity
  • the interface between literature and society, socio-literary interactions
  • intellectual history, particularly ancient technical/scientific writing
  • ancient representations of war, and the reception of ancient military writing in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 
  • the Latin exempla tradition and ancient didactic writing
  • ancient biography (especially Tacitus and Suetonius)
  • Roman imperial women (especially Agrippina the Younger).  

Current research

I am writing a monograph which will examine the surviving works of the Roman author and statesman Sextus Julius Frontinus, both for their own sake and as a window onto his world. It will offer new readings of his treatises on Roman land surveying, military tactics and Rome's aqueduct network, and in so doing aims to develop our understanding of Frontinus’ concerns and credentials as a writer, and to expose the extent of his impact upon Roman literary, social and political life. In the process, it will make significant contributions to the study of ancient ‘technical’ writing, ancient categories of knowledge, Domitianic, Nervan and Trajanic politics, and elite identity and aspirations during that period. It will engage with the writings of Martial, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Aelianus Tacticus, Plutarch, Arrian and Vegetius, among others, and will also examine the mediaeval and renaissance reception of Frontinus (via scholars like John of Salisbury, Christine de Pisan, Jean Gerson and Machiavelli). I have been supported in this project by a two-year Leverhulme Research Fellowship (Sept 2012-August 2014).

In 2012, I was awarded funding by the BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants Scheme to run a collaborative research project entitled 'Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian'. This project has brought together many prominent researchers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic literature, and has been so successful that it is now in its fourth year, with a fourth conference coming up in Exeter in June 2016. It aims to develop our understanding not just of individual texts but also of the nature and impact of their cross-pollination (within and across genres, and between both Latin and Greek authors). It is also probing the literary culture that promoted it, and exploring the interface between Roman literary, social and political life. The project’s first volume (which I have co-edited with Christopher Whitton) is forthcoming shortly, and a second is underway (which I will co-edited with James Uden and Rebecca Langlands). Both will contribute to the wider study of literary communities across the Roman empire in the late first and early second centuries AD, and both will make significant methodological contributions to the study of intertextuality. 

With my colleague Nicolas Wiater, I am embarking on a new collaborative research project entitled Visualing War On and Off the Page, which will look at the interplay between battle narratives across antiquity and beyond. This project combines my interest in military writing with my interest in intertextuality and literary interactivity. I am engaged in some ongoing research on Vitruvius' De Architectura and its reception. I am also at the start of some research on ancient biography, and on Roman imperial women (particularly Agrippina the Younger). I am a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time programme. Listen to my latest broadcast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b074yzwk. 

For the last four years, I have been co-running a pedagogical research project with Emma Buckley, funded by St Andrews University's SELF scheme, entitled 'Latin Language Teaching and the Student Experience'. This project aims to enhance the language learning experience of all Latin students, whatever their background, by re-evaluating their respective needs. By means of questionnaires and diagnostic tests, we have been assessing the linguistic strengths and weaknesses (real and perceived) of students from different educational backgrounds at entry to the first year; and we have continued to monitor their learning and performance in their second and third years. The results of this analysis will enable us to review our teaching and assessment practices across all four years of our Latin and Classics degree programmes so that we can better support and integrate a wide variety of students. It will also aid our efforts to integrate Beginners Latin students with their ‘Advanced’ counterparts from the second year onwards. This project will have implications for the teaching of Latin (and Greek) in other Classics departments at other (particularly Scottish) Universities (where the mix of qualifications is often more pronounced than south of the border).

Research Students

  • I am currently supervising PhDs on intertextuality in Statius’ Thebaid and ancient biography.
  • I am happy to supervise in any of the areas listed above under ‘research interests’, and in many other areas in ancient literature and cultural history.
  • I am particularly keen to work with postgraduate research students on topics relating to intertextuality/literary interactivity and on topics relating to the Schools’ new Centre for the Literatures of the Roman Empire, which I direct. 

Publications

Ebb and Flow in Vitruvius Book 8
König, A. R. 2016 Vitruvius in the Round.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Conflicting Models of Authority and Expertise in Frontinus’ Strategemata
Konig, A. R. 2016 Expertise and Authority in Ancient Scientific Culture. Koenig, J. & Woolf, G. (eds.).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

From Architect to Imperator: Vitruvius and his Addressee in the De Architectura
Konig, A. R. 2009 Authorial Voices in Greco-Roman Technical Writing. Taub, L. & Doody, A. (eds.). WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Vol. 7, p. 31-52 (Antike Naturwissenschaft und ihre Rezeption AKAN-Einzelschriften)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Knowledge and power in Frontinus' On Aqueducts
Konig, A. R. 2007 Ordering Knowledge in the Roman World. König, J. & Whitmarsh, T. (eds.). Cambridge University Press, p. 177-205
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Technical Writing
Konig, A. R. 2006 The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome. Harrison, T., Bispham, E. & Sparkes, B. (eds.). Edinburgh University Press, p. 439-444
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

Frontinus' Cameo Role in Tacitus' Agricola
König, A. R. May 2013 In : The Classical Quarterly. 63, 1, p. 361-376
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Frontinus and the curae of the Curator Aquarum
Konig, A. 2006 In : Journal of Roman Studies. 96, p. 262-265 4 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

Reading Frontinus in Pliny, Epistles 5.1
König, A. R. 17 Jun 2014 Working Papers in Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature series, hosted on the Literary Interactions project website: http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/literaryinteractions/, p. 1-6 6 p.
Research output: Working paper

Martial and Frontinus, under Nerva and Trajan
König, A. R. 1 Aug 2013 Working Papers on Nervan, Trajan and Hadrianic Literature: http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/literaryinteractions/?p=658, 19 p.(Working Papers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature; no. 1.11)
Research output: Working paper

Frontinus' Authorial Voice under Domitian, Nerva and Trajan
Konig, A. R. 20 Dec 2012 p. 1-21 21 p.(Working Papers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature; vol. 1, no. 3)
Research output: Working paper

Aelianus Tacticus in dialogue with Frontinus and Trajan
Konig, A. R. 27 Nov 2012 p. 1-11 11 p.(Working Papers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature; vol. 1, no. 2)
Research output: Working paper

Library Building under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian
Konig, A. R. 18 Nov 2012 p. 1-14 14 p.(Working Papers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature; vol. 1, no. 1)
Research output: Working paper

 

Frontinus: Roman author and statesman (podcast)
Konig, A. R. Dec 2012
Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian (podcast)
Konig, A. R. Nov 2012
Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Latin Language Teaching and the Student Experience
Konig, A. R., Buckley, E. L. & Woodcock Kroble, M. L. 1 Oct 2012
Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian (website)
Konig, A. R. & Woodcock Kroble, M. L. 1 Oct 2012
Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

 

For further information on publications, please view my profile on the university's research portal.

Academic career

Undergraduate degree and MPhil: King's College, Cambridge. PhD: St John's College, Cambridge.