I was born in Rome, grew up in south America, Spain and Italy, and studied Classical Philology at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and the Università di Pisa (2008–2013). I then moved to Oxford for a doctorate in Classical Languages and Literature (Balliol), where I was given the opportunity to study ancient Mesopotamian languages at the Oriental Institute. After obtaining my D.Phil I was elected a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (2018–2020) and benefited from a research period at the Warburg Institute in London as Henri Frankfort Fellow in 2019. I returned to Oxford and joined Corpus in May 2020.
Research and Teaching
My research concentrates on Homer, early Greek hexameter poems, and their connection with preceding and neighbouring Near Eastern literatures. I am particularly interested in ancient poetic craft and how myth and poetry refract culture, society and religion. My doctoral thesis, which I am currently turning into a monograph, investigated the gods of archaic Greek and Sumero-Akkadian epic. During my Fellowship at Corpus and the Faculty of Classics, I will be mainly working on a second monograph draft. The new book will compare how orality and writing affected poetic technique and audience expectations in archaic Greece and Babylonia, and consider the possibility of a Hellenic reception of Near Eastern poetry.
I take a broad interest in comparing texts in several pre-modern cultures, particularly religious and mythological, following historical and literary approaches. I contribute to the Early Text Cultures research cluster, which I am chairing in 2021-2022.
As a graduate student I acted as Language Instructor for Balliol College and the Faculty of Classics, and taught a variety of Greek and Latin authors, from Homer to Tacitus. As a postdoc in Munich I gave advice on doctoral research and written work and, together with colleagues, regularly organised interdisciplinary PhD seminars at the Graduate School ‘Distant Worlds’ – a DFG-project which brought together research all the way from ancient China and India to Roman Italy and Iberia. Those seminars had a theoretical orientation and included topics as ‘Gender and Identity’, ‘Postcolonial Theory’, ‘Comparative Theory and Methods’, ‘Religion and Ritual’. I am happy to assist graduates working on early Greek epic, to introduce students to Babylonian literature and to teach Greek (especially Archaic and Classical) and Augustan poetry.
The Divine Assembly. Comparative Studies in early Greek and Babylonian Narrative Poetry (Oxford Classical Monographs: Oxford University Press) in preparation
Writing Orality. Proceedings of the Early Text Cultures Seminar, Hilary Term 2021, Themed volume of Manuscript and Text Cultures (co-edited with D. Giordani, J. Miller, J. Parkhouse, F. Pischedda). Proposal accepted; open-access publication expected 2022
‘Relieving the Earth, destroying mankind: Greek, Babylonian and Sanskrit perspectives’, in I. Calini (ed.), Déluges et autres destructions. Les récits de la fin dans la Méditerranée orientale ancienne. Kaïnon - Anthropologie de la pensée ancienne (Paris: Classiques Garnier) submitted
‘Destiny and agency in early Greek and Babylonian epic’, in A. Johnston and R. Van Hove (eds.), Divine and Human Agency in Ancient Greek Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) submitted
‘On Gilgamesh and Homer: Ishtar, Aphrodite and the meaning of a parallel’, The Classical Quarterly 71.1 (2021) 1–21
‘Fashioning Pandora: Near Eastern creation scenes and Hesiod’, in A. Kelly and C. Metcalf (eds.), Gods and Mortals in Early Greek and Near Eastern Mythology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2021), 262–75.
‘Poseidon and Zeus in the Iliad and the Odyssey: on a case of Homeric imitation’, Hermes: Zeitschrift für Klassische Philologie 148 (2020), 259–77.