Researchers at UCD


Helen Dixon

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Classics
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168193


I took Literae Humaniores at Wadham College, Oxford (1996). I then took an MPhil in Classical Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge (1997), where I won a scholarship to conduct my doctoral research on manuscripts and early printed books. My PhD dissertation was entitled 'Studies in the transmission of Tibullus' (2002). Whilst finishing my doctorate I was employed on the Bodleian Library  Incunable Cataloguing Project (2000-2002). In 2002 I won a three-year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, which I held at the Warburg Institute, London: here I began my research project on the Roman humanist scholar Pomponio Leto, the Roman Academy and the reception of the Classics. From 2005-2006 I was a Lector in Greek at Oxford, and lectured at various colleges. In 2006 I came to UCD, where I am a Lecturer in the School of Classics. In addition to teaching and research, I also enjoy playing the violin (classical) and listening to music.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2017.
Title: UCD College of Arts and Humanities Funding for Research for 2018
Year: 2007.
Title: UCD Seed Funding
Year: 2004.
Title: British Academy Small Research Grant
Year: 2002.
Title: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship


Association: Repertorium Pomponianum, Function/Role: Advisor
Association: Cambridge Philological Society, Function/Role:

Conference Contributions

Dixon, H.M. (2015) Who were Tibullus¿s medieval and Renaissance readers? And how did they respond to the text?. [Chaired Session], Practical Approaches to Tibullus the Idealist: Tibullus and his medieval and Renaissance readers, Manchester , 25-JUN-15 - 26-NOV-15.
Dixon, Helen M. (2011) A Byzantine handbook on siegecraft and Cardinal Bessarion's machinations against the Turks. [Chaired Session], Pace e guerra nell'Umanesimo e nel Rinascimento in Europa e nelle Marche, Sassoferrato, Le Marche, Italy , 29-JUN-11 - 02-JUL-11.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2008) Pomponio Leto's origins: the evidence from before 1460. [Chaired Session], Pomponio Leto: tra identità locale e cultura internazionale, Teggiano, Italy , 03-OCT-08 - 05-OCT-08.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2007) The ancient garden in the Renaissance. [Chaired Session], A Day School on the Roman Garden, Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies , 21-APR-07 - 21-APR-07.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2006) On the self-fashioning of humanists at Rome. [Invited Lecture], Early Modern Italy Research Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London , 09-NOV-06 - 09-NOV-06.
Dixon, Helen M. ; (2006) The epigrams of Antonius Septimuleius Campanus. [Invited Oral Presentation], Italian Research Seminar, UCD , 25-OCT-06 - 25-OCT-06.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2006) Epigrams of the Roman Academy 1450-1500. [Chaired Session], The Neo-Latin Epigram, The Royal Dutch Institute in Rome , 11-APR-06 - 14-APR-06.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2005) Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo and the imprisoned Roman humanists. [Invited Oral Presentation], Medieval Hispanic Seminar, Queen Mary's College, University of London , 21-OCT-05 - 21-OCT-05.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2005) Pomponio Leto, the Roman Academy, and the teaching of Lucretius. [Invited Oral Presentation], Warburg Institute Director's Seminar, Warburg Institute, London , 11-MAY-05 - 11-MAY-05.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2005) Pomponio Leto, the Accademia Romana, and the study of Lucretius. [Chaired Session], British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Symposium, The British Academy, London , 26-APR-05 - 26-APR-05.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2004) Problems with the transmission of Classical texts in the Middle Ages. [Invited Oral Presentation], Texts and Transmission Summer School, Institute of Classical Studies, London , 30-JUN-04 - 30-JUN-04.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2003) The Conspiracy of 1468 and the Accademia Romana. [Invited Oral Presentation], Warburg Institute Director's Seminar, Warburg Institute, London , 08-OCT-03 - 08-OCT-03.
Dixon, Helen M.; (2002) Joseph Justus Scaliger and the discovery and disappearance of Tibullus. [Invited Oral Presentation], Corpus Christi College Classics Seminar (2002): The Renaissance Reception of Classical Texts, Corpus Christi College, Oxford , 13-NOV-02 - 13-NOV-02.


