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 Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge (1997), where I won a studentship to conduct doctoral research on the transmission of Tibullus  in manuscripts and early printed books. 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 (1427/8-1497/8), the Roman Academy and the reception of the Classical world. From 2005-2006 I was a lector 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 of Arts and Humanities Research, Impact and Innovation 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 (1427/8-1497/8), 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. My inquiries fall 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 : No One Looks at Elissa. Two Passages of Perturbed Reception in Aeneid 1
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-18 / 30-SEP-19
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 '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


Internal Collaborators

I am co-organising a conference on Conflicting chronologies in the Pre-modern World: Measuring Time from Antiquity to the Middle Ages and Renaissance with Dr Rebecca Stephenson (UCD School of English, Drama, Film and Creative Writing).

The conference is generously supported by the College of Arts and Humanities, the Humanities Institute of Ireland, and the School of Classics.                                     

2013¿2015: PI of Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Dániel Kiss' project The manuscript tradition of Catullus (Catullus Online).