About me

My name is Matteo Calabrese. The passion I cultivate for Classics, which I have always possessed, accompanied me throughout my high school years and my studies at Università della Calabria, where I went on to earn my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Lettere e beni culturali and Scienze dell’antichità, both centred around Latin and Greek languages and literatures but also including other subjects pertaining to classical antiquity and the humanities. During the course of my undergraduate studies, I began to study, on my own, Indo-European linguistics, as well as the Sabellian languages, on which I wrote my two dissertations. Specifically, the former deals with Osco-Latin biculturalism and bilingualism, while the latter is devoted to the Palaeo-Italic inscription from Tortora, the longest extant document realised by the Oenotrians. The Tortora text is also the subject of my article ‘The sacred law from Tortora’, recently published in the peer-reviewed journal ‘Latomus’. In 2021, I obtained my Master of Philosophy in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter, where I am continuing my doctoral studies in the same field. I am awardee of the AHRC SWW DTP 2 scholarship. In addition to the Sabellian languages, my research interests include, and lie at the intersection of, Indo-European linguistics, comparative philology and Classics.

About my work

The first goal of my research is a new, more accurate linguistic analysis of the inscriptions belonging to the South Picene group (including both the South Picene inscriptions proper and the related Pre-Samnitic ones). My contribution consists, first and foremost, in arriving at a novel linguistic analysis of the aforementioned documents, but also, through it, in peering into the history and customs of peoples whose precise identity continues to elude us. More specifically, it aims at reaching entirely new conclusions on the nature of the texts and the language(s) in which they are written, as well as, more generally, on the ties between South Picene and the other Sabellian varieties (old and more recent alike) spoken in Central Italy.

In order to interpret these inscriptions, I am adopting an interdisciplinary approach that is primarily linguistic, but also draws from other disciplines (including Classics, archaeology, ancient history and epigraphy). Using such methods, I count on gaining a very good understanding of the texts themselves at the level of phonology, morphology and syntax.