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Oliver Taplin

Professor Oliver Taplin was a fellow and tutor of Classics (Literae Humaniores) at Magdalen College, Oxford.
Professor Taplin is author of several books, including 'Greek Fire', a celebration of the capacity of Ancient Greek culture to stand the test of time and influence modern art, thought and society. The book accompanied a Channel 4 documentary series of the same name. This book has been translated into five languages. His first book was "The Stagecraft of Aeschylus" examining the entrances and exits of characters in Aeschylus's plays.
He set up the APGRD (Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama) in 1996 with Edith Hall. It is devoted to the international production and reception of ancient plays since the Renaissance. He has also worked with productions in the theatre, including The Oresteia at the National Theatre (1980–81), The Thebans at the RSC (1991–92), and The Oresteia at the National Theatre (1999–2000).
Apart from Greek drama, his chief area of interest was in Homer.
He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995. Since turning 65 in August 2008, Professor Taplin has retired as Tutor in Classics at Magdalen College, Oxford. The same year, Oxford University Press published 'Performance, Iconography, Reception: Studies in Honour of Oliver Taplin' edited by Martin Revermann and Peter Wilson.

Series featuring Oliver Taplin

  • What is Tragedy?
  • What is Translation?
  • Interviews with Oxonians
  • TORCH | The Oxford Research in the Humanities
  • Faculty of Classics
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life Jonathan Bate, Anne Farrar Donovan, Seamus Perry and Oliver Taplin discuss life-writing, poetry and the poet Jonathan Bate, Seamus Perry, Oliver Taplin, Anne Farrar Donovan 20 Oct 2015
2 Creative Commons Who Translates and for Whom? Fourth part of the What is Translation Podcast series. In this part, the question of who is best placed to translate classic texts; academics, poets, dramatists and who is best placed to receive the translation, students, scholars or the general public. Oliver Taplin, Lorna Hardwick 27 Jul 2010
3 Creative Commons Can Poetry be Translated? Third part of the What is Translation podcast series. In this part, the question of whether poetry be translated. Is there something within the original that is lost in the translation? Oliver Taplin, Lorna Hardwick 27 Jul 2010
4 Creative Commons Is there ever a Faithful Translation? Second part of the What is Translation podcast series. In this part, the question of whether there can be a faithful translation; does the act of translating a text change the meaning of the original is discussed. Oliver Taplin, Lorna Hardwick 27 Jul 2010
5 Creative Commons Is there a Core to Translation? First part of the What is Translation podcast series looking at translation of classical texts. In this part, the question of whether there is a core to translation; is there a central guiding idea to translation is discussed. Oliver Taplin, Lorna Hardwick 27 Jul 2010
6 Creative Commons Is Tragedy still Alive? Discussion on whether tragedy still exists in modern culture, whether in films, modern theatre or and other creative arts. Oliver Taplin, Joshua Billings 01 Mar 2010
7 Creative Commons Does Tragedy Teach? Third dialogue on the nature of tragedy where they talk about whether tragic theatre teaches people, and if it does, how and what does it teach? Oliver Taplin, Joshua Billings 01 Mar 2010
8 Creative Commons What does Tragedy do for People? A discussion of what the use of tragedy is, and whether the emotional experience of tragic theatre is simply a passing thrill or a vital part of life. Oliver Taplin, Joshua Billings 01 Mar 2010
9 Creative Commons Defining Tragedy First dialogue between Oliver Taplin and Joshua Billings on tragedy: they discuss what 'tragedy' means, from its origins in Greek culture to philosophical notions of what tragedy and tragic drama are. Oliver Taplin, Joshua Billings 01 Mar 2010
10 Oliver Taplin on Classics Professor Oliver Taplin, an authority on classics and the performance of ancient drama, talks about the subject and his research. Oliver Taplin, Oliver Lewis 22 Apr 2009
11 Creative Commons Oliver Taplin on Classics Professor Oliver Taplin, an authority on classics and the performance of ancient drama, talks about the subject and his research. Oliver Taplin, Oliver Lewis 12 Sep 2008