David Konstan's research focuses on ancient Greek and Latin literature, especially comedy and the novel, and classical philosophy. In recent years, he has investigated the emotions and value concepts of classical Greece and Rome, and has written books on friendship, pity, the emotions, forgiveness, and beauty. He has also written on ancient physics and atomic theory and on literary theory, and has translated Seneca’s two tragedies about Hercules into verse. He is currently working on a book on ancient vs. modern conceptions of loyalty, gratitude, love, and grief.
Konstan's B.A. was in mathematics; in senior year of college, he began ancient Greek and Latin, and went on to obtain a doctorate in classics. He taught at Wesleyan University from 1967 to 1987, and at Brown University from 1987 to 2010, when he joined the faculty at NYU.
Konstan has held visiting appointments in New Zealand, Scotland, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and Egypt, among other places. He serves on the Editorial Boards of numerous journals around the world. He has been President of the American Philological Association, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has been awarded NEH, ACLS, and Guggenheim fellowships, among others.
Recently taught graduate courses: The Greek Novel Plutarch Seneca Ecphrasis Euripides Grief and Mourning
“The Joy of Giving: Seneca De beneficiis 1.6.1,” in Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson, Anastasia Maravela, and Mathilde Skoie, eds., Paradeigmata: Festschrift for Øivind Andersen on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday (Papers of the Norwegian Institute in Athens, 2014).