Bio


My early formal training was as a papyrologist. For a number of years I published texts from the Oxyrhynchus and the Yale papyrus collections before turning to the two areas of research that continue to occupy me: the political and social dimensions of Hellenistic literature (and its later reception) and ancient Greek fiction writing. With Jack Winkler I edited Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments (Princeton) in 1995, and I continue to write on the social contexts of the novels and on Hellenistic Egypt more generally. In 1998 I began to write on the Hellenistic poets suggesting that their poems could be best be understood as contextualized responses to a new time and place—the recently founded city of Alexandria. Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria, which appeared in 2003, was a study of how the local Egyptian contours of Ptolemaic kingship informed the poetry of Callimachus, Theocritus, and Apollonius. Since then then I have turned to Callimachus’ reception of earlier writing (particularly Herodotus and Plato), his imagined geographies, and his appropriation of earlier Greek myths of North Africa. Callimachus in Context. From Plato to the Alexandrian Poets (with Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Cambridge, 2011) and Brill’s Companion to Callimachus (co-edited with Acosta-Hughes and Luigi Lehnus) will both appear this summer.

At the moment I am writing a commentary on Callimachus’ Hymns and, in an effort to make Callimachus’ Aetia more accessible and user friendly, will be facilitating a website located on the Stanford server.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, Classics

Administrative Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, Oakland University (1971 - 1974)
  • Assistant Professor, Yale University (1974 - 1978)
  • Assistant Professor, Stanford University (1978 - 1982)
  • Associate Professor, Stanford University (1982 - 1990)
  • Professor, Stanford University (1990 - Present)
  • Associate Dean, Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (1991 - 1993)
  • Chair, Department of Classics, Stanford University (1993 - 1996)
  • Chair, Department of Classics, Stanford University (1999 - 2001)
  • Chair, Department of Classics, Stanford University (2004 - 2005)
  • Senior Associate Dean, Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, Stanford University (2005 - 2009)
  • Senior Associate Dean, Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2005 - 2009)
  • Morse Fellowship, Yale University (1977 - 1978)
  • Senior Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities (1981 - 1982)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa Society (1965 - 1965)
  • Director, American Society of Papyrologisls (1976 - 1980)
  • Secretary-Treasurer, American Society of Papyrologists (1980 - 1985)
  • Invited Scholar, Institute for Classical Studies (1982 - 1982)
  • Editor, American Studies in Papyrology, Supplement Series (1980 - 1984)
  • Editor, Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists (1982 - 1988)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Classical Antiquity (1990 - 1994)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Scholars Press (1980 - 1985)
  • Member, Board of Directors, California Classical Association (1979 - 1981)
  • Member, Executive Board, Stanford Chapter, Phi Beta Kappa (1981 - 1983)
  • Member, Executive Board, Stanford Chapter, Phi Beta Kappa (1987 - 1988)
  • President, Stanford Chapter, Phi Beta Kappa (1982 - 1983)
  • Member, American Philological Association
  • Member, Association Internationale de Papyrologues
  • Member, Egypt Exploration Society
  • Reviewer, Oxford Press
  • Reviewer, Cambridge Press
  • Reviewer, Blackwell's
  • Reviewer, Classical Philology
  • Reviewer, American Journal of Philology
  • Reviewer, ACLS
  • Reviewer, Transactions of the American Philological Association
  • Reviewer, NEH
  • Reviewer, National Humanities Center
  • Member, Sibley Fellowship Selection Committee (2006 - 2009)
