Areas of interest
I am interested in pretty much everything, especially the ancient world and its languages and literatures; the common thread connecting my different research projects is a desire to use rigorous, fact-based analysis (often, but by no means always, of language) to shed new light on literary texts and on the world and thought processes of the people who wrote those texts.
Over the years my research has focused on the sociolinguistics of Greek and Latin (how factors like age, gender, and social class influenced the language that ancient speakers used), the history of Greek and Latin (their development from Indo-European through the ancient languages we usually study to the modern Romance languages and modern Greek), how those languages were taught and analysed in antiquity (ancient scholarship and language teaching in antiquity), and language contact in antiquity (especially Greek speakers learning Latin and the influence of Latin on Greek). Some of my work is interdisciplinary, involving both classics and linguistics.
My first book (Greek Forms of Address, Oxford University Press 1996) concerns the forms of address (vocatives) one ancient Greek would use to another and attempts to answer questions such as: who used which vocatives, and to whom? What overtones did particular addresses convey? Why could men but not women be addressed as "human being"? What extant literary works give us the closest approximation of ordinary conversational usage in this respect?
My second book (Latin Forms of Address, Oxford University Press 2002, paperback 2007) deals with similar questions in Latin – but the answers are usually different.
My third book (Ancient Greek Scholarship, Oxford University Press 2007) concerns the dictionaries, commentaries, and grammars written by ancient Greek scholars, and the marginalia via which they come down to us. It is a textbook designed to teach anyone with a basic reading knowledge of Greek to deal with this material, so it contains not only a narrative history of ancient scholarship and where that scholarship can be found, but also a detailed explanation of its linguistic peculiarities, a glossary of grammatical terminology, and a reader containing numerous passages with commentary for translation practice.
My fourth and fifth books (The Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana, Cambridge University Press 2012–15) are an edition, translation, and commentary on a text that is much more fun than its name makes it sound. The colloquia are an elementary Latin reader composed for ancient Greeks learning Latin during the Roman empire; they contain little dialogues on topics like how to buy food, borrow money, hold a dinner party, or have an argument. They provide a rare insight into daily life in the Roman empire but have long been neglected because they had never been translated and because even the editions of the text in the original languages were flawed. I have located the best manuscripts, which had not previously been used, and produced a new edition based on a comprehensive study of the entire Hermeneumata tradition, as well as a translation and commentary.
I have also produced two smaller and more accessible works on the Colloquia. One (Learning Latin the Ancient Way, Cambridge University Press 2016) is a version of these texts for modern Latin teachers and students at an intermediate or advanced level who would like to try out the ancient Latin-learning materials and methods. The other (Stories of Daily Life from the Roman World, Cambridge University Press 2017) is an English-only version of the Colloquia with illustrations and explanation designed for readers with little or no background in the ancient world. This book has been translated into Dutch by Arian Verheij and Vincent Hunink as In een Romeins klaslokaal (Athenaeum 2017).
In a continuing quest to make the Latin and Greek languages themselves as widely available as possible, I have also written an elementary Latin textbook using the Colloquia (Learn Latin from the Romans, Cambridge University Press 2018) and a Greek prose composition textbook (An Introduction to the Composition and Analysis of Greek Prose, Cambridge University Press 2016 – this for once, has absolutely nothing to do with the Colloquia). When I was an undergraduate no one wanted to teach me to write Greek, which made me desperately sad; I hope that this book will allow anyone who finds themselves in a similarly sad position to teach themselves.
My main current research project is a study of the influence of Latin on Greek during the Roman empire, particularly Latin loanwords that were integrated into Greek to the extent of being used by Greek speakers who did not speak Latin; I am trying to understand what types of words the Greeks borrowed as well as when, why, and how those borrowings occurred and what they tell us about Greek and Roman culture at the time when the borrowing occurred.
I love research and am proud of my books, but I love teaching even more, because it enables me to pass on to others the precious gift my teachers gave me, namely knowing Latin and Greek really well. In addition to Reading, I teach regularly at the JACT Greek summer school in Bryanston, where in 2010 I co-directed a student performance of Alcestis in Greek. I also run the Reading Ancient Schoolroom, an annual re-creation of the ancient school experience for modern students.
Note: the list of publications below is not complete. For a full list see https://reading.academia.edu/EleanorDickey.
