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Personal profile


PGCE. University of Cambridge

PhD - Minor Corrections. University of Roehampton.

MA - Distinction. Durham University.

BA (Hons) - First Class. University of Roehampton


Research interests

My research focuses on Pliny the Younger's Epistles, the socio-political world of Trajanic Rome, and the topic of exemplarity in Latin literature.

My PhD thesis title is 'Pliny's Exemplary Society: Constructing Models in Letters'. I examine Pliny's use of the epistolary form in constructing exemplarity in his correspondence. I argue that the exempla of the Epistles provide a moral and ideological framework which aims to influence Pliny’s readers and lead to a better future under Trajan after the moral fall of the Domitianic past. Furthermore, by analysing Pliny’s use of letters in crafting and transmitting his exempla, my thesis a new angle from which to read the Epistles and opens a new avenue of research for future studies into exemplarity in the ancient world more widely.

I am also interested in the role which Book 10 plays in the complete Epistles corpus. It has long been a matter of scholarly debate whether Book 10 functions as an artistic unit. This thesis provides a new approach to this conundrum by demonstrating that examining the Epistles with a sensitivity to exemplarity can unite the ten books of the collection. I contend that Pliny and Trajan are depicted as an ideal governor and emperor respectively and that a reader who was familiar with the moral framework of the private correspondence could read Book 10 as presenting in action the values which were promoted in Books 1 to 9.


University Lecturing

I have taught Classics for over four years and specialise in Latin language, Latin literature, and Roman History.

In the first year of my PhD, I led seminars and was the first marker of all assignments for the undergraduate module ‘Introduction to Ancient Literature’. I also gave five lectures: ‘Genre, Text and Literary Criticism’, ‘Comedy’, ‘Historiography’, ‘Classical Philosophy’ (in ‘Introduction to Ancient Literature’) and ‘Cicero and Clodius’ (in ‘Cicero and Rome in the Late Republic’). I led a lesson for ‘Beginners Latin’ on the future perfect tense and relative pronouns.

In the second year of my PhD, I became an official visiting lecturer and was the module convenor for Intermediate Latin. In this module, I taught the more difficult aspects of Latin grammar (the subjunctive, indirect speech, the ablative absolute, past participles, purpose, fearing and result clauses, conditional clauses, and gerunds and gerundives). However, I promoted a ‘reading’ approach to Latin. I also wrote both exams and first marked all assignments.

Throughout two years of my PhD, I was part of the university’s ‘Taster Lecturer’ outreach programme. As part of this scheme, I give lectures to visiting state school students that range from Year 8 to 12. Lectures were based on my own research and so I introduced the pupils to Classics through Pliny the Younger’s Epistles, specifically by looking at slavery in the Roman world. I have given fifteen lectures and have been trained in vital skills such as safeguarding. I found this programme particularly rewarding because I can introduce Classics to students who have not had a chance to experience it. I published my findings of this programme in the CUCD: https://cucd.blogs.sas.ac.uk/files/2019/06/MORDUE-Outreach-via-Pliny.docx.pdf

School Teaching

I have recently started a PGCE in Latin with Classics at the University of Cambridge and am working full time as a Classics teacher. I have taught Latin, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History, and some Greek. I have taught from Year 7 to 13 at both GCSE and A Level standard.

Professional affiliations

I was granted the AHRC PhD Studentship from TECHNE between the years of 2017 to 2020.

Research projects

Mordue, M. (forthcoming) 'Oratorical Speeches and the Political Elite in the Regulus Cycle' in Neger, M. & Spyridon, T. Absorbing Genres in Letters: Intertextuality and Interdiscursivity in Pliny’s Epistles.

Mordue, M. (2019). Reaching Out Via Pliny: Classical Civilisation Lessons for London School Students at the University of Roehampton, CUCD Bulletin 48, 1-4.