  • Member, Benefits Committee, Stanford University (1981 - 1982)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Committee for Research on Women, Stanford University (1981 - 1993)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women, Stanford University (1981 - 1981)
  • Member, Feminist Studies, Stanford University (1983 - 1984)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Committee, Stanford Art Museum, Stanford University (1984 - 1984)
  • Member, C-US Subcommittee on Distribution Requirements, Stanford University (1984 - 1985)
  • Track Coordinator, Conflict and Change in Western Culture, Stanford University (1984 - 1985)
  • Member, Task Force on Area One Requirement, Stanford University (1986 - 1988)
  • Member, Academic Senate, Stanford University (1987 - 1989)
  • Member, Academic Senate, Stanford University (1994 - 1996)
  • Member, C-AAA Subcommittee on University and Departmental Honors, Stanford University (1987 - 1988)
  • Member, Committee on Graduate Studies Stanford University (1988 - 1990)
  • Member, Committee in Charge, Humanities Special Programs, Stanford University (1989 - 1989)
  • Chair, Review Committee for Program in Feminist Studies, Stanford University (1989 - 1989)
  • Chair, Senate Committee on Graduate Studies, Stanford University (1990 - 1991)
  • Chair, Humanities Special Programs, Stanford University (1990 - 1991)
  • Associate Dean, Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (1991 - 1993)
  • Member, H&S Curriculum Committee, Stanford University (1995 - 1996)
  • Member, H&S Curriculum Committee, Stanford University (2000 - 2000)
  • Member, Appointments and Promotions Committee, H&S, Stanford University (1998 - 2000)
  • Chair, Department of Classics, Stanford University (1993 - 1996)
  • Chair, Department of Classics, Stanford University (1999 - 2001)
  • Acting Chair, Department of Classics, Stanford University (2004 - 2005)
  • Member, H&S Search committee for new director of Bing Overseas Studies Program, Stanford University (2004 - 2004)
  • Member, VPUE's Undergraduate Advisory Committee, Stanford University (2001 - 2009)
  • Member, C-AAA Subcommittee on University and Departmental Honors, Stanford University (2003 - 2004)
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Stanford Humanities Fellows, Stanford University (2001 - 2008)
  • Acting Director, Introduction to the Humanities, Stanford University (2005 - 2006)
  • Senior Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2005 - 2009)
  • Chair, Senate Committee for the Review of the Undergraduate Major, Stanford University (2012 - 2013)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, Classics (1972)
  • Special Research Student, University College London, Papyrology (1970)
  • M.A., Columbia University, Latin (1967)
  • B.A., Stanford University, English (1965)

2020-21 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Master's Program Advisor
    Brian Le
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Olivia Angsten, Brandon Bark, Nicholas Bartos, Serena Crosson, Rachel Dubit, Grace Erny, Hyunjip Kim, Thomas Leibundgut, James Macksoud, Umit Ozturk, David Pickel, Peter Shi, Ian Tewksbury, Sarah Wilker

All Publications


  • Egypt and the Limits of Hellenism (Book Review) CLASSICAL WORLD Book Review Authored by: Stephens, S. A. 2013; 106 (4): 709-710
  • Deregulating Poetry The City Dancing: Performance and Culture in Plato's Laws Stephens, S. A. edited by Peponi, A. Cambridge. 2013: 371–91
  • Writing Alexandria as the (Common)place Mythe et Pouvior a̒ l'e̒poque he̒llenistique Stephens, S. A. edited by Cusset, C., Weissman, N. L., Levin, F. 2013: 137–153
  • Greek Prose Composition Stephens, S. A. Bryn Mawr Textbooks. 2012
  • Callimachus in Context. From Plato to the Augustan Poets Stephens, S. A., Hughes, B. A. Cambridge. 2012
  • Introduction Brill's Companion to Callimachus Stephens, S. A. edited by Hughes, B. A., Lehnus, L. Leiden. 2011: 1–19
  • Brill 's Companion to Callimachus edited by Stephens, S. A., Hughes, B. A., Lehnus, L. Leiden. 2011
  • "Lessons of the Crocodile" for "Imperial Trauma: The Powerlessness of the Powerful" Peace and Mind: Civilian Scholarship from Common Knowledge Stephens, S. A. edited by Perl, J. M. Aurora, Colorado. 2011: 311–46