Texts, Readers and Writers in the Ancient World (CL1TR): an introduction to Greek and Latin literature, inscriptions, papyri, Linear B tablets, etc., and what we can do with these texts.
Approaches to Classics and Ancient History (CLMACAH): an introduction to graduate-level work on the ancient world, focussing on topics chosen by the new MA students.
Other modules on an occasional basis.
Research centres and groups
Language, Text, and Power
I grew up in the US and attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania (BA and MA 1989) before doing doctoral work with Anna Morpurgo Davies at Oxford (MPhil Balliol 1991, DPhil Merton 1994).
I began studying Greek at age 18; this gives me particular sympathy with students who begin languages at university. After Oxford I taught at the University of Ottawa in Canada (1995–99), Columbia University in New York (1999–2007), and the University of Exeter (2007–13) before coming to Reading in 2013.
I have spent periods of leave at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1998–99), the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC (2002–03), All Souls College Oxford (2005–06) and Merton College Oxford (2006), to all of which institutions I am very grateful; I am also very grateful to the Mellon Foundation, the government of Ontario, the AHRC, the British Academy, and Leverhulme for additional funding.
I am married to Philomen Probert, a classical linguist at Wolfson College Oxford – and I'm very grateful to her too!
- Dickey, E. (2021) The history of bilingual dictionaries reconsidered: an ancient fragment related to pseudo-Philoxenus (P.Vars. 6) and its significance. Classical Quarterly , 71 (1). pp. 359-378. ISSN: 1471-6844 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0009838821000343
- Dickey, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-4272-4803 (2020) Comment les hellénophones anciens apprenaient-ils le latin?. Cahiers du CLSL , 62 pp. 17-40. ISSN: 1019-9446
- Dickey, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-4272-4803 (2020) The ideal child does not play: insights from Europe's oldest children's book. Pallas , 114 pp. 85-94.
- Dickey, E. (2020) Apodidomi. M. Aberson, F. Dell’ Oro, M. de Vaan, and A. Viredaz (edd.), [vø:rtǝr]: Mélanges de linguistique, de philologie et d’histoire ancienne offerts à Rudolf Wachter pp. 27-32.
- Dickey, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-4272-4803 (2019) What does a linguistic expert know? The conflict between analogy and Atticism. In: Adams, S. , (eds.) Scholastic Culture in the Hellenistic and Roman Eras. De Gruyter , Berlin. pp. 103-118. ISBN: 9783110657876 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9783110660982-008
- Dickey, E. (2019) When “please” ceases to be polite: the use of sis in early Latin. Journal of Historical Pragmatics , 20 (2). pp. 204-224. ISSN: 1569-9854 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1075/jhp.00029.dic
- Dickey, E. (2019) A re-examination of New Testament papyrus P99 (Vetus Latina AN glo Paul). New Testament Studies , 65 (1). pp. 103-121. ISSN: 0028-6885 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0028688518000243
- Dickey, E. (2018) Learn Latin from the Romans: a complete introductory course using textbooks from the Roman Empire. Cambridge University Press , Cambridge. pp 526. ISBN: 9781107140844
- Dickey, E. (2018) What is a loanword? The case of Latin borrowings and codeswitches in ancient Greek. Lingue e Linguaggio , 17 (1). pp. 7-36. ISSN: 1720-9331 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1418/90421
- Dickey, E. (2017) The Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana in the Greek East. Linguarum Varietas , 6 pp. 211-229. ISSN: 2281-1435 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.19272/201711601012
- Dickey, E. (2017) Classical scholarship: the Byzantine contribution. In: Kaldellis, A. and Siniossoglou, N. , (eds.) Cambridge Intellectual History of Byzantium. Cambridge University Press , Cambridge. pp. 63-78. ISBN: 9781107041813 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/9781107300859.005
- Dickey, E. (2017) Who used the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana? Evidence for Greek speakers in the medieval West. I graeca nei libri latini: tra medioevo e umanesimo. Centro Internazionale di Studi Umanistici pp. 47-71.
- Dickey, E. (2017) Stories of daily life from the Roman World: extracts from the ancient colloquia. Cambridge University Press , Cambridge. ISBN: 9781107176805
- Dickey, E. and Probert, P. (2017) Houses in which a serf living in the country does not reside: a reconsideration of Gortyn Laws column 4 lines 31–37. In: Willi, A. , (eds.) Sprachgeschichte und Epigraphik. Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft pp. 57-81.
