R. Scott Smith

Phone: (603) 862-2388
Office: Classics, Humanities, & Italian Studies, Murkland Hall Rm 301, Durham, NH 03824

Growing up in Mechanicsville, Virginia, I became an unexpected classicist: I loved languages and science, baseball and music, but when I took Latin in high school and ancient Greek in college (Mary Washington College), it was as if I was being reborn—twice. My parents had no idea what to do with me, but they supported their weird child and off I went to pursue my doctorate in classical philology ("philology" was once described to me as "reading texts excruciatingly carefully and slowly"). I feel deeply fortunate to have joined the UNH faculty in 2000 after receiving my PhD from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in the same year.

I specialize in ancient mythography (the way the Greeks and Romans organized and interpreted their own mythical stories) and the philosopher-poet Seneca the Younger. In the profile below you can peruse my wide-ranging work. Currently, I am co-editing for Oxford University Press The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Mythography, as well as heading a digital humanities project, "Putting Greek Myth on the Map," a digital platform to visualize the relationship between mythical figures and real places on the ground. A teacher at heart—my motto is qui miscuit utile dulci ("one who combines fun with something useful")—I have taught all levels of Latin, Greek, and Classics courses, and am director and instructor of the January-term Study Abroad in Rome Program. For his sins in past lives I currently serve as president or chair in state and regional classics organizations, and as chair of the Faculty Senate. I am a proud speaker for New Hampshire Humanities.

Courses Taught

  • CLAS 400: Exp/Learn Egyptian Hieroglyphs
  • CLAS 401: Classical Mythology
  • CLAS 510: Building Rome
  • CLAS 520C: Sports, Spectacle, Competition
  • CLAS 694: Supervised Practicum
  • CLAS 696: Special Studies
  • CLAS/HIST 404: Roman Civilization
  • GREK 402: Elementary Classical Greek II
  • GREK 503: Intermediate Classical Greek I
  • GREK 504: Intermediate ClassicalGreek II
  • INCO 590: Rsrch Exp/Classics
  • LATN 402: Elementary Latin II
  • LATN 504: Intermediate Latin II
  • LATN 605/753: Readings in Latin Literature


  • Ph.D., Language Interpretation&Transl, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • A.M., Classics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.A., Mary Wash Coll (Univ Va)

Research Interests

  • Drama
  • Folklore and Mythology
  • Greek and Roman mythography
  • Language and/or Literature, Classical Greek
  • Language and/or Literature, Classical Latin
  • Language and/or Literature, Drama
  • Myth and geography
  • Seneca the Younger

Selected Publications

  • Smith, R. (2019). Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Mythography. R. S. Smith, & S. Trzaskoma (Eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Smith, R. S. (2018). Myth and Mythography in Pliny’s Geography, Naturalis Historia 3–6. Polymnia, 3, 83-116.

  • Smith, R. S. (2017). Mythographical and Literary Notes on the Catalogs of Argive and Theban Allies in Statius' Thebaid. MNEMOSYNE, 70(2), 240-261. doi:10.1163/1568525X-12342139

  • Trzaskoma, S., Smith, R. S., Brunet, S., & Palaima, T. G. (2016). Anthology of Classical Myth Primary Sources in Translation. Hackett Publishing Company.

  • Smith, R. S. (2016). Between narrative and allusion: mythography in Pomponius Mela's Chorography. Polymnia, 2, 87-119.

  • Smith, R. S. (2014). Ancient Rome An Anthology of Sources. Hackett Publishing Company Incorporated.

  • Trzaskoma, S., & Smith, R. S. (2013). Writing Myth Mythography in the Ancient World. Peeters Pub & Booksellers.

  • Smith, R. S. (2011). Inhospitalis Taurus at Seneca Phaedra 168. MNEMOSYNE, 64(1), 100-103. doi:10.1163/156852511X505349

  • Trzaskoma, S. M., & Smith, R. S. (2008). 'Hellas' in the 'Bibliotheke' of Apollodorus. PHILOLOGUS, 152(1), 90-96. doi:10.1524/phil.2008.0016

  • Apollodorus., Smith, R. S., Trzaskoma, S., & Hyginus. (2007). Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae two handbooks of Greek mythology. Hackett Pub Co Inc.