Matthew Loar is a Classicist specializing in the literary and visual culture of late Republican and early Imperial Rome. His 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 navigate and normalize this transition. His current book project examines the popularity of one myth in the Augustan period—Hercules’ battle with the robber-monster Cacus—and how it speaks to contemporary Roman anxieties about political succession, religious renewal, and urban transformation.
In addition, Matthew is a Team Leader with the Herculaneum Graffiti Project, a part of the larger Ancient Graffiti Project, which is a contributor to and collaborator with the Epigraphic Database Roma (EDR) and the Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy (EAGLE). Other areas of interest include gender and sexuality in the ancient world, Roman cultural appropriation, and the use and development of digital resources to enhance the teaching of ancient languages.
Matthew is also Program Faculty for the Women's and Gender Studies Program.