Chris Trinacty

  • Professor of Classics
  • Chair of Classics


  • PhD, Brown University, 2007
  • MA, University of Arizona, 2000
  • BA, Pitzer College, 1996)


My primary research interests revolve around the works of Seneca, an important philosopher, tragedian, and politician of the 1st C. CE. Since writing a book about his tragedies, I have been investigating his Naturales Quaestiones, a treatise about natural science that explains the workings of the natural world from a Stoic point of view. I have produced two commentaries to this work: one focuses on his book on terrestrial waters (rivers, seas, lakes, etc.) and the other gives a broad overview of the work as a whole. I teach a variety of language courses (Latin and Greek), Roman history, as well as special topics courses in Latin literature, mythology, and Ancient Greek and Roman Science. In these courses, I often try to incorporate students in public humanities projects that can be appreciated by a wider audience. My Ancient Science class produced a website about their projects, and a Latin class on Horace helped to design a student commentary to his Epistles. While most of my published work is about Roman topics, my favorite place on earth is the island of Aegina, and I recently curated an exhibition about this island at the Terrell Main Library.

Spring 2024

Introduction to Latin Prose — LATN 102
Greek and Roman Drama in Translation — CLAS 112

Fall 2024

Elementary Latin — LATN 101
Intermediate Latin I: Ovid — LATN 201
Age of Nero: History and Culture — CLAS 317


Christopher Trinacty Presented Paper and Participated in Panel About Seneca

October 25, 2023

Professor Christopher Trinacty presented the paper, "Seneca's Natural Questions: Three Perspectives" at the University of Athens. This paper offers a reading of Seneca's work that stresses its rhetorical, literary, and philosophical sophistication. In addition, Trinacty was a featured panelist at the University of Cincinnati's "An Evening with Seneca," where he discussed Seneca's tragedies and philosophical works as well as his complicated relationship with Nero.

Christopher Trinacty Chapter Published in "C.H. Sisson Reconsidered"

January 18, 2023

Professor of Classics Christopher Trinacty recently published a chapter in the volume, C.H. Sisson Reconsidered. The chapter, “Sisson in Exile, or, Versions and Perversions of Ovid’s Tristia”, considers the way that the 20th C. English poet C.H. Sisson utilized Ovid's poetry in his poetic self-representation. Prof. Trinacty also has written the entry for Seneca in the revised Oxford Classical Dictionary.

Christopher Trinacty Publishes A Commentary on Seneca's "Natural Questions"

June 2, 2022

Professor Christopher Trinacty recently published a commentary on Seneca's Natural Questions through Dickinson College Commentaries. This work provides a guide for Intermediate Latin learners to understand and appreciate Seneca's treatise on Stoic physics. In addition, his chapter " 'Oceans Rise, Empires Fall:' Cyclical Time and History in Seneca’s NQ 3,” has recently been published in the volume Myth and History: Close Encounters (DeGruyter). The paper examines how Stoic conceptions of time inform the Natural Questions.

Christopher Trinacty publishes book review

October 15, 2020

Associate Professor of Classics Christopher Trinacty recently published an article and a book review. The article discusses the way that Pliny incorporates Senecan material in his letters. The review is on a recent volume about Senecan intertextuality. 

Christopher Trinacty Publishes and Presents

July 9, 2020

Christopher Trinacty, associate professor of classics, published a short article in Classical Quarterly titled “Memmius, Cicero and Lucretius: A Note on Cic. Fam. 13.1,” which shows how Cicero alludes to Lucretius in one of his letters. He also reviewed the recent books, Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature by Emily Pillinger in Classical Philology and the Latin of Science for Classical Journal. In addition, he recently presented a paper “Labor in Seneca’s Letters” at the Midwest Classical Literature Consortium, and his chapter, “Tragic Translatio: Epistle 107 and Senecan Tragedy” was featured as one of the 100 most important chapters in the 100 volumes of the Trends in Classics journal series.

