Mary R. Bachvarova

Professor of Classics; Department Chair



  • Ph.D. with Honors, University of Chicago, "From Hittite to Homer: The Role of Anatolians in the Transmission of Epic and Prayer Motifs from the Near East to the Greeks," (Committee: Shadi Bartsch (head); Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.; Calvert Watkins (Harvard University); Christopher Faraone)


  • M.A., University of Chicago, "The Treatment of hakāra in the Classificatory Systems of Sanskrit Grammarians"


  • Graduate Student in the Committee on the History of Culture, University of Chicago


  • Graduate Student-at-large, University of Chicago


  • A.B. in Classics: Greek and Latin, Magna cum Laude, Harvard University/Radcliffe College


  • Trinity School, New York City


Articles and Book Chapters


  • "Migrations in the Anatolian epic tradition," Nostoi: Indigenous Culture, Migration and Integration in the Aegean Islands and Western Anatolia during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages, edited by K. Kopanias, Ç. Maner, and N. Stampolidis (Koç University Press).


  • "Hurro-Hittite narrative song as a bilingual oral-derived genre," for the Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference of Hittitology in Warsaw, Poland, Sept. 5-9, 2011, edited by M. Kapelus and P. Taracha. Warsaw, Poland; Agade Press. 77-110.


  • "Hurro-Hittite stories and Hittite pregnancy and birth rituals," in Women in the Ancient Near East, edited by M. Chavalas. London and New York: Routledge Press. 272-307.
  • "Ion and the Gorgon: Ancient Greek medical and mythical constructions of the interactions between women's experiences of sex and birth," in Arethusa 46 (2013): 415-46.
  • Translations with introductory discussions of "An Anatolian (Hattic) Myth of Illuyanka," "Hurro-Hittite narrative Song: KumarbiCycle," "The Hurro-Hittite Song of Release (Destruction of the City of Ebla)," "Telipinu: An Anatolian Myth about a Departed God," in Gods, Heroes, and Monsters: A Sourcebook of Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern Myths in Translation, edited by Carolina López-Ruiz. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 135-9, 139-63, 290-9, 451-8.
  • "CTH 767.7: The Birth Ritual of Pittei: Its Occasion and the Activity of the Scribe," in Luwian Identities: Language and Religion between Anatolia and the Aegean, edited by Alice Mouton, Ian C. Rutherford, and Ilya Yakubovich. Leiden, New York: Brill. 136-157.
  • "Adapting Mesopotamian Myth in Hurro-Hittite Rituals at Hattuša: IŠTAR, the Underworld, and the Legendary Kings," in Beyond Hatti: ATribute to Gary Beckman, eds. Billie Jean Collins and Piotr Michalowski. Atlanta, Ga.: Lockwood Press. 23-44.


  • "The Transmission of Liver Divination from East to West." Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 54: 1-22.
  • "From "kingship in heaven" to king lists: Syro-Anatolian courts and the history of the world." Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 12: 97-118.


  • "The Meter of Hurrian narrative song." Altorientalische Forschungen 38: 285-308.


  • "The manly deeds of Hattusili I: Hittite admonitory history and didactic epic." In Epic and History, eds. K. Raaflaub and D. Konstan. Waltham, Mass: Blackwell. 66-85.


  • "Suppliant Danaids and Argive Nymphs in Aeschylus." Classical Journal 104.4: 289-310.
  • "Hittite and Greek Perspectives on Travelling Poets, Texts and Festivals." In Wandering Poets in Ancient Greek Culture: Travel, Locality and Panhellenism, eds. R. Hunter and I. C. Rutherford. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 23-45.


  • "The Poet's Point of View and the Prehistory of the Iliad." In Hittites, Greeks and Their Neighbors: An International Conference on Cross-Cultural Interaction Held at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University (Sept. 17-19, 2004), eds. B. J. Collins, M. R. Bachvarova and I. C. Rutherford. Woodbridge, Conn.: Oxbow Press. 95-108.
  • "Sumerian Gala Priests and Eastern Mediterranean Returning Gods: Tragic Lament in Cross-Cultural Perspective." In Lament: Studies in the Ancient Mediterranean World and Beyond, ed. A. Suter. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 18-52.


  • "Actions and Attitudes: Understanding Greek (and Latin) Verbal Paradigms." Classical World 100: 123-33.
  • "Oath and Allusion in Alcaeus fr. 129." In Horkos: The Oath in Greek Society, eds. A. H. Sommerstein and J. Fletcher, Exeter: Bristol Phoenix Press. 179-88, 258-64.
  • "Suffixaufnahme and Genitival Adjectives as an Anatolian Areal Feature in Hurrian, Tyrrhenian and Anatolian Languages." In Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference, Nov. 3-4 2006, eds. K. Jones-Bley, M. E. Huld, A. Della Volpe, and M. Robbins Dexter. Washington, D. C. Institute for the Study of Man. 169-89.


