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Stephen Bay

Associate Professor, Section Head of Classical Studies
Department of Comparative Arts and Letters

JFSB 3019
BYU, Campus Dr
Provo, UT 84602


Current Positions

• Head of Program in Classical Studies
• Ludwig-Weber-Siebach Professor of the Humanities, 2018–2023
• President of BYU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, 2018
• Member of BYU’s Ancient Textual Imaging Group


• Ph.D. in Classical Philology, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
• M.A. in Classics, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000
• B.A. in Classics, Univ. of Utah, 1997
• B.A. in Comparative Literature, Brigham Young University, 1993


Papyrology, Ancient Prose Fiction, Classical Textual Criticism

Research Interests

I do research on Greek, Roman, and Early Christian prose fiction and in papyrology. When we think of ancient literature, we generally think of the great epics, the solemn tragedies, and the philosophical treatises. But people in antiquity also enjoyed escape literature. The texts are enthralling in their own right and they also provide fascinating insight into the culture of the authors and into their relationship to earlier (and greater) literature. I also work in the field of papyrology, where I edit, translate, and provide commentary on a wide variety of documents and literary texts that were written down on papyrus in Egypt.

Teaching Interests

I love reading and discussing great literature with students. It is even better when we can read works by ancient authors together in the original language. The more I read, study, and discuss these texts, the better they become.

While being a good colleague is important in all levels of academia, I find that the most important service I render is in making my office and my classroom safe spaces for everyone—especially those who might feel unsafe or marginalized elsewhere.

Current member of the executive committee of BYU’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Current member of the Managing Committee of the American School for Classical Studies at Athens.

Courses Taught