- Dickey, E. (2017) Word division in bilingual texts. In: Nocchi Macedo, G. and Scappaticcio, M. , (eds.) Signes dans les textes, textes sur les signes. Papyrologica Leodiensia Presses universitaires de Liège (6). , Liège, Belgium. pp. 159-175. ISBN: 9782875621191
- Probert, P. and Dickey, E. (2016) Six notes on Latin correlatives. In: Adams, J. and Vincent, N. , (eds.) Early and Late Latin: Continuity or Change?. Cambridge University Press , Cambridge, UK. pp. 390-419. ISBN: 9781107132252
- Dickey, E. (2016) Politeness in ancient Rome: can it help us evaluate modern politeness theories?. Journal of Politeness Research , 12 (2). pp. 197-220. ISSN: 1613-4877 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1515/pr-2016-0008
- Dickey, E. (2016) The authorship of the Greek version of Dositheus’ grammar and what it tells us about the grammar’s original use. In: Ferri, R. and Zago, A. , (eds.) The Latin of the Grammarians: reflections about language in the Roman world. Brepols , Turnhout. pp. 205-235. ISBN: 9782503566276
- Dickey, E. (2016) An introduction to the composition and analysis of Greek prose. Cambridge University Press , Cambridge. pp 312. ISBN: 9780521761420
- Dickey, E. (2016) Emotional language and formulae of persuasion in Greek papyrus letters. In: Sanders, E. and Johncock, M. , (eds.) Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity. Franz Steiner Verlag , Stuttgart. pp. 237-262. ISBN: 9783515113618
- Dickey, E. (2016) Learning Latin the ancient way: Latin textbooks from the ancient world. Cambridge University Press pp 197. ISBN: 9781107093607
- Dickey, E. (2015) Columnar translation: an ancient interpretive tool that the Romans gave the Greeks. Classical Quarterly , 65 (2). pp. 807-821. ISSN: 0009-8388 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0009838815000087
- Dickey, E. (2015) The sources of our knowledge of ancient scholarship. In: Montanari, F. , Matthaios, S. , Rengakos, A. , (eds.) Brill's Companion to Ancient Greek Scholarship. , 1. Brill pp. 459-514. ISBN: 9789004245945
- Probert, P. and Dickey, E. (2015) The ϝhεδιέστας inscription from archaic Argos (SEG 11:314): a reconsideration. Journal of Hellenic Studies , 135 pp. 110-131. ISSN: 0075-4269 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0075426915000099
- Dickey, E. (2015) How to say 'please' in post-Classical Latin: Fronto and the importance of archaism. Journal of Latin Linguistics , 14 (1). pp. 17-31. ISSN: 2194-8747 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1515/joll-2015-0002
- Dickey, E. (2015) The Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana II:Colloquium Harleianum, Colloquium Montepessulanum, Colloquium Celtis, and fragments. Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries Cambridge University Press , Cambridge. ISBN: 9781107065390
- Dickey, E. (2015) Teaching Latin to Greek speakers in antiquity. In: Archibald, E. , Brockliss, W. , Gnoza, J. , (eds.) Learning Latin and Greek from antiquity to the present. Yale Classical Studies , 37. Cambridge University Press pp. 30-51. ISBN: 9781107051645
- Dickey, E. (2015) How Coptic speakers learned Latin? A reconsideration of P. Berol. inv 10582. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , 193 pp. 65-77. ISSN: 0084-5388
- Dickey, E. (2014) A catalogue of works attributed to the grammarian Herodian. Classical Philology , 109 (4). pp. 325-345. ISSN: 0009-837X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/677859
- Dickey, E. (2014) New legal texts from the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana. Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis , 82 (1-2). pp. 30-44. ISSN: 0040-7585 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15718190-08212p04
- Dickey, E. , Ferri, R. , Scappaticcio, M. (2013) The origins of grammatical tables: a reconsideration of P.Louvre inv. E 7332. Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik , 187 pp. 173-189. ISSN: 0084-5388
- Dickey, E. and Ferri, R. (2012) A new edition of the Colloquium Harleianum fragment in P.Prag. 2.118. Zeitschrift fuyrologie und Epigraphik , 180 pp. 127-132. ISSN: 0084-5388
- Dickey, E. (2012) The rules of politeness and Latin request formulae. In: Probert, P. and Willi, A. , (eds.) Laws and Rules in Indo-European. Oxford University Press pp. 313-328. ISBN: 9780199609925
- Xenis, G. and Dickey, E. (2012) Philemon Fr. 193 K.A. Hermes , 140 (3). pp. 386-389. ISSN: 0018-0777