Christopher Trinacty Publishes Article, Chapter, and Book Reviews

December 10, 2019

Associate Professor of Classics Christopher Trinacty published an article, a chapter of an edited volume, and two book reviews. The article about using music in Latin pedagogy, can be found at the Teaching Classical Languages website. The chapter is part of an edited volume Emotional Trauma in Greece and Rome and addresses the philosophical response to an earthquake that rocked Pompeii in the years before the eruption of Vesuvius. The book reviews were on works about Senecan tragedy and Flavian Literature.

Christopher Trinacty Publishes, Gives Lecture

March 28, 2019

Associate Professor of Classics Christopher Trinacty published an article in the latest issue of Greece & Rome. The article, "Fear and Healing: Seneca, Caecilius Iucundus, and the Campanian Earthquake of 62/63 CE", investigates strategies of coping with trauma in the ancient world. Trinacty also recently gave a lecture and workshop of his current research at Notre Dame University. The lecture, "The Beginning of the End: The Flood of Seneca's Natural Questions 3", analyzed the literary tropes that Seneca employs to express larger Stoic ideas, such as eternal recurrence.

Chris Trinacty Publishes Two Articles

December 17, 2018

Chris Trinacty, associate professor of classics, published two articles. “Lares and Laocöon: A Note on Aen. 2.199-227,” Vergilius 64 (2018: 173-181) points out how the artistic representation of snakes on religious altars influenced Vergil's depiction of the death of Laocöon. The second article, “The Surface and the Depths: Quotation and Intertextuality in Seneca’s Naturales Quaestiones,” TAPA 148 (2018: 361-92) investigates how Seneca structures the first book of his 'Naturales Quaestiones' through quotations and intertexts that concern water and hydrological phenomena. There are metaliterary implications for this structuring and these work hand-in-hand with his larger philosophical message.

Christopher Trinacty Lectures, Publishes

October 30, 2018

Christopher Trinacty, associate professor of classics, gave an invited lecture titled “The End of the World: Catastrophic Flooding in Seneca’s Natural Questions” at George Washington University. The lecture suggests a new way of reading the flood narrative of the work as part of larger Stoic ideas about time and cyclical history. Trinacty also published a chapter in the volume Intratextuality and Latin Literature (DeGruyter, 2018). The chapter, “Nulla res est quae non eius quo nascitur notas reddat (Nat. 3.21.2): Intertext to Intratext in Senecan Prose and Poetry” analyzes the way that Seneca links his works to those of his predecessors. Trinacty also published a book review on P. Kragelund’s Roman Historical Drama: The Octavia in Antiquity and Beyond in the journal Gnomon 90 (2018) 660-62.

Chris Trinacty Guest Edits and Contributes Essay

March 8, 2018

Chris Trinacty, associate professor of classics, recently acted as guest editor of the classics journal Ramus for a special issue on the topic of Senecan poetics. He co-authored the introduction and contributed an essay, “Retrospective Reading in Senecan Tragedy.” The essay examines each of Seneca’s plays and shows how the author encourages active re-reading of the plays through the incorporation of intertextual references.

Chris Trinacty and Andaleeb Banta Co-author Blog Post

March 8, 2018

Chris Trinacty, associate professor of classics, and Andaleeb Badiee Banta, curator of European and American art, co-authored a blog post highlighting how Oberlin College faculty utilize in their classes the resources available at Allen Memorial Art Museum.

Chris Trinacty Awarded Summer Residency

March 7, 2018

Chris Trinacty, associate professor of classics, was awarded a Margo Tytus Summer Residency Fellowship for summer 2018 at the University of Cincinnati in order to complete work on his book, A Commentary to Seneca’s Naturales Quaestiones III.

Christopher Trinacty Publishes, Gives Lectures

November 21, 2017

Christopher Trinacty, associate professor of classics, recently published two papers and gave two lectures. The first paper, “Tibullus’ Comedy: A note on Tib. 1.2.87-98” appears in the latest volume of Mnemosyne, a journal devoted to classical philology. This paper shows how Tibullus defines the elegiac lover in part through allusions to Roman comedy. The second paper, “Horatian Contexts for Senecan Tragedy” appears in the edited volume, Seneca and Horace: Interactions, Intertexts, Interpretations. This essay reveals the reception of Horace’s odes in Seneca’s dramatic poetry.

