Gavin studied Classics at Cambridge and Oxford, was a research fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge and at the University of Manchester, before arriving at the University of Edinburgh as Lecturer in Latin Literature in 2005. Since 2016 he has held a personal Chair in Latin Literature and Roman History at Edinburgh. He served as Head of the Department of Classics in 2016-2019.
His research focuses on the literature and history of the Roman empire from the first to the sixth centuries, with a principal focus on the fourth and fifth centuries. He is particularly interested in genres of literature that are of historical interest – such as historiography, letters, panegyric, occasional poetry – and in the history that can be written from textual evidence. His current major project is a new translation and critical edition of Ammianus Marcellinus. He is in Bamberg as a Senior Fellow advising the AntCoCo project for the academic year 2023-2024.
Education and Career
- 1996: BA in Classics, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
- 1998: MPhil in Greek and/or Roman History, Magdalen College, Oxford
- 2002: DPhil in Classics, Magdalen College, Oxford
- 2000-2004: Research Fellow, Peterhouse, Cambridge
- 2004-2005: Research Fellow, University of Manchester
- 2005-2016: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader in Latin Literature, University of Edinburgh
- 2016-: Professor of Latin Literature and Roman History, University of Edinburgh
Scholarships and Awards
- 1996 Chancellor’s Medal for Proficiency in Classical Learning, Hallam Prize, Schuldham Plate, Cambridge
- 1996-2000 HRB/AHRB Scholarships to cover Master’s and Doctoral Study
- 2010-2011 Fellowship, National Humanities Center
- 2013-2014 British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship
- 2014 Visiting Fellowship, All Souls College, Oxford
- 2014-2015 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship
- 2014-2016 PI BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant ‘Prolegomena to Sidonius Apollinaris’
- 2014-2017 PI Leverhulme International Network ‘Sidonius Apollinaris for the 21st Century’
- 2015-2016 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
- 2020-2021 DFG Fellowship, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen.
- 2021 Visiting Professor, Università degli studi di Pisa
- Ammianus Marcellinus: The Allusive Historian (Cambridge, 2008).
- The Edinburgh Companion to Sidonius Apollinaris, jointly edited with Joop van Waarden (Edinburgh, 2020)
- New Approaches to Sidonius Apollinaris, jointly edited with Joop van Waarden (Peeters, 2013)
- Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity, jointly edited with Lucy Grig (Oxford UP: New York, 2012)
b) Journal articles, book chapters, etc.
- ‘Philological and historical notes on Ammianus Marcellinus’, in N.E. Lenski, R.D. Rees, and O. van Nijf (eds) From East to West in Late Antiquity: Essays in honour of Jan Willem Drijvers (Bari, in press 2024) [6000 words].
- ‘Editorial note’, in Alan Cameron, Historical Studies in Late Roman Art and Archaeology (Leuven, in press 2023), xiii-xv. [I also prepared this volume for the press]
- ‘Ammianus Marcellinus, Speeches, and Rhetoric’, in L. Van Hoof and M. Conterno (eds), Rhetoric and Historiography: Exploring, Transgressing and Policing Generic Boundaries in Late Antiquity (Leuven, in press 2023), 181-202.
- ‘Accursius’ Ammianus Marcellinus (1533): the editio princeps of books 27-31’, in S. Rocchi and S. Andronio (eds) Mariangelo Accursio tra l’Italia e l’Europa (Rome, in press 2023), 67-88.
- ‘Periodisations’, in R.K. Gibson and C.L. Whitton (eds), The Cambridge Critical Guide to Latin Literature (Cambridge, in press 2023), 79-157.
- ‘Why We Need a New Edition of Ammianus Marcellinus’, in M. Hanaghan and D. Woods (eds), Ammianus Marcellinus: From Soldier to Author (Leiden, 2023 ), 19-58.
- ‘Titles and Paratexts in the Collection of Sidonius’ Poems’, in A. Bruzzone and A. Fo (eds) Metamorfosi del classico in età romanobarbarica (Florence, 2021 ), 77-97.
- ‘Rutilius Namatianus, Melania the Younger, and the Monks of Capraria’, in W.V. Harris and A. Hunnell Chen (eds), Late Antique Studies in Memory of Alan Cameron (Leiden, 2021), 66-84.
- ‘Sidonius as a Reader of Rutilius Namatianus, Invigilata Lucernis 42 (2020 ), 151-161 [= R. Valenti and C. Longobardi (eds) Dissona nexio: Rotte del sapere tra storia e futuro per Marisa Squillante].
