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Faculty of Classics

 

Greek in Italy is an AHRC-funded research project based in the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge. The project will run from January 2014 – December 2017.

 

The Project

In the course of the first millennium BC Greek sailors, traders and colonists visited and settled in the Italian peninsula in increasing numbers. The southern half of Italy became known as ‘Big Greece’, both by Romans (Magna Graecia) and Greeks (Megalē Hellas). Greek settlements in Italy are attested from the 8th century BC onwards, and there is evidence for Greek trade from even earlier. Greeks brought with them urban living, religion and wine drinking, the alphabet and its associated uses. Some cities of Italy, including Naples, Rhegium and Tarentum, remained Greek speaking even under Roman rule.

Substantial archaeological and textual discoveries in the last three decades have opened up our knowledge of the Greeks in Italy and the native societies they encountered, but there has been no complete study of the impact made by Greek on indigenous languages - this project aims to fill this gap. We will consider the nature and outcomes of contact between Greeks and speakers of the various native languages of ancient Italy, investigating the changes on the languages themselves, and relating linguistic interactions to social and political factors.

 

Our Aims

  • To understand the nature and long-term effects of language contact between Greek and other languages of Ancient Italy.
  • To understand the spread of the Greek alphabet among non-Greek speaking communities.
  • To investigate the nature of the Greek spoken in towns in Southern Italy, and compare this with developments in the rest of the Greek world.
  • To integrate issues of linguistic contact and linguistic borrowing into the discourse of archaeologists, historians and other scholars working on Greek colonization in Italy, and to promote dialogue between linguists and other scholars.

 

Find Out More

You can find out more about the members of the project on the “Members” page.

You can also follow our blog to find out more about our work and hear about upcoming talks and events: www.greekinitaly.wordpress.com.

Or follow us on Twitter: @GreekInItaly

Latest news

‘Digital Thessaly' project

24 May 2022

The British School at Athens and the Archives of the Faculty of Classics and Pembroke College are pleased to announce that the first phase of the project ‘Digital Thessaly’ has been completed. Funded by the Cambridge Digital Humanities, this project reunites on BSA Digital Collections Alan Wace’s research notebooks that...

Teaching Associate in Ancient History

24 May 2022

Details of how to apply for this full time, fixed term post are now available online: https://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/34954/

Museum Education and Outreach Coordinator

17 May 2022

Details of how to apply of this part time, fixed term post are now available online. https://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/35015/ Closing date: 20 June 2022.

New Assistant Professors of Classics

8 April 2022

The Faculty is delighted to announce the appointment of four new Assistant Professors of Classics who will join the Faculty in Michaelmas 2022. This is the largest number of simultaneous new appointments for some time: Dr Laura Castelli Dr Lea Niccolai Dr Shushma Malik Dr Henry Spelman We look forward to welcoming them to...