- Dickey, E. (2012) Latin loanwords in Greek: a preliminary analysis. In: Leiwo, M. , Halla-aho, H. , Vierros, M. , (eds.) Variation and Change in Greek and Latin. Papers and Monographs of the Finnish Institute at Athens The Finnish Institute at Athens (17). , Helsinki. pp. 57-70. ISBN: 9789526721149
- Dickey, E. (2012) How to say 'please' in Classical Latin. Classical Quarterly , 62 (2). pp. 731-748. ISSN: 1471-6844 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0009838812000286
- Dickey, E. , eds. (2012) The Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheanaa: volume 1 Colloquia Monacensia-Einsidlensia, Leidense-Stephani, and Stephani. Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries Cambridge University Press ISBN: 9781107020108
- Dickey, E. (2011) Epimerismi Homerici. In: Finkelberg, M. , (eds.) The Homer Encyclopedia. , III. Wiley Blackwell pp. 764-768. ISBN: 9781405177689
- Dickey, E. (2011) Scholarship, ancient. In: Finkelberg, M. , (eds.) The Homer Encyclopedia. , 1. Wiley Blackwell pp. 255-256. ISBN: 9781405177689
- Dickey, E. (2011) Mabel Lang: a biographical sketch. In: Rusten, J. and Hamilton, R. , (eds.) Thucydidean Narrative and Discourse. Michigan Classical Press pp. 197-212. ISBN: 9780979971341
- Dickey, E. (2010) Longinus. In: Gagarin, M. , (eds.) Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. , IV. Oxford University Press pp. 281-282. ISBN: 9780195170726
- Dickey, E. (2010) Literary criticism, ancient. In: Gagarin, M. , (eds.) Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. , IV. Oxford University Press pp. 262-267. ISBN: 9780195170726
- Dickey, E. (2010) Classical scholarship: modern classical scholarship. In: Gargarin, M. , (eds.) Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. , II. Oxford University Press pp. 181-190. ISBN: 9780195170726
- Dickey, E. (2010) Classical scholarship: antiquity. In: Gargarin, M. , (eds.) Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. , II. Oxford University Press pp. 167-173. ISBN: 9780195170726
- Dickey, E. (2010) Forms of address and markers of status. In: Bakker, E. , (eds.) A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language. Blackwell pp. 327-337. | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781444317398.ch22
- Dickey, E. (2010) Greek dictionaries ancient and modern. In: Stray, C. , (eds.) Classical Dictionaries: Past, Present and Future. Duckworth , London. pp. 5-24. ISBN: 9780715639160
- Dickey, E. (2010) A new edition of the Latin-Greek glossary on P.Sorb. inv.2069 (verso). Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik , 175 pp. 177-187. ISSN: 0084-5388
- Dickey, E. (2010) The creation of Latin teaching materials in antiquity: A re-interpretation of P.Sorb. inv. 2069. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , 175 pp. 188-208. ISSN: 0084-5388
- Dickey, E. and Chahoud, A. , eds. (2010) Colloquial and literary Latin. Cambridge University Press pp 534. ISBN: 9780521513951
- Dickey, E. (2009) The Greek and Latin languages in the Papyri. In: Bagnall, R. , (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Papyrology. Oxford University Press pp. 149-169. ISBN: 9780195178388
- Dickey, E. (2009) Latin influence and Greek request formulae. In: Evans, T. and Obbink, D. , (eds.) The Language of the Papyri. Oxford University Press pp. 208-220. ISBN: 9780199237081
- Dickey, E. (2007) Ancient Greek scholarship: A Guide to finding, reading, and understanding scholia, commentaries, lexica, and grammatical treatises, from their beginnings to the Byzantine Period. Oxford University Press , New York USA. pp 368. ISBN: 9780195312928
- Dickey, E. (2006) Satyr Play. In: Wilson, N. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. Routledge pp. 642-643. ISBN: 9780415973342
- Dickey, E. (2006) Lucian. In: Wilson, N. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. Routledge pp. 430-431. ISBN: 9780415973342
- Dickey, E. (2006) Language. In: Wilson, N. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. Routledge pp. 413-416. ISBN: 9780415973342
- Dickey, E. (2006) Josephus Flavius. In: Wilson, N. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. Routledge pp. 399-400. ISBN: 9780415973342
- Dickey, E. (2006) Homer. In: Wilson, N. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. Routledge pp. 366-368. ISBN: 9780415973342
- Dickey, E. (2006) The Use of Latin (sis) as a focus-marking clitic particle. Oxford University Working Papers in Linguistics, Philology & Phonetics , 11 pp. 21-25.
