Greek in Italy

Project Research Blog

About Us

Contact us at, or find a member of the team using the links below.

Principal Investigator: Prof. James Clackson

James C

Prof. James Clackson is  Professor of Comparative Philology and Director of Studies in Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge.

James has wide interests in the history of the Latin and Greek languages, ancient sociolinguistics and bilingualism, the languages and epigraphy of the ancient Mediterranean and comparative Indo-European studies.His past research includes work on Latin, Sabellian, Greek and Armenian, and includes The Blackwell History of the Latin Language (2007), co-authored with Geoff Horrocks, and Language and Society in the Greek and Roman Worlds (2015). On this project, his work will focus on the early history of the Latin language, including comparison in the treatment of Greek loanwords in Latin with that in other languages.

Co-Investigator: Prof. Geoff Horrocks

Geoff H

Geoff Horrocks is a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, and was Professor of Comparative Philology at the University of Cambridge until 2016. He is the author of the seminal work Greek: A History of the Language and its SpeakersHe is particularly interested in theories of language structure and language change in their application to the Greek language in all its varieties from the earliest attestations in the second millennium BC to the present day. He also has a secondary interest in the development of Latin, both in its Italian context and in its relationships with other languages as it spread within the Roman empire, including contact with Greek.

Research Associate: Dr Patrick James

Patrick James

Patrick James, a Research Associate at Clare College, joined the Project after his contributions to the Cambridge Greek Lexicon Project, Tyndale House’s The New Testament in its Original Greek, and Multilingualism in the Graeco-Roman Worlds (2012). His research for the Project concerns Greek words that are known exclusively or primarily from Latin texts and what those words can tell us about spoken Greek both in Italy and throughout in the Roman Empire. His personal research has focused so far on the evidence from documentary texts for Greek in Roman Egypt and in Roman Attica.



Affiliated Member: Dr Nicholas Zair

Nick Z

Nick Zair is a University Lecturer in Classical Linguistics and Comparative Philology at the University of Cambridge, and Director of Studies in Linguistics at Peterhouse. Until 2016 he was a post-doctoral researcher on the project. His book Oscan in the Greek Alphabetabout how Oscan-speakers in Ancient Italy used the Greek alphabet to write Oscan and the relationship between speakers of Greek and Oscan, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. More generally, his research also deals with the history of the languages of Italy (Latin, Oscan, Umbrian, South Picene). His other research interests include the Celtic languages, Proto-Indo-European phonology and morphology, sound change and language grouping. More information about his work can be found on his website.

Affiliated Member: Dr Katherine McDonald

Katherine M

Katherine McDonald is a Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter. She was previously a Research Fellow in Classics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Classics.  Her book, Oscan in Southern Italy and Sicily, which takes a sociolinguistic approach to language contact in Lucania, Bruttium and Messana, was published in 2015. During the project, she will expand on this work and deal with language contact in Southern and North-East Italy. She is particularly interested in how modern theories of bilingualism and gender linguistics can be applied to ancient languages. More information about her work and publications can be found on her research blog. She is also the Webmaster for the project.



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