MIRIAM Griffin, who has died aged 82, was one of the world’s foremost classical scholars and wrote books on Emperor Nero and his tutor Seneca.

Dr Griffin taught generations of classics students at Oxford in her 35 years as a tutor.

Her biography ‘Nero, End of a Dynasty’ shed new light on the young Roman emperor.

Miriam Dressler was born on June 6, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Fanny, a stenographer, and Leo Dressler, a school teacher.

An only child, she went to Erasmus Hall High School and then Barnard College.

After being unsure whether to continue studying physics, music or classics, she chose the latter and did a master’s degree at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 1957 she went to Oxford as a Fulbright scholar – a cultural exchange programme with the UK.

Three years later she achieved a first in classics and married Jasper Griffin – who would also become an eminent classical scholar – after meeting at a seminar.

On completing a doctorate in philosophy and following a junior research fellowship at St Anne’s College, she was elected a fellow of Somerville College in 1967.

She would stay at the college for the next 35 years as an ancient history tutor.

Aside from her influential book on Nero, she turned her attentions to Seneca, writing several books on the philosopher.

She was also instrumental in developing the Oxford syllabus, introducing Cicero’s philosophical writing to generations of undergraduates and improving the popular ancient and modern history degree course.

She died on May 16 and is survived by her husband Jasper, three daughters Julia, Miranda and Tamara, and a granddaughter Zuzana.

A memorial service will be held in the Somerville College chapel on November 24, at 2.30pm.