Cathy Keane

Cathy Keane

Professor of Classics, Chair
Professor of Comparative Literature (courtesy affiliation)
PhD, University of Pennsylvania
research interests:
  • Latin literature and culture
  • Roman satiric poetry, especially Juvenal
  • Martial's Epigrams
  • Ancient literary criticism
    View All People

    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
      CB 1050
      One Brookings Drive
      St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
    image of book cover

    Professor Keane's research and teaching interests range broadly over Greek and Roman literature and culture, but center on the comic genres and their engagement with moral, social, and literary problems.

    She has published books and articles on the Roman verse satirists Lucilius, Horace, Persius, and Juvenal and the Roman epigrammatist Martial. Her current major project is a commentary on Juvenal's fifth and last book of Satires.

    Prior to joining the department in 2001, she taught at Reed College and Northwestern University. She has held research fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, the Center for the Humanities at Washington University, and the Margo Tytus Visiting Scholars Program at the University of Cincinnati.


    recent courses

    The Roman World (L08 Classics 236C)

    An introduction to the society and culture of the ancient Roman Republic and Empire. The "Roman World" began as a small settlement by the Tiber River and became a huge and diverse empire extending into three continents, with a cultural legacy that has lasted to this day. The course will cover key events over a millennium of Roman political history, but much of our time will be given to study and analysis of Roman concepts of national identity, moral and political thought, social hierarchies and dynamics, family, religion, and entertainment. To this end, we will examine a diverse combination of primary sources - literary, documentary, and material.

      Roman Satire (L10 Latin 441)

      This course focuses on the genre of hexameter satire represented by the Roman poets Lucilius, Horace, Persius, and Juvenal (2nd century BCE - 2nd century CE). The Roman professor Quintilian called satire "entirely Roman" (tota nostra), and our readings will allow us to explore the meaning of this claim for satire's authors and readers. We will read a large sampling of satiric verse in the original Latin, practice reading the dactylic hexameter, and observe and discuss differences between the poets' styles and themes. We'll also read and discuss scholarship on the genre's formal characteristics and influences, its origins in Republican literary culture, and its development in the Imperial period.

        Research and Publication on the Greco-Roman World (L08 Classics 502)

        An introduction to the profession of classical scholarship, in the form of a proseminar for all graduate students in the Department of Classics. The course provides an introduction to a variety of methods and aspects of the study of Greece and Rome. We will read samples of the scholarly literature in each area to explore what it means to pursue a career in Classics.

          Greek Mythology (L08 Classics 301C)

          The myths of ancient Greece are not only inherently interesting, but they are an incomparable starting point for the study of the ancient world, and they have offered numerous images and paradigms to poets, artists, and theorists. This course provides an introduction to the major Greek myths, their role in literature and art, their historical and social background, and ancient and modern approaches to their interpretation. Student work will include discussing course material in sections and online, taking two exams covering both the myths themselves and the ancient authors who represent our richest sources, and writing several essays interpreting or comparing ancient literary treatments. Open to first-year students.

            Selected Publications


            Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (Oxford, 2015)

            A Roman Verse Satire Reader (Bolchazy-Carducci, 2010)

            Figuring Genre in Roman Satire (Oxford, 2006)


            Recent and In-progress Articles and Chapters

            "Talking Caesars in Martial's Epigrams"

            "Intertexts between Friends: The Rivalry of Martial and Juvenal"

            "The Consolation of Not-Philosophy in Lucilius and Juvenal"

            "Conversations about Sermo" (on Lucilius)

            (With Ralph Rosen) "Greco-Roman Satirical Poetry," in A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities, ed. T. Hubbard (Blackwell, 2014)