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Professor James Clackson

Professor James Clackson

Professor of Comparative Philology

Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics, Jesus College

Jesus College, Cambridge, CB5 8BL
Office Phone: 01223 339415 (College)

Research Interests

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.

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.

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).

Upcoming events

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

Apr 25, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

May 16, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

Jun 06, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Athens: Economy & Democracy Conference (in honour of P. Millett)

Jul 09, 2020

Faculty of Classics and Downing College, Cambridge

Upcoming events

RSS Feed Latest news

New Collection Videos

Mar 31, 2020

The Museum of Classical Archaeology is pleased to announce the first in a series of short videos on objects in the collection, featuring the Faculty's own Prof Caroline Vout.

Building Closure

Mar 20, 2020

The Faculty Building is closed from 5 pm on Friday 20 March until further notice.

Coronavirus guidance

Feb 06, 2020

A link to the College and University guidance on the Coronavirus is available here

CREWS: Visiting Fellowship focused on the study of ancient writing systems

Jan 22, 2020

Details of how to apply for this Visiting Fellowship are now available online. The deadline for applications is 5pm GMT on Monday, 17th February 2020

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