Professor Oliver Taplin, Emeritus Professor of Classics, Magdalen College, Oxford.
Professor Oliver Taplin is a fellow of Magdalen College and Professor of Classical Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford. Professor Taplin's main teaching has been in all aspects of ancient Greek epic, tragedy and comedy: Classics, Classics (and Joint Honours), Classics and English, Classics and Modern Languages, Classics with Oriental Studies at Oxford University.
Oliver's primary focus as a scholar is on Greek drama, especially from the viewpoint of staging and performance. His first book was The Stagecraft of Aeschylus, in which he dealt with the entrances and exits of characters in Aeschylus's plays. Subsequent books, including Comic Angels (1993) and Pots and Plays (2007) examine vase paintings as evidence for the performance of tragedy and comedy. In 1996, together with Edith Hall, he set up the APGRD (Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama). It is devoted to the international production and reception of ancient plays since the Renaissance. He has also worked with productions in the theatre, including The Oresteia at the National Theatre (1980–81), The Thebans at the RSC (1991–92), and The Oresteia at the National Theatre (1999–2000). Apart from Greek drama, his chief area of interest was in Homer.
Oliver retired as Tutor in Classics at Magdalen College, Oxford in 2008. The same year, Oxford University Press published Performance, Iconography, Reception: Studies in Honour of Oliver Taplin, edited by Martin Revermann and Peter Wilson.
Further related subjects include vase-painting and theatre; performance studies; reception of ancient literature in modern poetry; practical translation workshops. Currently he is working on a broad-brush book on Greek Tragedy, including a critique of Aristotle’s Poetics.
The Stagecraft of Aeschylus (Oxford 1977, reissued as a paperback 1989).
Greek Tragedy in Action (London and Berkeley 1978; revised edition 1985); also translated into Greek, Japanese and Polish.
Greek Fire (London 1990); also translated into Dutch, Portuguese, French, German and Greek.
Homeric Soundings. The Shaping of the Iliad (Oxford 1992, reprinted in paperback, 1994).
Comic Angels – and other approaches to Greek drama through vase-painting (Oxford 1993, reprinted in paperback, 1994).
Pots and Plays. Interactions between Tragedy and Greek Vase-painting of the Fourth Century BC (Getty Museum Publications, Los Angeles, 2007)
Sophocles Oedipus the King and other tragedies (Oxford World’s Classics, 2016)
Aeschylus The Oresteia (Norton, New York, 2018)
His new book, Sophocles' Antigone and Other Tragedies is due to be published in September 2020.