|Postdoctoral Research Fellow: BA Newton International Fellow in the Department of Classics and Ancient History|
I am a British Academy Newton International Fellow and I work on the project "The Syriac Rhetorical Tradition between Greco-Roman Paideia and Arabic Aristotelianism" (Co-applicant: Dr. Alberto Rigolio). My project explores how Syriac rhetoric formed and developped and focuses on the ninth-century Syriac treatise "On Rhetoric", written by the teacher Antony of Tagrit.
Before coming to Durham, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Literary Studies at Universiteit Gent, where I worked within the ERC project Novel Echoes, promoted by Prof. Dr. Koen De Temmerman. At Universiteit Gent, I worked on the reception of Greek novelistic tradition in the Near and Middle East, with a primary focus on the Syriac and Arabic worlds, and I co-lectured the course in "Ancient Rhetoric".
I earned my B.A. in Oriental Languages at the University of Catania (2013) and my M.A. in Oriental Languages and Civilizations at the University of Naples "L'Orientale" (2015), where I also earned my Ph.D. in 2020, under the supervision of Prof. Riccardo Contini. I spent the second year of my doctoral program at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), in Paris.
My primary focus is the study of Syriac rhetoric, but I am also interested in Semitic languages and the contacts between Greek and various types of Aramaic. In my Ph.D. thesis, I studied the technical vocabulary of Syriac rhetoric between the Greek world and the Arabic reinterpretation, and I created a trilingual comparative lexicon. Meanwhile, I also published on the contacts between Greek and Aramaic varieties (Syriac and Christian Palestinian Aramaic), on the Western Neo-Aramaic dialects and on Syriac Chronicles. My full CV is available here.
Watch my research celebration video here: Classics and Ancient History at Durham University | Meet our staff | Mara Nicosia - YouTube
Academic Year 2023/24
CLAS44430: Edessa: The Athens of the East
- Contact linguistics
- Greek-to-Syriac translations
- Semitic languages
- Semitic philology
- The transmission of Aristotelian philosophy
- Syriac rhetoric
- Arabic rhetoric
Chapter in book
- Nicosia, M. Crafting Traditions: Antony of Tagrit, his ‘Classics’ and the Syriac Classicising Rhetorical Learning. In C. Virág, & F. Spingou (Eds.), Performing Antiquity: Classics, Community and Power in Medieval Eurasia (forthcoming). Edinburgh University Press
- Nicosia, M. (in press). Crafting Traditions: Antony of Tagrit, his “Classics” and the Syriac Classicising Rhetorical Learning. In F. Spingou, C. Virág, & N. Gaul (Eds.), Performing Antiquity: Classics, Community and Power in Medieval Eurasia
- Nicosia, M. (2019). La rhétorique d’Aristote dans les milieux syriaques et arabes : histoire d’un épisode de transmission intellectuelle dans l’Antiquité tardive. In E. Fiori, & H. Hugonnard-Roche (Eds.), La philosophie en syriaque (267-286). Geuthner
- Nicosia, M. (in press). Heliodorus’ Aethiopica in Antony of Tagrit’s Fifth Book of Rhetoric: A Follow-up Study, Sixteen Years after the Discovery. Le Muséon, 137,
- Nicosia, M. (in press). Graeco-Aramaica: A Look at Greek Words in Christian Palestinian Aramaic
- Nicosia, M. (2021). Reassessing Antony of Tagrit : when did he actually live?. Oriens christianus, 104, 67-88
- Nicosia, M. (2021). Greek Influences on Syriac and Contact-Induced Changes: Reflections on a Recent Book. Annali sezione Orientale, 81(1-2), 175-186. https://doi.org/10.1163/24685631-12340116
- Nicosia, M. (2020). From Antony of Tagrit to the Arabic version : the Syriac technical vocabulary of rhetoric and the migration of words. Hugoye (Washington, D.C.), 23(1), 61-97
- Contini, R., & Nicosia, M. (2020). Western Neo-Aramaic as an Islamic Language? A Look at Some Lexical and Sociolinguistic Issues. Eurasian Studies (Roma), 18(1), https://doi.org/10.1163/24685623-12340086