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Prestigious research grant worth over £100,000 awarded to university

A world-leading lecturer in Latin from the University of St Andrews has been awarded over £100,000 in research funding from the prestigious British Academy.

Dr Giuseppe Pezzini, Director of the Centre for the Public Understanding of Greek and Roman Drama, School of Classics, has received a £119,218 British Academy Fellowship award to research the Latin play Self-Tormentor (Heautontimorumenos) by Terence, a dramatist of the Roman Republic.

The British Academy is the voice of the humanities and social sciences. The Academy is an independent fellowship of world-leading scholars and researchers; a funding body for research, nationally and internationally; and a forum for debate and engagement.

Mid-Career Fellowships are designed both to support talented individual researchers with excellent research proposals, and to promote public understanding of – and engagement with – subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

The scheme allows academics time to focus on a major piece of research by obtaining time away from teaching and administration commitments. In previous years, the work undertaken by British Academy Mid-Career Fellows has led to critically-acclaimed booksbig-budget European documentaries and BBC radio shows.

Dr Pezzini said: “Terence’s work was widely read until recently, and has a remarkable position in Roman cultural history, as a bold and influential attempt at the creation of a competitive literature in Latin. His comedies played a key role in the development of Western theatre and thought, and the Self-Tormentor in particular contains one of the most quoted and influential maxims from ancient culture (‘I’m a human being, nothing that is human is alien to me’).

“This play offers many challenges, ranging from its complex textual tradition to its intricate plot. It contains one of the most superb character portrayals in ancient literature, Chremes, and some wonderfully comic dialogue, raising perennially relevant questions, such as those about relations between fathers and sons and communication in a biased society.”

Dr Pezzini’s research will focus on the literary and dramatic issues raised by this influential play, and will aim to provide a new text, based on an examination of the manuscripts, a substantial introduction, and a comprehensive and integrated commentary, ranging from language to Roman identity issues.

The British Academy Fellowship is a prestigious award, with a success rate for applications of just 17%.

Welcoming the new Mid-Career Fellows, President of the British Academy Sir David Cannadine said: “I am delighted to welcome this group of exceptional scholars to the British Academy. The research funded under the Mid-Career Fellowships scheme is always fascinating, engaging and relevant, and this year’s projects are no exception.

“Whether examining how blockchain technology could lead to safer bailouts for banks, or analysing the effectiveness of anti-Semitism prevention programmes, our new Mid-Career Fellows will help tackle some of the most pressing national and international challenges, while furthering public understanding of, and interest in, the humanities and social sciences.

“We wish the Mid-Career Fellows every success and look forward to seeing the results of their work.”


Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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