Vittorio Bottini

PhD Candidate


My research interests span Hellenistic poetry and Greek Imperial Literature, with a special focus on fables and ancient novels. Moreover, I am particularly interested in the study of poetry books, from Posidippus to Babrius. I am currently working on a project on Babrius’ Mythiambi titled “The poetics of Babrius’ Mythiambi: a fabulous journey in alphabetical order.” My doctoral dissertation aims at offering the first comprehensive analysis of Babrius’ Mythiambi as one of the oldest artfully designed fable collections in Western literature. It is my contention that the fabulist adopted the alphabetical order, a mechanical tool used to collect prose fables and proverbs, and transformed it into an aesthetic and poetic device to arrange his compositions. Through an investigation of the disposition of Babrius’ fables, I will explore the architectural complexity and the literary artistry of the Mythiambi. My analysis of the fables’ concatenation will be complemented by a discussion of the forgotten aesthetics and literary value of Babrius’ fables, in an attempt to address the following questions: what is the poetic and aesthetic value of Babrius’ fables? What concept of poetry underlies the Mythiambi?

After liceo classico in Milan, I continued my study of Latin and Ancient Greek literature and language with a four-year M.A. at the University of St Andrews, where I wrote my thesis (“All that glitters is not gold: Cleitophon’s infidelity in Leucippe and Cleitophon”) under the supervision of Prof. J. König. During my time at St Andrews, I was awarded a scholarship to spend an academic year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2016-2017). During that time, I co-authored with Prof. Babcock and others “The Education of a Princess: Beatrice of Aragon and her Manuscript of Cicero’s De Senectute” (Codices Manuscripti & Impressi 112/ 113). In 2019, I obtained a M.St. in Greek and Latin language and literature from Oxford (St Hugh’s college), where I studied Hellenistic poetry, palaeography, and textual criticism, and wrote my dissertation (“Female Voice in Apollonius’ Argonautica”) supervised by Prof. S.J. Heyworth. In the fall of 2019, I started my PhD in Toronto to work with Prof. R. Höschele. I am currently on research leave at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (Germany) as a DAAD visiting researcher under the supervision of Prof. Mannlein-Robert.