  • "Divine Justice across the Mediterranean: Hittite Arkuwars and the Trial Scene in Aeschylus' Eumenides." Journal of Near Eastern Religions 6:123-53.


  • "The Eastern Mediterranean Epic Tradition from Bilgames and Akka to the Song of Release to the Iliad." Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 45: 131-53.
  • "Relations Between God and Man in the Hurro-Hittite 'Song of Release'." Journal of the American Oriental Society 125:1-13.


  • "Topics in Lydian Verse: Accentuation and Syllabification." Journal of Indo-European Studies 32: 227-47.


  • "Successful Birth, Unsuccessful Marriage: Using Near Eastern Birth Incantations to Interpret Aeschylus' Suppliants." NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 2: 49-90.


  • "The Literary Use of Dialects: Ancient Greek, Indic and Sumerian." In CLS 33: Papers from the Panels on Linguistic Ideologies in Contact, Universal Grammar, Parameters and Typology, The Perception of Speech and Other Acoustic Signals, eds. K. Singer, R. Eggert, G. Anderson. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society. 7-22.

PDFs available upon request. Also, check my page!

Co-Edited Book


  • Anatolian Interfaces: Hittites, Greeks, and Their Neighbors: Proceedings of an International Conference on Cross-Cultural Interaction, Sept. 17-19, 2004, Emary University, Atlanta, GA, eds. B. J. Collins, M. R. Bachvarova, I. Rutherford, Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Forthcoming Book

  • From Hittite to Homer: The Anatolian Background of Greek Epic, Cambridge University Press.

Forthcoming Book Chapters and Articles

  • "Wisdom of former days: The manly Hittite king and foolish Kumarbi, father of the gods," in Being a Man in Antiquity: Negotiating, Legitimating, and Maintaining Ancient Constructs of Masculinity, edited by Ilona Zsolnay (Routledge Press).
  • "Festivals: Hittite," "Hurrian" and "Hurrians," in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, eds. Dale C. Allison, Jr., Volker Leppin, Choon-Leong Seow, Hermann Spieckermann, Barry Dov Walfish, and Eric Ziolkowski (Walter de Gruyter)
  • "Migrations in the Anatolian Epic Tradition," in the conference proceedings of "Nostoi: Indigenous Culture, Migration and Integration in the Aegean Islands and Western Anatolia during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages," March 18, 2011, Koc University, Istanbul, edited by K. Kopanias, C.Maner, and N. Stampolidis (Koc University Press)


Spring 2015

  • CLAS 250W (TH, no seniors): Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians (CLAS 250W SYLLABUS)
  • Greek 132: Beginning Ancient Greek II
  • CLAS 496W: Senior Seminar
  • Greek 350 (Writing-Centered): Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: Readings in Greek
  • Greek 391: Advanced Readings in Latin Literature
  • LAT 350W: (TH, no seniors): Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians: Readings in Livy
  • LAT 391: Advanced Readings in Latin Literature

Fall 2014

  • CLAS 260 (IT): Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greek Society (CLAS 260-01 SYLLABUS)
  • Greek 131: Beginning Ancient Greek I
  • Greek 231: Intermediate Ancient Greek I: Plato, Apology; Lysias 1, Herodotus
  • Greek 360 (IT): Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greek Society; Euripides' Hippolytus

Recent and Future Talks

  • "Multiformity in the Song of Hedammu: The Evidence and the Implications," at the 225th Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society, New Orleans, La., March 13-16, 2015
  • "Towards an Understanding of the Gendered Hittite Landscape: What Does It Mean When Mountains Give Birth?," at the Ninth International Conference of Hittitology in Çorum, Turkey, Sept. 1-7, 2014
  • "'His Horses are Harnessed to the Yoke': How the Horse became the Preferred Traction Animal for Mesopotamian Gods," at the 224th Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Phoenix, Arizona, March 14-17, 2014.
  • "Shawushka, Woman of Incantations," at the "35th International Conference of the ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies: Hurrians and Amorites," Oxford University, April 4, 2013.
  • "Adapting Mesopotamian Myth in Hurro-Hittite Rituals at Hattusa: Ishtar, the Underworld, and the Legendary Kings," at the 223rd Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Portland, Oregon, March 15-18, 2013.
  • "The Origin of the Iliad: A Greco-Anatolian Enterprise Constructing a Shared Past," American Institute of Archaeology lecture at Portland State University, Nov. 30, 2012.