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Sofia Greaves

Sofia Greaves

Supervisor: Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill

College: Lucy Cavendish

Thesis title: Ideal cities: the ancient city and the modern city in Italy (1860-1914)


Biography:

  • BA Classics, Durham University (2012-2015) First 
  • MA Fine art and Decorative Design, Sotheby's Institute (2016-2017) Distinction
  • Phd Classics (2017-) Impact of the Ancient City Project (ERC), University of Cambridge

I work on the classical reception in the nineteenth century, and how modernists engaged with the ancient past as a strategy for renewal. My thesis investigates how public health stimulated a renewed study of the ancient world and its cities in particular. Both classical attitudes to the city, and the  physical remains of ancient cities affected the construction of modern cities. Their reception produced a new image of the ancient city in turn. I investigate this double reception through engineering treatises, architectural manuals and city plans. In Italy, the ancient Roman city was taken as a model, in order to regenerate the Italian race - my thesis examines how biological theories shaped infrastructural projects (from urban layout, to water systems, to the archaeological park in Rome) with the objective to make new 'Romans'. 

My Phd is part of the ERC funded 'Impact of the Ancient City' Project. More information is below. 

Other Academic Interests

  • Fascist urban planning
  • Spatial syntax and language planning
  • Utopia
  • Early 20th century Italian modernism (Futurism, Giorgio de Chirico)
  • British modernism and classicism (Vorticism, Edward Wadsworth, John Armstrong)

Research Supervision

  • Undergraduate supervision for the 'Rome the Very Idea', classical reception module
  • Lecturing on Italian fascism 

Other Professional Activities

  • Co-convenor for the Classical Reception Seminar Series
  • Editor, Graduate Blog: https://classicstopica.wixsite.com/topica 

Key Publications

  • 'Renewing Neapolis; modernisation in late nineteenth century Naples,” in Remembering and Forgetting the Ancient City. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020. [Forthcoming]
  • 'Modern and Ancient Grids. To be, or not be Rome," Rome and the Colonial City. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020. [Forthcoming]

Papers

  • "Re-imagining the Grid in the Nineteenth Century. To be, or not to be Rome," The British School at Rome, Rome, January 2020 

  • "Antiquity and Purity in Nineteenth Century Rome," Ludwig University of Munich, February 2020

  • "Ideal cities. The intersect of urban planning and archaeology in Rome, 1870-1914", Ecole Francaise, Rome, October 2019

  • "Subversive Classicism. Giorgio de Chirico and the British modernists," Cambridge University, March 2019

  • "Ideals of the ancient city. Urban planning in Paris, Barcelona, and Naples," Cambridge University, March 2019

  • "Futurism and the ancient city," Graduate Interdisciplinary Seminar, Cambridge University, March 2019

Blog

  • https://www.sofiagreaves.online/post/can-we-talk-about-fascism-today
  • https://www.sofiagreaves.online/post/rethink-the-city
  • https://www.sofiagreaves.online/post/un-urban-agenda-and-ancient-cities
  • https://www.sofiagreaves.online/post/ugly-modernism

Upcoming events

Illustrating Ancient History: Bringing the Past to the Present

Nov 03, 2020

Cast Gallery, Museum of Classical Archaeology, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA

Upcoming events

RSS Feed Latest news

Spring 2021 Sather Series to include Mary Beard and MM McCabe

Jan 22, 2021

This year’s annual series of Sather Lectures will be delivered virtually by four previous Sather Professors, including Mary Beard, Professor of Classics and Fellow of Newnham College and MM McCabe, Professor of Ancient Philosophy Emerita, King's College London, and Honorary Fellow of Jesus College.

Access & Outreach coordinator

Jan 18, 2021

Details of how to apply for this post are now available online. Closing date 11 February 2021.

Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

Jan 13, 2021

An online corpus of more than 2,000 inscriptions in Greek and Latin of the Roman period from Cyrenaica (eastern Libya), of which Joyce Reynolds is the Principal Author has been published to mark her 102nd birthday.

Dr. Neil Hopkinson

Jan 08, 2021

The Faculty reports with great sadness the death of Dr. Neil Hopkinson (1957–2021).

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