Bakgrunn og aktiviteter

Associate Professor of Classics, Deputy Head of Department (2017-2021)

Before I came to the beautiful and ancient city of Trondheim, where I have been a Research Council of Norway's postdoc in classics, which included a research stay at the University of Oxford, I received my PhD in Latin at the University of Bergen. During the period of my PhD scholarship I had research stays at the University of Cambridge, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne, Centre Glotz-Gernet CNRS and Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Before that I did my master thesis at the University of Oslo, which included manuscript studies at the Vatican Library in Rome organized by Fédération internationale des Institutes d'études médievales, from which I hold the diploma DEEM.



I am interested in classical culture and literature and their receptions in later periods. I have contributed to a longstanding debate in Latin scholarship through my book Ovid’s Early Poetry, Cambridge University Press (2014), which deals with the authenticity of Ovid’s epistolary poem Heroides 15 in the context of the mediaeval manuscript transmission, several hundred years of scholarship and the entire output of Ovid’s earlier career, covering around 10,000 verses, the equivalent of Vergil’s epic the Aeneid.

I have explored how prose resembles and differs from poetry, focussing on the former in  the multi-authored volume Dynamics of Ancient Prose, de Gruyter (2018), which I co-edited with Stephen Harrison. The volume deals with the frequently neglected, yet vital genres of biography, the novel and apologetic literature in Greek and Latin of the Roman empire and includes twelve chapters by internationally leading specialists.

I edited and contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Latin Love Elegy, Cambridge University Press (2013), which traces the main characteristics of a strongly political genre in the late Roman republic and early empire, as well as the genre’s understudied, widely influential legacy from late antiquity up until today. The volume includes twenty-three chapters by internationally leading specialists.

Initially inspired by my many students who came to classics partly by way of computer games, my fascination for the surprisingly strong relationship between one of the youngest of the academic disciplines, game studies, and one of the most ancient, classics, led me to sole-editing the multi-authored volume Greek and Roman Games in the Computer Age (2012), where scholars from a wide variety of disciplines explore abstract as well as applied aspects of an increasingly important field of classical receptions.

Feminist perspectives, gender studies and literary theory are important influences in my research, as seen especially in my doctoral dissertation Scribentis imagines in Ovidian authorship and scholarship (University of Bergen, 2007).

In Norwegian, I have published a collection of fifty essays, exploring concepts of cross time meaning in written documents and literature through five thousand years (Kom ikke uten begjær, 2011). I have contributed as co-author to a textbook on ancient civilization (Antikkens kultur, 2010) and I have published the first translations with scholarly introductions and notes into Norwegian of the love elegies of Ovid (2001, 2002, 2006 and 2009), all in the metrical form of elegiac couplets, and I pursue my interest in metrics in various other publications.

I am also a published novelist (Pia Fraus, 2004).


Current research

I manage a research project funded through the Research Council of Norway’s Young Research Talents’ scheme, The Heterosexual Tradition of Homoerotic Poetics. The project involves a team consisting of Professor Stephen Harrison (University of Oxford and NTNU), Iris Brecke, Peter Astrup Sundt and Else Melvær Falkenstein, in addition to myself.

I explore the Greek woman poet Sappho’s Roman reception in a multi-authored volume co-edited with Prof. Harrison, which is forthcoming (2019) with Oxford University Press.

I am currently working on several projects within the field of classical rhetoric within and beyond ancient literature and have written on Tatian, Fronto and Marcus Aurelius and Theodoricus, so-called monacus.


I believe that outreach is vital to academic life. I am very happy to manage, in joint collaboration between NTNU and the Gyldendal publishing house, the long-term book series Kanon, which aims at publishing translations of ‘all’ the classical texts into Norwegian during the next decades (2014–). The project involves the active recruitment of translators who know Greek and Latin.

I am a founding board member of the Classical Resources in School programme (Klassiske ressurser i skolen, 2014–), focusing on the trove that classical disciplines represent in school curricula and promoting the study of Latin in schools; a convenor of the Classics for All day (Klassisk for alle, 2015–), dedicated to outreach activities to pupils and students in particular; the founder and convenor of the Breakspear Lecture (2015–), featuring high profiled academics; and the artistic director of SPOR, a festival for literature with a special focus on translations and the history of ideas.

I am frequently invited as a public speaker, and I feature regularly in local, regional and national media, especially newspapers and radio. I have also been in several TV shows and been the long-term contributor to different shows in the national broadcast radio channel NRK P2 and the weekly, national newspaper Morgenbladet.



Latin language, Classical poetry and prose, ancient civilization, rhetoric and literature.

(e.g. Ant1101, Ant1102, Ant1003, Lat1001, Lat1003, Lat1004, Lat1005, HFEL0004).



Any topic for bachelor and master thesis, especially Latin poetry, which can be related to Antikken på norsk in cooperation with Gyldendal norsk forlag. Potential PhD students are welcome to discuss topics.

Vitenskapelig, faglig og kunstnerisk arbeid

Et utvalg av nyere tidsskriftspublikasjoner, kunstneriske produksjoner, bok, inklusiv bokdeler og rapport-del. Se alle publikasjoner i databasen


Kunstneriske produksjoner

  • Thorsen, Thea Selliaas. (2014) Utdrag fra Ovids Metamorphoses - Forvandlinger. Om Proserpina og Pluto. null


  • Thorsen, Thea Selliaas; Harrison, Stephen. (2018) Dynamics of Ancient Prose: Biographic, Novelistic, Apologetic. Walter de Gruyter. 2018. ISBN 978-3-11-059443-0.
  • Thorsen, Thea Selliaas. (2014) Ovid's Early Poetry: From his single Heroides to his Remedia amoris. Cambridge University Press. 2014. ISBN 9781107040410.
  • Thorsen, Thea Selliaas. (2013) The Cambridge companion to latin love elegy. Cambridge University Press. 2013. ISBN 978-0-521-12937-4.
  • Thorsen, Thea Selliaas. (2012) Greek and Roman games in the computer age. Akademika forlag. 2012. ISBN 978-82-519-2885-4. Trondheim studies in Greek and Latin (-).
  • Thorsen, Thea Selliaas. (2011) Kom ikke uten begjær. Gyldendal Litteratur. 2011. ISBN 978-82-05-40961-3.