Michael Squire


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Personal profile

Biographical details

Michael Squire joined the Department of Classics in 2011. At King's he also works closely with other centres of the Arts and Humanities Research Institute, including the Centre of Hellenic Studies and the Centre for Enlightenment Studies. He is Research Lead in the Department of Classics.

Michael's first degree was in Classics at Cambridge (Trinity College), where he also received his MPhil in Classical Archaeology. After a year studying comparative literature as Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard, he returned to Cambridge to write a doctoral thesis on 'Visual and verbal interactions in Graeco-Roman antiquity'. From 2006 to 2011 he was Junior Research Fellow at Christ's College in Cambridge, and Alexander von Humboldt-Stipendiat  at the archaeological institutes of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Since 2011 he has held fellowships at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Internationales Kolleg Morphomata (Universität zu Köln), the Department of Classics at Stanford University and the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte; he was also awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2013.

Research interests cover a broad range of topics in the field of Greek and Roman art, archaeology and literature, as well as in art history and aesthetics more broadly. A particular specialism is the interplay between classical visual and literary cultures – including ancient ecphrasis, narratology and visual engagements with literary and mythical subjects. He edits book-series on 'Greek Culture in the Roman World' (Cambridge University Press) and 'Image, Text and Culture in Classical Antiquity' (Routledge), and has sat on various journal editorial boards (including that of 'Art History' since 2013). He leads a project on 'Modern Classicisms' (www.modernclassicisms.com) and in 2018 curated an exhibition on 'The Classical Now' across two venues in London (Bush House and Somerset House East Wing). 

Among his academic publications are the following monographs and edited volumes:

  • Panorama of the Classical World (2004, 2008; with Nigel Spivey)
  • The Art of Art History in Graeco-Roman Antiquity (2010, ed. with Verity Platt)
  • Image and Text in Graeco-Roman Antiquity (2009; paperback 2014)
  • The Art of the Body: Antiquity and its Legacy (2011)
  • The Iliad in a Nutshell: Visualizing Epic on the Tabulae Iliacae (2011; paperback 2016)
  • Sight and the Ancient Senses (2016, ed.)
  • The Frame in Classical Art: A Cultural History (2017, ed. with Verity Platt)
  • Morphogrammata / The Lettered Art of Optatian: Figuring Cultural Transformation in the Age of Constantine (2017, ed. with Johannes Wienand)
  • Rethinking Lessing's Laocoon: Antiquity, Enlightenment and the 'Limits' of Painting and Poetry (2017, ed. with Avi Lifschitz)
  • The Classical Now (2018, ed. with James Cahill and Ruth Allen)
  • The Embodied Object in Classical Antiquity (2018, ed. with Verity Platt and Milette Gaifman)
  • Ornament and Figure in Graeco-Roman Art: Rethinking Visual Ontologies in Classical Antiquity (2018, ed. with Nikolaus Dietrich)
  • Classical 'Art History' (2018, ed.)
  • The Art of Hegel's Aesthetics: Hegelian Philosophy and the Perspectives of Art History (2018, ed. with Paul Kottman).

Forthcoming projects include a monograph on Philostratus the Elder's Imagines and an object-led introduction to classical art.

A selection of downloadable publications can also be found here: https://kcl.academia.edu/MichaelSquire


  • NB Sculpture
  • classics
  • art history
  • classical art
  • aesthetics
  • image and text/ word and image
  • ecphrasis
  • Greek art
  • Roman art
  • classical tradition


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