  • Literary Quarrels Atti della seconda gionata di studi su Callimaco Stephens, S. A. edited by Martina, A., Cozzoli, A. T. 2011: 35–50
  • Remapping the Mediterranean: The Argo Adventure in Apollonius and Callimachus Culture in Pieces. Festschrift for Peter Parsons Stephens, S. A. edited by Obbink, D., Rutherford, R. Oxford. 2011: 188–207
  • The New Alexandrian Library Classics and National Cultures Stephens, S. A. edited by Stephens, Vasunia Oxford. 2010: 267–84
  • Ptolemaic Alexandria A Companion to Hellenistic Literature Stephens, S. A. edited by Clauss, J., Cuypers, M. Blackwell. 2010: 46–61
  • Classics and National Cultures edited by Stephens, S. A., Vasunia, P. Oxford. 2010
  • Hellenistic Culture Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies Stephens, S. A. edited by Stones, G. B., Graziosi, B. Oxford. 2009: 86–97
  • Brill's Companion to Hellenistic Epigram down to Philip (Book Review) BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PAPYROLOGISTS Book Review Authored by: Stephens, S. A. 2009; 46: 243-247
  • The Narrator in Archaic and Hellenistic Greek Poetry Classical Review Stephens, S. A. 2008
  • Cultural Identity Cambridge Companion to the Ancient Novel Stephens, S. A. edited by Whitmarsh, T. Cambridge. 2008: 56–71
  • Ptolemaic Epic Brill Companion to Apollonius Rhodius Stephens, S. A. Leiden. 2008; 211d revised: 95–114
  • Ptolemaic Pastoral Companion to Pastoral Stephens, S. A. edited by Fantuzzi, M., Papanghelis, T. Brill. 2006: 91–118
  • Bookrolls and Scribes of Oxyrhynchus Bryn Mawr Classical Review Stephens, S. A. 2005
  • Battle of the Books The New Posidippus: A Hellenistic Poetry Book Stephens, S. A. edited by Gutzwiller, K. Oxford. 2005: 220–239
  • Ancient Greek literature (Book Review) CLASSICAL REVIEW Book Review Authored by: Stephens, S. A. 2005; 55 (2): 387-388
  • "Lessons of the Crocodile" for "Imperial Trauma: The Powerlessness of the Powerful" Common Knowledge Stephens, S. A. 2005; 11 (2): 215-39
  • "Posidippus' Poetry Book: Where Macedon Meets Egypt Ancient Alexandria: between Greece and Egypt Stephens, S. A. edited by Harris, W. V., Ruffini, G. Brill. 2004: 63–86
  • For You, Arsinoe ... Labored in Papyrus Leaves-Perspectives on an Epigram Collection Attributed to Posidippus Stephens, S. A. edited by Hughes, B. A., Kosmetatou, E. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2004: 161–76
  • Rituals in Ink edited by Stephens, S. A., Barchiesi, A., Rüpke, J. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart. 2004
  • Whose Rituals in Ink? Rituals in Ink Stephens, S. A. edited by Barchiesi, Rupke, Stephens Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart. 2004: 155–58
  • The Manuscript: Posidippus on Papyrus Labored in Papyrus Leaves Stephens, S. A., Obbink, D. edited by Hughes, B. A., Kosmetatou, E. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2004: 7–1 5
  • Posidippi Pellaei quae supersunt omnia Bryn Mawr Classical Review Stephens, S. A. 2003
  • Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria Stephens, S. A. Berkeley and Los Angeles. 2003
  • Fragments of Lost Novels Handbook of the Ancient Novel Stephens, S. A. edited by Schmeling, G. Brill. 2003: 655–83
  • Rereading Callimachus' 'Aetia' Fragment 1 CLASSICAL PHILOLOGY Acosta-Hughes, B., Stephens, S. A. 2002; 97 (3): 238-255
  • Linus song ('Iliad') HERMATHENA Stephens, S. A. 2002: 13-28
  • Egyptian Callimachus Callimaque. Entretiens sur L 'Antiquite classique Stephens, S. A. Geneva: Fondation Hardt. 2002: 235–70
  • Commenting on Fragments The Classical Commentary: History, Practices, Theory Stephens, S. A. edited by Gibson, R., Kraus, C. Brill. 2002: 67–88
  • Aetia fr. 1.5: I told my story like a child Zeitschrifit für Papyrologie und Epigraphik Stephens, S. A. 2001; 136: 214-16
  • Oxford Studies in the Greek Novel Classical Review Stephens, S. A. 2000
  • Oxford Studies in the Roman Novel Classical Review Stephens, S. A. 2000
  • Writing Epic in the Ptolemaic Court Hellenistica Groningana Stephens, S. A. 2000; 4: 195-215
