Prof Jason König

Prof Jason König


Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 2618



I graduated from Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1996 with a degree in Classics, and then moved to Pembroke College, Cambridge, to do an MPhil and PhD in Classics between 1996 and 2000. I was a Junior Research Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge in 2000-2002, and have been in St Andrews since September 2002. I was Head of the School of Classics from 2014-2019.


I am happy to supervise in any of the areas listed above under ‘research interests’. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss possible projects at any time. I am particularly keen to work with postgraduate research students on topics within the School’s Centre for the Literatures of the Roman Empire, Centre for Late Antique Studies and Centre for Ancient Environmental Studies.

Research areas

One of the overarching goals of my work has been to broaden our understanding of the Greek literature and culture of the Roman empire. I have published widely on imperial Greek authors including Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch, Lucian, Pausanias, Alciphron, Pollux, Galen and Philostratus; also on the Greek and Latin novels and on early Christian narrative, especially hagiography. My 2005 book Athletics and Literature in the Roman Empire sets literary texts against the background of ancient festivals and gymnasium education. My 2012 book Saints and Symposiasts looks at the literature of feasting and the symposium, with the goal of bringing the Greco-Roman and early Christian literature of the Roman Empire more into dialogue. A related series of publications aims take a fresh look at ancient scientific, encyclopaedic and miscellanistic writing; at representations of authority and expertise in the wider context of practices of intellectual self-definition in imperial culture; and at the relationship between late Hellenistic and later imperial Greek literature, in an edited volume entitled Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue (CUP, forthcoming 2022; jointly with Nicolas Wiater).

I am currently working among other things on ancient representations of landscape and the environment, especially on human-environment relations in imperial Greek literature, including forthcoming chapters and articles among others on Achilles Tatius, Aelius Aristides, Lucian, Pausanias, Philo and Theodoret, and a book in preparation on images of the earth and the surfaces of the earth in classical antiquity.

One other strand of that work is my current Leverhulme Trust Research Project (2017-2023), entitled 'Mountains in ancient literature and culture and their postclassical reception’. Publications include The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (Princeton University Press, 2022; shortlisted for the London Hellenic Prize 2022), and an edited volume entitled Mountain Dialogues from Antiquity to Modernity (Bloomsbury, 2021). My aim is to shed new light on the sophistication of ancient engagement with mountains in both literature and lived experience, and to bring the ancient evidence more into dialogue with scholarship on postclassical representations of mountain landscape and the environment, and particularly with recent developments in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. As part of that project I have also been working more recently on representations of landscape in the work of nineetenth-century travellers to Greece, especially Edward Dodwell and Edward Daniel Clarke.

PhD supervision

  • Elaine Rankin
  • Deanna Cunningham
  • Annabel Crawshaw-Brown
  • Eric Foster-Whiddon
  • Aneirin Pendragon
  • Florence Rogers
  • Florence Rogers

Selected publications


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