Maxwell Paule photo

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

While I was trained as a Latin philologist, I’ve broadened my research considerably since coming to Earlham in 2012. I still teach Latin and have a soft spot for erotic Roman poetry, but I also teach courses about magic & witches, Greek theater, and film.

If you want to hear me talk about ancient Greece and Rome, or what it’s like to be a professor, you can find me on Tiktok as @profmaxwell.

Why do you teach at Earlham?

I love how weird and passionate Earlhamites are. It’s a delightful community of folks who care deeply about incredibly niche topics.


  • 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

I’ve recently started work on a new book: Rome isn’t Real (and other myths about Ancient Greece and Rome). It’s a collection of myths, misunderstandings, and lies about the ancient world that have been popularized on social media, and it’s the product of a Summer Collaborative Research project with four Earlhamites.

Sample chapters include “Did the Romans ever make it to the Americas?” and “Was Plato really an Olympic wrestling champion?”

Scholarly interest

I am fascinated and horrified by the ways that ancient Greece and Rome are still incorporated into all levels of our culture (especially in our media) because, as I tell my students, “What a writer says about the ancient world generally tells us more about the writer than it does about antiquity.”

Published works


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


“The Whitening Thief: Latent White Supremacy in Percy Jackson” Eidolon, Jan. 23, 2020.

“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.                            


“The Mythopoesis of Madeline Miller’s Circe
Classics and the Supernatural (Isle of Wight, England, 2022)

“The White Supremacy of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief
Augustana College Invitational Presentation (Rock Island, IL, 2021)

“Everything You Wanted to Know About Ancient Witches but were Afraid to Ask”
Boston College Invitational Presentation (Boston, MA, 2020)

“The White Supremacy of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief
Louisiana Classical Conference (New Orleans, LA, 2020)

“Classics for Whom?: A Pedagogy of Reception”
College Art Association of America (Chicago, IL, 2020)

“Teaching Border Studies on a Liberal Arts Campus”
American Association of Colleges and Universities (San Antonio, TX, 2019)

“The White Supremacy of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief
Celtic Conference in Classics (St. Andrews, Scotland, 2018)

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

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

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

“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)
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.