Maxwell Paule, Ph.D.

Associate professor of ancient and classical studies

Email:[email protected]

Department: Ancient and Classical Studies
Comparative Languages and Linguistics
Languages and Cultures

Location: Carpenter Hall Room 226
801 National Road
Richmond, Indiana 47374

About me

I am a classical studies scholar who explores ancient magic, erotic Roman poetry and the intersection of the two. I incorporate these topics into such courses as, “Magic and Witches in the Ancient World” and “Damn the Gods.”

I enjoy bread baking, watching films and indulging the whims of my cats.

I’ve chosen to teach at Earlham because Earlham’s students honestly care about their education. They are inquisitive, intellectually curious, and passionate. What more could a professor ask for from a student?


  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University
  • M.A., The Ohio State University
  • B.A., Oberlin College

Professional Memberships

  • Society of Classical Studies (SCS)
  • Antiquity in Media Studies (AIMS)

Research projects

With the recent rise in power and popularity of the alt-right and neo-nazis, I am working on an article about how portrayals of Greeks and Romans on screen often reinforce and validate their claims that Greco-Roman antiquity is the origin of “white culture” and the foundation of “Western Civilization.”

Scholarly interest

I find myself increasingly drawn to the modern reception of classical themes, especially in films and television. As I tell my students, “What a writer says about the Romans generally tells us more about the writer than it does about the Romans.”

Published works


Canidia: Rome’s First Witch. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2017.


“Companions of Aeneas: Gamifying Intermediate Latin.” Teaching Classical Languages 7.1 (Spring 2016): 1-16.

“QVAE SAGA, QVIS MAGVS: On the Vocabulary of the Roman Witch.” Classical Quarterly vol. 64, no. 2 (Dec., 2014): 745-757.

Book Reviews

Paule on Stratton and Kalleres, Daughters of Hecate: Women and Magic in the Ancient World. In Bryn Mawr Classical Review July, 2015. 

Paule on Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin, 2nd Edition. In Bryn Mawr Classical Review July, 2013.                            


“Home at Any Cost: Aeneadic Echoes in AMC’s The Walking Dead (2010 – )” Representing “Home”: The 2017 Film and History Conference (Milwaukee, WI)

“Heracles Goes to Washington: The Apotheosis of an American Patriot in Olympus Has Fallen (2013)”
Gods and Heretics: The 2016 Film and History Conference (Milwaukee, WI)

“Nausicaa the Furious: A Homeric Antecedent in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)” Journeys, Detours and Breakdowns: The 2015 Film and History Conference (Madison, WI)

“On Classics and the Modern World”
A Colloquium in honor of the retirement of Thomas Van Nortwick (Oberlin, OH, 2015)

“Persona Grata: Role Playing Games in Language and Civilization Instruction” The Society for Classical Studies (New Orleans, LA, 2015)

“Incipe, parve puer, cognoscere Canidiam: Visions of Civil War in Horace’s Fifth Epode
Ancient Literary and Visual Representations of the Roman Civil Wars of the 40s and 30s BC (Margherita di Savoia, Puglia, Italy, 2012)

“Hag and Snatcher: Canidia as Child-Killing Demon in Horace’s Epode 5”
The Classical Association of the Midwest and South (Baton Rouge, LA, 2012)

“Canidia’s Many Faces:  On the Pluralistic Nature of the Roman ‘Witch’ ”
The Classical Association of the Midwest and South (Grand Rapids, MI, 2011)

“The Sparrow’s Death at Troy: A Metapoetic Reading of Catullus 65”
The Classical Association of the Midwest and South (Tulsa, OK, 2010)

“The Portentous Owl, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bubo”
On the Border: Animals, Hybrids and Monsters in Ancient Culture, (joint conference between The Ohio State University and the University of Sienna, Italy, 2008)

“Redefining Necromancy”
Per Purum Tonans: Aspects of the Natural and Supernatural in Antiquity
(University of Virginia, 2007)