Professor Giuseppe Pezzini

Academic Background

I came back to Oxford in 2021, after five beautiful years in St Andrews (2016–2021). I studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (2003–2008) and the University of Oxford (D.Phil. 2012). I held research fellowships at Magdalen College Oxford (2013–2015) and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2016). From 2010 to 2013 I worked as Assistant Editor for the Oxford Dictionary of Medieval Latin.

Research Interests

My main area of research is Latin Language and Literature, with a special focus on Early Latin (3rd – 1st c. BC). I am currently finalising an edition of and commentary on Terence's Heauton Timorumenos, forthcoming in the Cambridge ‘Orange Series’, and working on two other major projects, a volume on the special relationship between Pergamene Culture and Rome (with Thomas Nelson and Stefano Rebeggiani), and a commentary of Lucretius DRN 4 (with Fondazione Lorenzo Valla).

I was trained as a linguist and philologist, and have a special interest in ancient metre, textual criticism, and digital humanities. I have published widely in these areas but always tried to put my technical expertise at the service of broader issues, and investigate the mutual relation between the detail and the general picture (minima cura si maxima uis).

My interests also extend well beyond the ancient world, and have converged into works on modern English literature and its classical ancestry. These include a forthcoming monograph on Tolkien’s theory of imagination, stemming from my work as Tolkien Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies and a collaboration with the ITIA Institute at the University of St Andrews.

Research Keywords

Early Latin, Roman Theatre, Latin Linguistics, Textual Criticism, Ancient Metre, Philosophy of Language, Fiction Theory.


All undergraduate options in Latin Literature, especially Latin Core and Comedy, and including Latin language. Latin Metre for the MSt. I have supervised graduate dissertations on a range of topics, including Roman Republican identity and late antique theory of fiction.


Full Publications: Professor G Pezzini Full list of Publications May 2022

Selected Publications:

Pezzini, G. (2022) ‘Spelling and Pronunciation: The Phonemic Principle in the Latin Orthographic Debate’, The Journal of Greco-Roman Studies 61: 53–81.

Pezzini, G. (2022) with J. Adams and A. Chahoud, A., Early Latin: Constructs, Diversity, Reception (Cambridge: CUP, in press 2022)

Pezzini, G. (2022), ‘‘Classical’ Narratives of Decline in Tolkien: Renewal, Accommodation, Focalization’, in M. Paprocki and A. Matz, eds., There and Back Again: Tolkien and the Graeco-Roman World, Thersites 15: 25–51.

Pezzini, G. (2021) ‘Terence and the speculum uitae: Realism and (Roman) Comedy’ Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 111: 101–161.

Pezzini, G. (2021), ‘Tamen apsentes prosunt pro praesentibus: ‘Proxied’ Absences and Roman Comedy’ in T. Geue and E. Giusti, eds., Unspoken Rome: Absence in Latin Literature and its Reception (Cambridge: CUP): 67–88.

Pezzini, G. (2021), ‘The Gods in (Tolkien’s) Epic’, in Williams, H. Tolkien and the Classical World (Zurich and Jena: Walking Tree Publishers): 73–103. 

Pezzini, G. (2021), Review of Spangenberg Yanes, E. (2017) Prisciani Caesariensis Ars Liber XVIII, Pars altera. 2. Commento (Hildesheim: Weidmann), Athenaeum 109: 322–5.

Pezzini, G. (2019) Language and Nature in the Classical Roman World (edited with Barnaby Taylor) (Cambridge: CUP 2019)

Pezzini, G. (2016) ‘Comic Lexicon: Searching for Submerged Latin from Plautus to Erasmus’ in J. N. Adams and N. Vincent, N., eds., Continuities between Early and Late Latin (Cambridge: CUP): 14–46. (2016

Pezzini, G. (2015) Terence and the Verb ‘To be’ in Latin (Oxford: OUP 2015)