skip to content

Faculty of Classics

 

Research

I have wide interests in the history of the Latin and Greek languages, ancient sociolinguistics and bilingualism, the languages and epigraphy of the ancient Mediterranean and comparative Indo-European studies. I have particular interests in the historical sociolinguistics of Latin; the other ancient Languages of the Italian peninsula especially Sabellian and Etruscan; and the history of the Armenian language. I am currently Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded project ‘Greek in Italy’. I am editor of the oldest scholarly journal devoted to the general study of language and languages that has an unbroken tradition,Transactions of the Philological Society.

Publications

Key publications: 

Language and Society in the Greek and Roman Worlds (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

(editor) A Companion to the Latin Language (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

Indo-European Linguistics (Cambridge, 2007).

(with Geoff Horrocks) The Blackwell History of the Latin Language (Oxford, 2007, corrected paperback edition 2010).

(ed. with A. Boud'hors, C. Louis and P. Sijpesteijn) Monastic Estates in Late Antique and Early Islamic Egypt (American Society of Papyrologists, 2009).

(ed. with Birgit Anette Olsen) Indo-European Word Formation (Copenhagen, 2004).

(ed. with Torsten Meißner) Nominal Composition in Indo-European Languages (=Transactions of the Philological Society  Vol. 100, nos. 2-3. 2002).

The Linguistic Relationship between Armenian and Greek (Oxford, 1994).

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Current and former research projects supervised include: a study of the ways in which Greek expresses the agent after a passive verb; a re-examination of the stop system of Indo-European using recent work in phonetics; dialects of Indo-European and the development of the verbal system; the interaction of Latin, Greek and Gaulish in Southern France; the language of ancient curse tablets, especially bilingual formulae; the Oscan language in Southern Italy; Sabine glosses in ancient texts; the Latin of Roman Britain; registers of language use in ancient Greek; Greek borrowings in Etruscan; Latin borrowings in Punic; and individual studies of the language of several Latin and Greek literary authors.

Professor of Comparative Philology
Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics, Jesus College
Professor James  Clackson

Contact Details

Jesus College, Cambridge, CB5 8BL
01223 339415 (College)
Not available for consultancy

Latest news

New gift to further support Joyce Reynolds Awards

15 June 2021

The Faculty is enormously grateful to Karen and Peter Ventress for their generous gift to further support our efforts to encourage more diversity among students studying Classics at Cambridge. Karen and Peter have made a gift of £40k to fund a further studentship under the banner of the Joyce Reynolds Awards . The Awards...

Laurence Professorship of Classical Archaeology

14 June 2021

The Board of Electors to the Laurence Professorship of Classical Archaeology invite applications from those whose work falls within the general field of the Professorship to take up appointment on 1 October 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. Further information is available at: http://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/...

It is with immense sadness that the Faculty reports that Elizabeth (Lisa) French passed away yesterday in Cambridge, 10 June 2021. She was 90.

11 June 2021

Lisa read Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge (1949-1952). In 1961 she was awarded her doctorate from University College London on The Development of Mycenaean Terracotta Figurines . She became a leading expert of Mycenaean pottery and figurines, forging a distinguished career in the archaeology of the Bronze Age Aegean...

Student led teaching awards 2021

24 May 2021

The Faculty is proud to announce that Torsten Meissner and Mark Darling have been recognised for the excellence of their teaching by the Student Union in this year's Student-Led Teaching Awards. Dr Meissner has won the second prize (Highly Commended) in the category "Lecturer". Dr Darling has won the second prize (Highly...