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Faculty of Classics



I studied Classics at the Scuola Normale Superiore and completed a second MA in Ancient Near East Studies, with a specialisation in Syriac language and literature, at the University of Pisa. After graduating with a PhD in Ancient History from King’s College, Cambridge (2020), I have been a Research Fellow at Peterhouse and a Teaching Associate in Ancient History at the Cambridge Classics Faculty.


My research interrogates the role of culture (especially Neoplatonism) in promoting socio-political change in the later Roman empire. My first monograph, Christianity, Philosophy, and Roman Power: Constantine, Julian, and the Bishops on Exegesis and Empire (Cambridge 2023), explores the rise of what I call a fourth-century politics of interpretation through the lens of Emperor Julian and other imperial and episcopal writings.  

I am currently co-editing with Dr Giulia Maltagliati (Cambridge) a volume on ancient theories of ignorance. I am generally interested in everything that relates to the history of the late antique Mediterranean and Near East, but I am especially fascinated by questions of methodology in late antique exegesis, historiography, and legislation; ancient theories of the mind and on the connection between human, animal, and divine reason; the cultural interaction between the Greco-Roman world and the ancient Near East; the history of Neoplatonism and its socio-cultural impact; and the reception of late antiquity in modern and contemporary literature.


Key publications: 


Christianity, Philosophy, and Roman Power: Constantine, Julian, and the Bishops on Exegesis and Empire. Cambridge University Press 2023


Edited volumes:

(with G. Maltagliati) Not knowing in antiquity: communicating the limits of knowledge in the Greco-Roman world (in preparation)



‘Synesius of Cyrene, Sophist-Bishop: Rhetoric and Religion in the Greek East at the Turn of the Fifth Century CE’, Rhetorica 39.2 (2021): 209-33.

‘From Epic to Parable. A Syriac reading of the Fall of Troy’, Le Muséon 132.1-2 (2019): 37-64.

‘The ‘House of Hesychius’ and the religious allegiance of Synesius’ family’, Historia 68.3 (2019): 368-85.

‘Julian, Plutarch, and the dangers of self-praise’, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 57.4 (2017): 1058-84.

“’Avrei potuto punirti, ma ho preferito scriverti’: regole della politica e regole della satira tra Contro Nilo e Misopogon’, Athenaeum 105.2 (2017): 601-20.

‘Fare satira a Babilonia: contributi alla contestualizzazione storico-letteraria della pseudoepigrafa Epistola di Geremia’, Koinonia 38 (2014): 249-70.



‘On not knowing God: apophasis and self-authorisation after Nicaea’, in Maltagliati and Niccolai (in preparation)

‘Allegory and authority: negotiating interpretive control in the later Roman empire’, in J. Grethlein and B. Kruchió (eds.), Reading across divides: imperial allegory, its cultural contexts and intermedial entanglements (forthcoming)

‘The space of reason. Cosmography and power in the later Roman empire’, in R. Gagné, A. Kachuck (eds.), Cosmography and the classical tradition. Cambridge (forthcoming)

‘From Constantinople to Edessa: Syriac historians and the Justinianic city’ in E. Turquois, M. Ritter (eds.), Imagery and Aesthetics of Cityscapes in Late Antiquity. Leiden – Boston (forthcoming). 

‘Julian the Emperor and the reaction against Christianity: a case study of resistance from the top’, in J. Elsner, D. Jolowicz (eds.), Articulating Resistance under the Roman Empire. Cambridge 2023, 219-38.

‘Malalas the Syrian’, in O. Gengler, M. Meier (eds.), Johannes Malalas, der Chronist als Zeithistoriker (Malalas Studien IV). Stuttgart 2022, 25-55.

‘L’inno omerico a Pan e la fondazione della Lega Arcadica: una proposta di contestualizzazione’, in R. Di Donato (ed.), Comincio a cantare. Contributo allo studio degli inni omerici. Pisa 2016, 65-82. 



A.J. Pottenger, Power and Rhetoric in the Ecclesiastical Correspondence of Constantine the Great, in Journal of Late Antiquity (forthcoming)

F. Carlà-Uhink, C. Rollinger (eds.), The Tetrarchy as Ideology. Reconfigurations and Representations of an Imperial Power, in Bollettino di Studi Latini (forthcoming)

M. Ugenti, Giuliano imperatore. A Salustio. Autoconsolazione per la partenza dell’ottimo Salustio. a Pisa – Roma 2014, in Athenaeum 106.2 (2018): 841-4.  





Other publications: 

A. Momigliano, Aspects of Hellenistic Judaism. Lectures delivered in London, Cincinnati, Chicago, Oxford, and Princeton (1977-1982), ed. by L. Niccolai and A. Soldani, Pisa 2016. Electronic resource available on the website of the Laboratorio di Antropologia del Mondo Antico of the University of Pisa ( at the following link:


Italian translation of Parwana Fayyaz, Forty Names, Carcanet, Manchester 2021 (Quaranta Nomi, Aguaplano Libri, Perugia 2022)

Teaching and Supervisions


During the academic year 2023-24 I will be lecturing on Part IB, paper FC2/T4 (‘Res publica: inequality and social change in the Roman world’) and Part II, paper C4/P7 (‘The transformation of the Roman World, AD 284-476’). In Lent term I will also be co-directing Paper X3 (‘Christianity, Hellenism, and Empire’, Classics/Divinity). I have supervised dissertations and coursework on late antique history and literature (with a focus on imperial communication and self-image and the literature of the Eastern Roman empire) and on Neoplatonism between the second and fourth century CE, but I welcome all topics related to my research interests.

Assistant Professor in Classics (Late Antique and Early Byzantine History)
Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics, Trinity College
Not available for consultancy

Latest news

VIEWS project Visiting Fellowships

20 May 2024

We invite applications for two funded VIEWS project Visiting Fellowships, with a deadline of 30th June 2024. For further details please follow this link.

Dr Richard Duncan-Jones FBA 1937-2024

19 May 2024

The Faculty is saddened by news of the death of Dr Richard Duncan-Jones FBA FSA. He had been a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College since 1963 where he was a college lecture in Classics and Director of Studies for many years.

New appointment in Latin literature

15 May 2024

The Faculty is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Elena Giusti as a new Assistant Professor of Latin literature. She will join the Faculty in the new academic year. Elena will be joining from the University of Warwick, where she is currently Associate Professor of Latin . She works broadly on Roman literature and...

AHRC CDP studentship - Acquiring the Mediterranean: exploring local agencies in the acquisition of antiquities from Greece and the Ottoman Empire by Charles Newton at the British Museum, 1861–1886.

9 May 2024

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) studentship Acquiring the Mediterranean: exploring local agencies in the acquisition of antiquities from Greece and the Ottoman Empire by Charles Newton at the British Museum, 1861–1886. The Faculty of Classics and the British Museum are excited to announce a fully funded...