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Member of the Department of Classics and Ancient History  

Biography

I completed both my BA in Classics (2019) and MA in Philology, Literature and Classical Tradition (2020) at the University of Bari, Italy. In October 2020, I started my PhD in Classics at Durham University, for which I have been awarded AHRC funding via the NBCDTP. In this period, I have also worked as a Classics teacher in Italian high schools (Scuola Amedeo D'Aosta, Bari; Polo Liceale "Licei Sylos-Fiore", Terlizzi) and as a graduate teaching assistant in the department of Classics and Ancient History. From October 2021 I have taken over as PGR students course representative for JSSCC (joint student-staff consultative committee) and BoS (Board of Studies) in the department of Classics and Ancient History, Durham. 

Doctoral Research Project: A commentary on Cic. Fam. 5

The sixteen books of Cicero’s Letters to Friends have been the most widely read ancient letter collection since the invention of print (excluding only the epistles of the New Testament) and offer an intimately detailed portrait of the last generation of the Roman republic. Critics have largely disregarded the original book units, in which an ancient editor arranged the correspondence, and have tried to re-order the letters in a chronological sequence [Shackleton Bailey 1977]. Recent work on Cicero’s letters [White 2012] has returned to the book units and taken seriously the idea that the selections made by the ancient editor ought to be respected: the editor evidently chose letters to tell a particular story or to highlight a theme. Short studies of individual books have begun to appear: Books 16 [Beard 2002], 1 [Grillo 2015], 15 [Martelli 2017], and 4 [Gibson 2021].

My PhD represents the fullest attempt yet to test the hypothesis that the letters of Cicero are best read for meaning in the original non-chronological order put together by the ancient editor. The twenty-one letters that compose Fam. 5, it can be suggested, were selected and arranged by the ancient editor to produce a particular (and rather flattering) image of Cicero.

A commentary is best suited to furthering original research of this sort because it is only through sustained close reading that we can establish the validity of the larger patterns and meanings that scholars are beginning to detect in Cicero's correspondence. In addition, this will be the first modern commentary of any sort on Fam. 5 and historical and philological analysis will be used to bring out the full richness of Cicero's literary and historical contexts.

Organisational Roles (selected)
  • Co-organiser, ‘Writing Letters in the Ancient World. Fictional and real letters from the first century B.C. to the fifth century A.D.’, Durham University and Università degli Studi di Bari (online), 25th-26th November 2021
  • Panel convenor, ‘Classical Texts through the Editorial Lens, Text and Textuality’, Durham University (online), 15th -16th July 2021

  • Panel convenor, Textual Transmission through the Centuries, Text and Textuality, Durham University (online), 15th -16th July 2021

  • Organiser of the Workshop ‘Myth, journeys and tourism in the Ancient world’’, University of Bari, 20th-21st March 2019 
Papers presented (selected)
  • Cicero, Ad Quintum Fratrem: a case study, Durham-Tübingen: Without order or narrative? Reading Latin Text Collections, Durham 14-16 September 2022
  • Versions of history in Cicero, Ad familliares 5 Cicero Awayday, London - Westminister School 19 May 2022
  • The Structure of Cicero's Ad Familiares Book 5, 'CA Annual Conference 2022', Swansea 8-11 April 2022 
  • Rearranging Cicero’s Letters to Friends: The case of Book 5, ‘Writing Letters in the Ancient World. Fictional and real letters from the first century BC to the fifth century AD’, Durham University and Università degli Studi di Bari 25 - 26 November 2021.