- Dickey, E. (2004) SBXIV 11273: no vocative. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , 146 pp. 170-172. ISSN: 0084-5388
- Dickey, E. (2004) Rules without reasons? Words for children in papyrus letters. In: Penney, J. , (eds.) Indo-European Perspectives. Oxford University Press , Oxford. pp. 119-130.
- Dickey, E. (2004) Literal and extended use of kinship terms in documentary papryi. Mnemosyne , 57 (2). pp. 131-176. ISSN: 0026-7074 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156852504773399169
- Dickey, E. (2004) The Greek Address system of the Roman period and its relationship to Latin. Classical Quarterly , 54 (2). pp. 494-527. ISSN: 0009-8388 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clquaj/bmh055
- Dickey, E. (2003) Ancient Bilingualism. Journal of Roman Studies , 93 pp. 295-302. ISSN: 1753-528X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3184645
- Dickey, E. (2003) Latin influence on the Greek of documentary Papyri: an analysis of its chronological distribution. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , 145 pp. 249-257. ISSN: 0084-5388
- Dickey, E. (2002) O dee ree pie: the vocative problems of Latin words ending in -eus. Glotta , 76 pp. 32-49.
- Dickey, E. (2002) Latin forms of address: from Plautus to Apuleius. Oxford University Press ISBN: 9780199239054
- Dickey, E. (2001) What good is a rebellious teenager? classics and linguistics in the twentieth century. Transactions of the American Philological Association , 131 pp. 289-296. ISSN: 1533-0699
- Dickey, E. (2001) Κύριε, Δέσποτα, Domine: Greek Politeness in the Roman Empire. Journal of Hellenic Studies , 121 pp. 1-11. ISSN: 0075-4269 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.2307/631824
- Dickey, E. (2000) Satyr Play. In: Speake, G. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Greece and Hellenic Tradition. Volume 2. Fitzroy Dearborn pp. 1475-1477.
- Dickey, E. (2000) Lucian. In: Speake, G. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Greece and Hellenic Tradition. Volume 2. Fitzroy Dearborn pp. 960-961.
- Dickey, E. (2000) Language. In: Speake, G. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition. Volume 2.. Fitzroy Dearborn pp. 920-925.
- Dickey, E. (2000) Josephus Flavius. In: Speake, G. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Greece and Hellenic Tradition. Volume 2. Fitzroy Dearborn pp. 858-859.
- Dickey, E. (2000) Homer. In: Speake, G. , (eds.) Encyclopedia of Greece and Hellenic Tradition. Volume 1. Fitzroy Dearborn pp. 768-771. ISBN: 9781579581411
- Dickey, E. (2000) O egregie grammatice: The Vocative Problems of Latin Words ending in -ius. Classical Quarterly , 50 (2). pp. 548-562. ISSN: 0009-8388 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cq/50.2.548
- Dickey, E. (1997) Me autem nomine appellabat - Avoidance of Cicero's Name in his Dialogues. Classical Quarterly , 47 (2). pp. 584-588. ISSN: 0009-8388 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cq/47.2.584
- Dickey, E. (1997) Forms of addresses and terms of reference. Journal of Linguistics , 33 pp. 255-274. ISSN: 0022-2267 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022226797006488
- Dickey, E. (1997) The ancient Greek address system and some proposed sociolinguistic universals. Language in Society , 26 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN: 0047-4045 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500019382
- Dickey, E. (1995) Forms of address and conversational language in Aristophanes and Menander. Mnemosyne , 43 (3). pp. 257-271. ISSN: 0026-7074 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156852595X00167