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Dr Helen A Van Noorden

College position(s)

Fellow, Director of Studies



Specialising in

Wrigley Official Fellow in Classics

Degrees, Awards and Prizes

BA, MPhil and PhD

Research themes

I work on Greek and Latin epic, especially the early Greek poet Hesiod and his ancient legacies in the development of ‘didactic’ literature of all kinds, including philosophical and scientific writing, and satiric versions of these. I also have a developing interest in concepts of authorship. My current major research project concerns the uses of ‘apocalyptic’ writing in antiquity, focused on the fascinating late antique collection of Sibylline Oracles.


I sometimes lecture on Greek literature in the Faculty of Classics, and for Cambridge Colleges, I supervise the full range of Greek literature for all years of the Classics Tripos, Latin literature for 1A and Prelim students, and dissertations on literary subjects. My language teaching is focused on Greek translation and introducing first-year students to prose composition.

As Director of Studies in Classics, I liaise with supervisors for the other elements of the Classics course and ensure that Girtonian classicists develop the study skills necessary to do well in Cambridge and beyond.


Early Career Fellowship at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities in Cambridge (Lent term 2014).

I set up Girton’s Humanities Writing Prize for sixth-formers, and regularly judge this event. I coordinate ongoing development of Girton’s wonderful museum of the ancient world, the Lawrence Room, and I am Chair of the Lawrence Room Committee .

I also give schools talks and work to widen access to the study of Classics, especially through work as Secretary to the Management Committee of the UK’s oldest and largest summer school in ancient Greek.

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