  • Callimachus at Court Hellenistica Groningana Stephens, S. A. 1998; 3: 167-85
  • Landowners and Tenants in Roman Egypt. The Social Relations of Agriculture in the Oxyrhynchite Nome Bryn Mawr Classical Review Stephens, S. A. 1997; 8 (4): 380-86
  • Soldier and Society in Roman Egypt: A Social History Bryn Mawr Classical Review Stephens, S. A. 1996; 7 (8): 665-7
  • Greek Prose Composition Stephens, S. A. Bryn Mawr Textbooks. 1996
  • Hellenistic Queens Women's Studies Encyclopedia, Vol. Ill: History, Philosophy and Religion Stephens, S. A. edited by Tierney, H. Greenwood Press. 1996: 200–202
  • Fragments of Lost Novels Handbook of the Ancient Novel Stephens, S. A. edited by Schmeling, G. Brill. 1996: 655–83
  • Alcibiades in the Rhetorical Tradition Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik Stephens, S. A. 1995; 105: 215-224
  • Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments. Introduction, Text, Translation and Commentary Stephens, S. A., Winkler, J. J. Princeton. 1995
  • Who Read Ancient Novels? The Search for the Ancient Novel Stephens, S. A. edited by Tatum, J. Johns Hopkins Press. 1994: 405–418
  • An Epikrisis Return and Other Documentary Fragments from the Yale Collection Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik Stephens, S. A. 1993; 90: 221-226
  • Six Documents from the Yale Collection Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik Stephens, S. A. 1991; 88: 169-176
  • Hellenistic Queens Women's Studies Encyclopedia, Vol. Ill: History, Philosophy and Religion Stephens, S. A. edited by Tierney, H. Greenwood Press. 1991
  • DECODING THE ANCIENT NOVEL - THE READER AND THE ROLE OF DESCRIPTION IN HELIODORUS AND ACHILLES-TATIUS - BARTSCH,S (Book Review) AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHILOLOGY Book Review Authored by: Stephens, S. A. 1991; 112 (4): 567-570
  • The Rhetorical Papyrus P. Hamb. 134 Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik Stephens, S. A. 1989; 77: 267-70
  • Recycled Demosthenes Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik Stephens, S. A. 1989; 77: 271-72
  • Complaints of Police Brutality Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik Stephens, S. A., Caulfield, T., Estner, A. 1989; 76: 241-254
  • Book Production Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome Stephens, S. A. 1988: 421–436
  • A EULOGY FOR CHRISTIAN MARTYRS + PUBLICATION OF A GREEK PAPYRUS FRAGMENT BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PAPYROLOGISTS Stephens, S. A. 1985; 22 (1-4): 333-348
  • Yale Papyri in the Beinecke Library II Stephens, S. A. Chico. 1985
  • The Ancient Title of the Ad Demonicum Yale Classical Studies Stephens, S. A. 1985; 28: 5-9
  • WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT-WORLD - THE ARETHUSA PAPERS - PERADOTTO,J, SULLIVAN,JP (Book Review) SIGNS Book Review Authored by: Stephens, S. A. 1985; 11 (1): 187-188
  • THE ARGINUSAE THEME IN GREEK RHETORICAL THEORY AND PRACTICE BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PAPYROLOGISTS Stephens, S. A. 1983; 20 (3-4): 171-180
  • Nine Orders to Pay from Oxyrhynchus The Oxyrhynchus Papyri XLIX Stephens, S. A. Oxford. 1983: 251–257
  • Lionel Pearson: Selected Papers edited by Stephens, S. A., Lateiner, D. Chico. 1983
  • Didymi in Demosthenem Commenta Stephens, S. A., Pearson, L. Teubner, Stuttgart. 1983
  • Two Fragments of New Comedy Oxyrhynchus Papyri XLIX Stephens, S. A. Oxford. 1983: 1–10
  • Aristophanes, Poiesis Papyri Greek & Egyptian: Edited by Various Hands in Honour of Eric Gardner Turner on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday Stephens, S. A. Oxford. 1981: 23–25
  • Nine Orders to Pay from Oxyrhynchus Zeitschrift Papyrologie und Epigraphik Stephens, S. A. 1978; 31: 145-160
  • Oxyrhynchus Papyri XLV Stephens, S. A., Bowman, A., Shelton, J., West, M. Oxford. 1977
  • Lease of Land Collectanea Papyrologica: Texts Published in Honor of H. C. Youtie Stephens, S. A. Koln. 1976: 535–541
  • Lease of Land Collectanea Papyrologica: Texts Published in Honor of H. C. Youtie Stephens, S. A. Köln. 1976: 535–541