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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. My thesis researches how urban planners engaged with the ancient past as a strategy for renewal. Both classical attitudes to the city, and the physical remains of Greco-Roman cities affected the construction of modern cities and vice versa. I investigate how public health stimulated a renewed study of the ancient world and its cities amongst both planners and archaeologists, who affected each other's image of the past. The thesis examines this double reception through engineering treatises, architectural manuals and city plans. I show how modern city planning in Italy took the ancient Roman city as a conceptual model in order to regenerate the Italian race. Biological theories shaped infrastructural objectives and projects (from urban layout, to water systems, to the archaeological park in Rome). The Italians sought 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

RSS Feed Latest news

The Faculty reports with great sadness the death of John Easterling

Feb 23, 2021

A Fellow of Trinity from 1958, and Secretary of Trinity College Council for very many years, John was a University Assistant Lecturer in Classics (Ancient Philosophy) before he was appointed to the Office of University Draftsman at the Old Schools. John died on 23 February after a long illness.

Facilitating school visits and learning Latin with MoCA

Feb 23, 2021

Justyna Ladosz, Education and Outreach Coordinator in the Museum of Classical Archaeology, explains how she continues to facilitate lessons for school groups whilst the Museum remains closed, and how the Faculty’s students continue to deliver the Learn Latin with MoCA project.

Rebecca Flemming has been appointed a Joukowsky Lecturer

Feb 23, 2021

Dr Rebecca Flemming, Senior Lecturer in Ancient History and Fellow of Jesus College, has been appointed as a Joukowsky Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) for 2020-21. Rebecca also recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time discussing the Justinianic Plague.

Gates scholarship

Feb 11, 2021

The Faculty congratulates Emeline McClellan from the University of Georgia on winning a highly competitive US Gates scholarship for pursuing the MPhil in Classics at Cambridge.

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