Dr Tatiana Bur

BA (Ancient history/Spanish and Latin American Studies) (Usyd), Dip.Arts (Ancient Greek and Latin) (Usyd), MPhil (Ancient History) (Usyd), PhD (Classics) (Cantab.)
Lecturer in Classics
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Classical Greek And Roman History 430305
  • Latin And Classical Greek Literature 470513
  • History And Philosophy Of Engineering And Technology 500201
  • Religion, Society And Culture 500405

Research interests

  • Ancient Greek history, literature and culture
  • Ancient Greek religion
  • Greek and Roman science and technology, especially mechanics
  • Ancient automata
  • Intersection of science and religion in antiquity
  • Wonders and marvels in antiquity
  • Ancient theatrical and paratheatrical entertainment


Tatiana joined the ANU’s Centre for Classical Studies as a Lecturer in Classics in 2023. Prior to this, she was the Moses and Mary Finley Research Fellow at Darwin College, University of Cambridge. Tatiana is a graduate of the University of Sydney where she completed her undergraduate studies and MPhil. She then undertook her PhD at Trinity College, University of Cambridge and was the recipient of the Hare Prize for the best PhD thesis submitted in the Classics department.

Tatiana is French-Australian and has lived in France, Australia, Spain, England and Portugal. She is passionate not just about ancient Greece and Rome, but about languages and cultures (ancient and modern) more broadly.

Researcher's projects

Tatiana has two main threads of research: ancient technology and ancient religion. Her first book project Technologies of the Marvellous in Ancient Greek Religion (under contract with CUP) explores the intersection of these two cultural phenomena from c. 800BCE to 200CE. Technologies of the Marvellous is an investigation into the ways that technological, and especially mechanical, strategies were integrated into ancient Greek religion, and the epistemological and religious implications of these interactions between gods, worshippers and machines.

As a cultural historian of technology, Tatiana has published chapters on the religious uses of mirror reflections (2020) and the playful qualities of ancient pneumatics (2022). She is co-editing with M. Gerolemou (Centre for Hellenic Studies) and I. A. Ruffell (Glasgow) a volume on the idea and realities of technological animation in Classical antiquity (under contract with OUP). She is in active collaborator in Popsicule, the ANU's Science in Popular Culture and Entertainment Hub.

Tatiana has several other invited publications in preparation including chapters on: automata in ancient festivals; science and gender in antiquity; Greek religion and the city-state.

Available student projects

Students wishing to work with Tatiana at Honours, MPhil and PhD level are encouraged to get in touch.

Current student projects

Jemima McPhee - PhD 'Criteria for belief in Latin scientific literature: where did the Romans get their verae causae from?’

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Updated:  18 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers