Over the last two decades, research in cultural geography and landscape studies has influenced many humanities fields, including Classics, and has increasingly drawn our attention to the importance of spaces and their contexts, both geographical and social: how spaces are described by language, what spaces are used for by individuals and communities, and how language, use, and the passage of time invest spaces with meaning. In addition to this ‘spatial’ turn in scholarship, recent years have also seen an ‘emotive’ turn – an increased interest in the study of emotion in literature.

Many works on landscape in classical antiquity focus on themes such as the sacred and the pastoral and the emotions such spaces evoke, such as (respectively) feelings of awe or tranquillity in settings both urban and rural. Far less scholarship has been generated by the locus terribilis, the space associated with negative emotions because of the bad things that happen there. In short, the recent ‘emotive’ turn in humanities studies has so far largely neglected several of the more negative emotions, including anxiety, fear, terror, and dread.

The papers in this volume focus on those neglected negative emotions, especially dread – and they do so while treating many types of space, including domestic, suburban, rural and virtual, and while covering many genres and authors, including the epic poems of Homer, Greek tragedy, Roman poetry and historiography, medical writing, paradoxography and the short story.

chapter |11 pages


Dread and the landscape

part I|82 pages

Evoking dread in early Greek literature

chapter 1|23 pages

Abject landscapes of the Iliad

chapter 2|20 pages

Limits of dread

ἐσχατιά, πεῖραρ, and dangerous edge-space in Homeric formulae

chapter 3|19 pages

Home and away

The importance of suicide location in Sophocles’s Ajax

part II|68 pages

Anxiety and dread in the Roman literary landscape

chapter 5|22 pages

Living in fear

Affect and dwelling space in Horace’s Roman Odes

chapter 7|18 pages

Wily wetlands

Imperialism and resistance in Tacitus’s Batavian revolt

part III|114 pages

Dread of the preternatural in classical literature

chapter 8|20 pages

Dragonscapes and dread

chapter 9|24 pages

The liminal space

Suburbs as a demonic domain in classical literature 1

chapter 11|33 pages

Haunted minds, haunted places

Topographies of insanity in Greek and Roman paradoxography

chapter 12|18 pages

Dread in the dark?

From modern fiction to classical antiquity

part IV|26 pages


chapter 13|24 pages

Detroit and the classical sublime

Or, in defense of “ruin porn”