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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 that culture (especially Neoplatonism) played in facilitating socio-political transition in the later Roman empire. My first monograph, Christianity, Philosophy, and Roman Power: Constantine, Julian, and the Bishops on Exegesis and Empire (forthcoming with C.U.P.), 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 curating a co-edited volume on knowledge communication in the Greco-Roman world with Dr Giulia Maltagliati (Cambridge). 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 thinking self and of human (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 (forthcoming)


Edited volumes:

(with G. Maltagliati) The rhetoric of the unknown: communicating the limits of knowledge in Greco-Roman antiquity (in progress)



‘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.



‘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. 



Review of 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:

Teaching and Supervisions


During the academic year 2022-23 I will be lecturing on Part II, paper C4/7 (‘The transformation of the Roman World, AD 284-476’, Classics/History) and History Part II special paper A (Thucydides). I will also be co-director of Part II, Paper X3 (‘Christianity, Hellenism, and Empire’, Classics/Divinity). The dissertations and coursework I supervised so far focused on the imperial self-image, Christianity and Neoplatonism between the second and fourth century CE, and late Roman history, 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

Regius Professorship of Greek

16 January 2023

The Faculty is delighted to announce that Professor Tim Whitmarsh FBA has been elected Regius Professor of Greek from 1 April 2023. He is currently the A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture in the University. Looking ahead to his new role, Professor Whitmarsh commented: ’I am thrilled and honoured to be taking up this...

Mary Beard receives THE Outstanding Achievement Award

18 November 2022

Professor Mary Beard received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2022 Times Higher Education Awards . The citation hailed how she had “broken through the ivory tower’s walls and brought her unique enthusiasm for her subject – and crucially, what it can teach us about contemporary life and politics – to the world”...

University Assistant Professorship in Classics

15 November 2022

The Faculty of Classics is seeking to appoint an Assistant Professor in Classics (Ancient Greek History and/or Archaeology) from 1 September 2023. The role is open to those, at any stage in their career, with a primary research interest in Archaic/Classical/Hellenistic Greek History and/or Archaeology. We welcome...

Brian Leech Memorial Fund

10 November 2022

The Faculty of Classics is delighted to announce the establishment of the Brian Leech Memorial Fund. The Fund comes about thanks to a generous donation by Emma Gleave, and is made in memory of her late father, Brian Leech. Brian Leech had a long and successful career as both barrister and judge. He also greatly enjoyed classical studies – with a life-long passion for ancient Greek and Latin languages.