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Maxwell Paule
Associate Professor of Ancient and Classical Studies

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

He describes Earlham students as, “inquisitive, intellectually curious, and passionate.”

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 15



226 Carpenter Hall

Office Hours
10:00-11:00am or by appointment


  • Languages and Cultures
  • Ancient and Classical Studies


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

Selected Courses:

“This is Sparta” is a first year seminar that explores the ways in which Greek and Roman antiquity continues to influence virtually every aspect of life in the modern world, from advertising and politics to religion and natural science.

“Greece and Rome in Film” asks how modern cinema adapts myths of classical antiquity and redeploys them to new – and sometimes nefarious! – ends.

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.”

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.”


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)

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

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?

Baking bread. Watching films. Petting cats.


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