- ‘Introduction’, jointly with J.A. van Waarden, in G. Kelly and J. van Waarden, Edinburgh Companion to Sidonius Apollinaris (Edinburgh, 2020), 1-9.
- ‘Dating the Works of Sidonius’, ibidem, 166-195.
- ‘Sidonius’ Prose Rhythm’, jointly with J.A. van Waarden, ibidem, 462-475.
- ‘Epilogue: Future Approaches to Sidonius’, jointly with J.A. van Waarden, ibidem, 730-736.
- ‘The Astrologer, the Eunuch, and the Emperor’, Revue des Études Tardo-antiques suppl. 5 (2018), 241-251 [= E. Amato, P. De Cicco and T. Moreau (eds), Canistrum ficis plenum. Hommages à Bertrand Lançon].
- ‘Ammianus, Valens, and Antioch’, in S.-P. Bergjan and S. Elm (eds), Antioch II: The Many Faces of Antioch: Intellectual Exchange and Religious Diversity (CE 350-450) (Tübingen, 2018), 147-172.
- ‘Edward Gibbon and Late Antique Literature’, in S. McGill and E. Watts (eds) Blackwell Companion to Late Antique Literature (Oxford, 2018), 611-626.
- ‘From Martial to Juvenal: Epigrams 12.18’, in A. König and C.L. Whitton (eds), Roman Literature under Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian: Literary Interactions AD 96-138 (Cambridge, 2018), 160-179.
- ‘The Hersfeldensis and the Fuldensis of Ammianus Marcellinus: A Reconsideration’, jointly with J.A. Stover, Cambridge Classical Journal 62 (2016), 108-129.
- ‘Claudian’s Last Panegyric and Imperial Visits to Rome’, Classical Quarterly 66 (2016), 336-357.
- ‘The First Book of Symmachus’ Letters as an Independent Collection’, in P.F. Moretti, R. Ricci, and C. Torre (eds) Culture and Literature in Latin Late Antiquity. Continuities and Discontinuities (Brepols: Turnhout, 2015 ), 197-220.
- ‘Ammianus’ Greek Accent’, Talanta 45 (2013 [in fact 2015]), 67-79 [special issue edited by M.-P. García Ruiz and A. Quiroga Puertas (eds), Linguistic and Cultural Alterity in the Roman Empire].
- ‘The Political Crisis of AD 375/376’, Chiron 43 (2013), 357-409.
- ‘Pliny and Symmachus’, Arethusa 46.2 (2013), 261-287 [special issue edited by B. Gibson and R. Rees, Pliny the Younger in Late Antiquity].
- ‘Sidonius and Claudian’, in J. van Waarden and G. Kelly, New Approaches to Sidonius Apollinaris (Leuven, 2013), 171-191.
- ‘Introduction: from Rome to Constantinople’, jointly with L. Grig, in L. Grig and G. Kelly, Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity (New York, 2012), 3-30.
- ‘Claudian and Constantinople’, ibidem, 241-65.
- ‘Ammianus Marcellinus’, Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classical Studies (Oxford University Press: New York, 2011, revised and updated 2015, new revision to be completed 2023) [Online Bibliography, 11,500 words].
- ‘The Roman World of Festus’ Breviarium’, in C. Kelly, R. Flower, and M.S. Williams (eds), Unclassical Traditions: Alternatives to the Classical Past in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, 2010), 72-89.
- ‘Ammianus Marcellinus: Tacitus’ Heir and Gibbon’s Guide’, in A. Feldherr (ed.), Cambridge Companion to the Roman Historians (Cambridge UP, 2009), 348-361.
- ‘Adrien de Valois and the Chapter Headings in Ammianus Marcellinus’, Classical Philology 104 (2009), 233-242.
- ‘The Sphragis and Closure of the Res Gestae’, in J. den Boeft, J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst and H.C. Teitler (eds), Ammianus after Julian: The Reign of Valentinian and Valens in Books 26-31 of the Res Gestae (Leiden, 2007), 219-241.
- ‘To Forge Their Tongues to Grander Styles: Ammianus’ Epilogue’, in J. Marincola (ed.), A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography (Oxford, 2007), 474-480 [A much shorter, earlier version of the above].
- ‘Constantius II, Julian, and the Example of Marcus Aurelius: Ammianus Marcellinus XXI, 16, 11-12’, Latomus 64 (2005), 409-416.
- ‘Ammianus and the Great Tsunami’, Journal of Roman Studies 94 (2004), 141-167.
- ‘The New Rome and the Old: Ammianus Marcellinus’ Silences on Constantinople’, Classical Quarterly 53 (2003), 588-607.