Skip to content Skip to navigation

Matthew P. Loar

Matthew P. Loar

PhD, Stanford University, 2015
MSt, Oxford University, 2009
BA, Washington and Lee University, 2007

I completed my PhD in June 2015 and am currently an Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. You can follow me at

My primary research focus is Rome’s transition from Republic to Empire, and especially the ways that literature of this period invoked and manipulated myth in an attempt to normalize this transition. My current book project, Hercules at the Crossroads of Myth and History in Augustan Rome, examines the popularity of two very different myths of Hercules in the Augustan period: Hercules’ battle with the robber-monster Cacus, and his cross-dressed servitude to the Lydian queen Omphale. The book argues that the Augustan forms of the myths provided interpretive frameworks for understanding some of the radical changes to Rome’s political, urban, and religious landscapes that accompanied Augustus’ violent rise to power in 31 BCE.

I have co-edited (with fellow Stanford alums Dan-el Padilla Peralta and Carolyn MacDonald) Rome, Empire of Plunder: The Dynamics of Cultural Appropriation (CUP, 2017) and The Cultural History of Augustan Rome: Texts, Monuments and Topography (CUP, 2019).


June 2015
Two separate and seemingly unrelated myths of Hercules flourished in Rome during the Augustan period: the triumphant Hercules’ defeat of the robber-...