In October, Trinacty gave a lecture outside the walls of Pompeii as part of the Symposium Cumanum entitled “Therapeutic Strategies for Earthquake Survivors: Seneca, Caecilius Iucundus, and the Pompeiian Earthquake of 62/63 CE,” and he gave a talk entitled “Visions and Memories of Lucretius in Seneca’s Naturales Quaestiones” at the annual meeting of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association.

Christopher Trinacty Gives Three Lectures

May 4, 2017

In April 2017, Assistant Professor of Classics Christopher Trinacty gave three lectures. The first, “Wild Nothing: Teaching Latin Intertextuality,” was presented at the annual Classical Association of the Middle West and South meeting in Kitchener, Ontario. This lecture detailed the way Trinacty uses pop music to discuss allusion in Latin poetry. A second paper, “Intertext to Intratext in Senecan Prose and Poetry,” was given at the Midwest Classical Literature Consortium in Athens, Ohio. This talk analyzed the way that Seneca the Younger utilized intertexts in different manners in his prose and poetry. The final talk, “C.H. Sisson in Exile,” was given as part of the conference Revisiting C.H. Sisson: Modernist, Classicist, Translator, at Kings College, London. This paper pointed out certain aspects of the reception of Ovid’s exile poetry in the works of the English poet C.H. Sisson.

Chris Trinacty Presents and Publishes

December 12, 2016

Assistant Professor of Classics Chris Trinacty gave two papers at the University of Cincinnati on October 4 and 5, 2016. The papers, “Humanius est deridere vitam quam deplorare: Seneca on Comedy” and “Earthquakes and Trauma: Seneca’s Naturales Quaestiones 6” will be featured in edited volumes.

Chris also recently published an article “Intertextual Translation in Seneca, Ovid, and Hughes” in the Classical Receptions Journal. The article investigates how these poets use translation to position themselves in relation to their poetic predecessors.

Christopher Trinacty Publishes

March 30, 2016

Assistant Professor of Classics Christopher Trinacty recently published a chapter in the edited volume Roman Drama and its Contexts. The volume features many of the leading scholars in Roman comedy and tragedy. Trinacty's piece, "Tragic Translatio: Epistle 107 and Senecan Tragedy," examines Seneca's translation practices in his prose and poetic works. Trinacty argues for the importance of intratextual and intertextual clues for understanding Seneca's hermeneutics of translation in the piece.

Chris Trinacty Publishes Essay, Book Review

February 23, 2016

Assistant Professor of Classics Chris Trinacty has published the essay Imago Res Mortua Est: Senecan Intertextuality" in Brill's Companion to the Reception of Senecan Tragedy, an edited volume on the reception of Senecan tragedy. The essay establishes the importance of intertextuality for understanding Seneca's relationship to his literary, philosophical, and rhetorical predecessors.

Trinacty also published a book review on E.M. Young’s Translation as Muse: Poetic Translation in Catullus’s Rome in the Classical Journal online.

Christopher Trinacty Writes Book Chapter, Book Reviews

February 20, 2015

Christopher Trinacty, assistant professor of classics, contributed a chapter on Senecan tragedy to the recently published book The Cambridge Companion to Seneca. The chapter investigates the competing methodologies for the understanding of Senecan tragedy, with suggestions for possible ways to resolve these views.

Trinacty also recently published book reviews for the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR) and the Ancient History Bulletin.

Christopher Trinacty Publishes, Presents

June 30, 2014

Assistant Professor of Classics Christopher Trinacty recently published his first book, Senecan Tragedy and the Reception of Augustan Poetry, about the relationship between Seneca's dramatic poetry and the poetry of the previous generation with the Oxford University Press.  He also presented a paper entitled "Tragic Translatio and Allusive Aemulatio in Senecan Drama" at the 8th Trends in Classics International Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece.


A Conversation with Chris Trinacty

November 30, 2017

Assistant Professor of Classics Chris Trinacty on falling in love with Seneca’s tragedies, teaching the discipline through digital humanities, and his favorite Latin expressions.