Alexander Lessie

A photo of Alexander Lessie
E-mail: Office: Dodd Hall 247L

After completing my BA in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, I continued my study of Classics at UCLA, where I finished my PhD in 2015. My dissertation “Becoming Mark Antony: A Metabiographical Study of Characterization and Reception” examines sources for the life of Antony by ancient authors ranging from Cicero to Cassius Dio and covers the reception of this material in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” Each chapter analyzes a specific stylized persona – the performer, the tyrant, the insane lover, the consummate orator – that these authors project onto Antony. Through close reading of the manifestations of each of these personae in different authors, I uncover new ways of understanding why competing portrayals of Antony take shape across time and across genre, and I map out the evolution of the idea of Mark Antony as it is manufactured over time. In addition to my work on Mark Antony, I also have a strong research interest in the influence of Roman Comedy on other genres of Latin literature, and I am currently at work on an article on the comedic subtexts in the Masinissa/Sophoniba episode of Book 30 of Livy. My teaching experience covers both Greek and Latin language instruction, and I have also recently designed and taught courses on Ancient Athletics, Classics and Film, and Classical Mythology.