Committee : College Research Committee
Committee : College Global Engagement and International Liasion Committees


Employer: University of Oxford, Corpus Christi College
Position: Retained Lecturer in Classics
Employer: University of Oxford, Faculty of Classics
Position: Temporary Lector
Employer: University of Oxford, Wadham College
Position: Stipendiary/Retained Lecturer in Classics


Year 2002 Institution: University of Cambridge
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1997 Institution: University of Cambridge, Trinity College
Qualification: MPhil Subject: Classical Literature
Year 1996 Institution: Oxford University, UK
Qualification: MA Subject:
Year 2002 Institution: University of Cambridge
Qualification: MPhil Subject:


Classical Greek:

Outreach Activities

Schools Liaison Officer from 2009-2012 



Coates, A. et al.; (2005) A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Details]

Book Chapters

Dixon, Helen M.; (2006) ''Manuscripts'' In: Bispham, E., Harrison, T. and Sparkes, B.A (eds). The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. , pp.251-261 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Dixon, Helen M.; (2011) ''Pomponio Leto's notes on Lucretius in Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek, X 2° 82 rariora''. Aevum, 85 (1):191-216. [Details]
Dixon, Helen M.; (2010) ''Pomponio Leto and his teachers Lorenzo Valla and Pietro Odo da Montopoli: evidence from work on Lucretius''. Italia Medioevale e Umanistica, 51 :267-326. [Details]
Dixon, Helen M.; (2010) ''Where was the birthplace of Pomponio Leto?''. Aevum, 84 (3):641-658. [Details]
Dixon, Helen M.; (2006) ''The discovery and disappearance of the Fragmentum Cuiacianum of Tibullus''. Revue d'histoire des textes (N.S.), 1 :37-72. Available Online [Details]
Dixon, Helen M.; (2006) ''Angelo Poliziano's unpublished notes on Tibullus in Roma, Biblioteca Corsiniana, 50 F 37''. Medioevo e Rinascimento, 20 (N.S. 17) :245-284. Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

In my research I pursue my fascination for the reception of Classical literature in Europe. My doctoral dissertation considered problems in Tibullus' transmission and a wide range of evidence (culled from international manuscript collections and archives) for his Renaissance reception. During my doctoral research and my work at the Bodleian, I encountered the Classical scholar Giulio Pomponio Leto (1428-1498), principal lecturer at the University of Rome on Latin poetry and the Roman historians. As part of my current project I am writing a book on Pomponio, his Roman Academy and their reception of antiquity, in which I show how, ahead of their time, they initiated the move towards appreciating Classical antiquity in its original, antique contexts. My general interests also include the transmission of Classical literature, the history of ideas, Latin palaeography, and the history of Classical scholarship.

Project title: Pomponio Leto, the 'Roman Academy', and the Classical World.

In this project I address a number of wide-ranging questions about the reception of Classical Antiquity in the Renaissance through a study of the fifteenth-century humanist Giulio Pomponio Leto (1428-1498). Given Pomponio's central role in influencing the academic reception of Classical culture at Rome, both in the Renaissance and later, it is astonishing that no major study of this scholar has been undertaken since Vladimir Zabughin's now dated monograph of 1909-12. A series of scattered articles since then have put forward contradictory assessments of Pomponio, making a thorough re-evaluation of his research and teaching (on topics ranging from textual criticism and epigraphy to archaeology and the theatre) all the more necessary. This project demonstrates how Pomponio's publications, note-books, manuscript commentaries, and his interactions with contemporary scholars and influence on his numerous famous pupils, served not only as a pivotal point in the rediscovery of Classical Antiquity during the Renaissance, but also continue to define the parameters of Classical studies today. During my time at the Warburg, Oxford, UCD and abroad, my inquiries have fallen along three main lines:

-       perceptions of the study of Classical literature at Rome by outsiders;

-       the reception of Lucretius's poem, De Rerum Natura, and Martial's Epigrammata;

-       Pomponio's attempts to revive ancient concepts of historiography, chronology and his group's knowledge of material remains.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : The manuscript tradition of Catullus
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-13 / 30-SEP-15

Recent Postgraduates

Helen is more than happy to supervise graduate students working on the reception of the ancient world. 



Teaching Philosophy

Helen enjoys teaching Latin and Greek language and Latin literature (Virgil, Lucretius, Cicero, Sallust, Livy, Ovid, Tacitus) in the original and in translation. Her new 3rd level module on Magic in the Ancient World explores the central place of Magic, alongside religion, in everyday ancient Greek and Roman lives.

Modules Coordinated

201700   GRC30290     Greek & Roman Civilization: Magic in the Ancient World
201700   LAT20140     Latin: Intermediate Latin


Internal Collaborators

From October 2013 to October 2015 I was the named mentor and principal investigator on Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Dániel Kiss' project entitled: 'The manuscript tradition of Catullus' 

I am currently organising a conference on 'Conflicting chronologies in the pre-modern world: Measuring time from Antiquity to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance' with Dr Rebecca Stephenson from the School of English, Drama and Film.