Personal Biography

I came (back) to CCC in 2021, after five beautiful years of teaching in St Andrews (2016–2021), and research fellowships at Magdalen College Oxford (2013–2015) and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2016). I have been fortunate to be able to study and work in excellent collegiate institutions, the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (2003–2008) and the University of Oxford (D.Phil. 2012). From 2010 to 2013 I worked as Assistant Editor for the Oxford Dictionary of Medieval Latin, a rewarding experience that has helped me move beyond the classical horizon as traditionally defined. My career has been enriched by a diversity of academic experiences. I was visiting professor at the University of Turin in 2020, visiting fellow at Leiden University in 2015, and visiting student at CCC itself, back in 2006, where everything began. I am currently supervising research projects on the Comoedia Togata and on theory of fiction in late Antique Latin commentaries, Plato, and Tolkien. I would be very happy to supervise research in any of the above areas, and beyond.

Research and Teaching

My main area of research is Latin Language and Literature, with a special focus on Early Latin (3rd – 1st c. BC). I have always been fascinated by this period, which is still largely approached from the biased perspective of canonical classical literature, even if crucial issues such as the relationship between Roman and Greek culture and identity, to name just one, are shaped at this time. 

I am currently finalising an edition of and commentary on Terence's Heauton Timorumenos, forthcoming in the Cambridge ‘Orange Series’, and working on two other major projects, a volume on the special relationship between Pergamene Culture and Rome (with Thomas Nelson and Stefano Rebeggiani, forthcoming with Oxford University Press), and a commentary of Lucretius DRN 4 (with Fondazione Lorenzo Valla).

I was trained as a linguist and philologist, and have a special interest in ancient metre, textual criticism, and digital humanities. I have published widely in these areas but always tried to put my technical expertise at the service of broader issues, and investigate the mutual relation between the detail and the general picture (minima cura si maxima uis).

My broader cultural concerns are also reflected in edited volumes on the ancient philosophy of language and the theory of Classical scholarship, as well as in substantial pieces on the ancient theory of comedy. My interests also extend well beyond the ancient world, and have converged into works on modern English literature and its classical ancestry. These include a monograph on Tolkien’s theory of imagination (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press), stemming from my work as Tolkien Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies and collaborations with the ITIA Institute at the University of St Andrews and the Oxford Tolkien50 project.

Selected Publications

Terence and the Verb ‘To be’ in Latin (Oxford: OUP, 2015)

with James N. Adams and Anna Chahoud (ed.), Early Latin: Constructs, Diversity, Reception (Cambridge: CUP, 2023)

with Barney Taylor (ed.), Language and Nature in the Classical Roman World (Cambridge: CUP, 2019)

 ‘Spelling and Pronunciation: The Phonemic Principle in the Latin Orthographic Debate’, The Journal of Greco-Roman Studies 61 (2022)

‘‘Classical’ Narratives of Decline in Tolkien: Renewal, Accommodation, Focalization’, in M. Paprocki and A. Matz, eds., There and Back Again: Tolkien and the Graeco-Roman WorldThersites 15 (2022).

‘Terence and the speculum uitae: Realism and (Roman) Comedy’ Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 111 (2021).

Tamen apsentes prosunt pro praesentibus: ‘Proxied’ Absences and Roman Comedy’ in T. Geue and E. Giusti (eds.), Unspoken Rome: Absence in Latin Literature and its Reception (Cambridge: CUP, 2021)

‘The Gods in (Tolkien’s) Epic’, in Williams, H. (ed.), Tolkien and the Classical World (Zurich and Jena, 2021)

 ‘Lucilius and the Language of the Roman palliata’ in B. W. Breed, R. Wallace and E. Keitel (eds.), Lucilius and Satire in Second-Century BC Rome (Cambridge: CUP, 2018)

‘Caesar the Linguist: The Debate about the Latin Language’ in C.B. Krebs and L. Grillo, eds., The Cambridge Companion to the Writings of Julius Caesar (Cambridge: CUP, 2017)

‘Comic Lexicon: Searching for Submerged Latin from Plautus to Erasmus’ in J. N. Adams and N. Vincent, N. (eds.), Continuities between Early and Late Latin (Cambridge: CUP, 2016)

‘Consonance of -s and Asyndetic Accumulation in Latin Poetry’ Mnemosyne 68 (2015)