Here you can find a range of academic texts on disability in ancient myth and literature. Many but not all of these are referenced in the articles elsewhere on the website, and we hope you find something useful here.


If you know of any sources that we have missed, please feel free to suggest an addition!  

General: Disability

Paterson, M., 2016.  Blindness, Empathy, and ‘Feeling Seeing’: Literary Accounts of Blind Experience. Edinburgh University Press.

As the title suggests, this book addresses the theme of blindness in literature, from antiquity to the present day. 

Sharples, A. (2019) Disabling Ableism in the Classics. Eidolon.

General: Mythology


Frazer, J. (1993/1906-15). The Golden Bough. Wordsworth. 

Greece and Rome


Dumézil, G. 1996 Archaic Roman Religion, vol. 1 and 2

Garland, R., 1995. The Eye of the Beholder. Duckworth.

Harrison, J. 1908. Prolegomena to the Study of Greek ReligionCambridge University Press.

Lawson, J.C. (1910) Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion. Cambridge.

Lee, L. (2018) ‘Misshapen By Birth:’ Perceptions of Physical Disability in Homer and the Alison Lapper Sculptures. University College London.

Rose, M.L., 2003. The Staff of Oedipus. University of Michigan Press. 

Visual Impairment:

Africa, T.W. (1970) The One-Eyed Man against Rome: An Exercise in Euhemerism. Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 19, 528–538.

Alden, M. J. (1997) The Resonances of the Song of Ares and Aphrodite pp. 513-529 in Mnemosyne, Fourth Series, Vol. 50, Fasc. 5, Leiden; Brill Publications

Bohigian, G.H. (1997) The history of the evil eye and its influence on ophthalmology, medicine and social customs. Doc Ophthalmol 94, 91–100.

Brown, C. G. Ares, Aphrodite and the Laughter of the Gods pp. 283-293 in Phoenix Vol.43, No.4, Victoria; Classical Association of Canada

Cilliers, L. (2019) Reciprocal Influences: Greco-Roman and Christian Views of Healing. In Cilliers, L. Roman North Africa. Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press.

Clarke, M. (2004) Manhood and heroism. In R. Fowler (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Homer (Cambridge Companions to Literature, pp. 74-90). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [accessed 10/09/19]

Covey, H.C. (1998) Social Perceptions of People with Disabilities in History. Charles C. Thomas.

Davison, J.A. (1954) Habent sva Fata Poetae. The Classical Review 4, 213–218.

Dumézil, G. (1944) Mitra-Varuna: essai sur deux représentations indo-européennes de la souverainete, Bibl. École Hautes Et., sciences religieuses LVI.

Frölich, H. (1879) Die Militärmedizin Homers. Stuttgart.

Lesky, A. (1951) Die Maske des Thamyris. Rohrer.

Moeller, W.O. (1975) Once More the One-Eyed Man against Rome. Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 24, 402–410.

Morris, I. (1989) Attitudes toward Death in Archaic Greece. Classical Antiquity 8, 296–320. [accessed 10/09/19]

Newton, R.M. (1987) Odysseus and Hephaestus in the “Odyssey” pp.12-20 in The Classical Journal Vol.83 No.1, Northfield; Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Inc.

Rinon, Y. (2006) “Mise en abyme” and Tragic Signification in the “Odyssey”: The Three Songs of Demodocus. Mnemosyne 59, 208–225.

Rose, M.L. (2003) The Staff of Oedipus. University of Michigan Press. 

Stanley, K. (1993) The Shield of Homer: Narrative Structure in the Iliad; Princeton.

Trentin, L. (2013) Exploring Visual Impairment in Ancient Rome. Disabilities in Roman Antiquity 89–114.

Trentin, L. (2011) Deformity in the Roman Imperial Court. Greece & Rome 58, 195–208.

Vernant, J.-P. (1996) Death with Two Faces in Schein, S.L., Reading the Odyssey: Selected Interpretive Essays. Princeton University Press.

Whallon, W. (1964) Blind Thamyris and Blind Maeonides. Phoenix 18, 9–12. [accessed 10/09/19]

Congenital Disability:

Dumézil, G. (1929) Le Problème des Centaures. Paris.

Fox, W.S. (1964) Greek and Roman Mythology vol. 1: The Mythology of All Races, ed. Gray, L.H. New York.

Gadon, E.W. (2003) Picasso and the Minotaur. India International Centre Quarterly 30, 20–29.

Morgan, M.G. (1996) Vespasian and the Omens in Tacitus “Histories” 2.78. Phoenix 50, 41–55. 

Nash, H. (1984) The Centaur’s Origin: A Psychological Perspective. The Classical World 77, 273–291. 

Ripat, P. (2006) Roman Omens, Roman Audiences, and Roman History. Greece & Rome 53, 155–174.

Roscher, W.H. (1884) Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner.

Advice on Inclusivity

Best Practices for More Inclusive Conferences:

A document developed  by the Classics and Social Justice Subgroup on Mental Health, Disability, and Chronic Illness. Spread Widely!

A guide to equality and diversity in the teaching of Classics


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