Greek-Latin theoretical discourse

Research projects:


Hippocratic Greek archaeology: the ancient medicine treaty and its place in Greek culture

Professor in charge: Henrique Fortuna Cairus (


The reception of the Classics in the Renaissance

Description: This Research Project aims to compile, translate, comment on and analyze texts written in Latin in the period known as the Renaissance. Therefore, we study how the Renaissance authors employed the literary genres inherited from Antiquity, by assimilating, merging and adapting them. In this Project we analyze the speeches that apply the ancient models to new realities (construction of a nuntius´ ethos in dogmatic debates, the emergence of the satire in prose, the use of the genus deliberatiuum in situations not predicted by Ancient Rhetoric, etc.), and also the texts that discuss and theorize this new practice. For this reason, the priority will be be on Erasmus, whose works deal with the apte dicere. In his polemics against the “Barbarians” scholastics and against the “Ciceronians”, he was the one who redefined notions such as uarietas, copia, decorum, imitation, etc. in the Modern Age. We also investigate the Latin as lingua franca and the literary métier in Latin, in a historical moment where the volgarizzamento was already irreversible. This Project is therefore included in the field that nowadays is known as Reception of the Classics.

Professor in charge: Elaine Cristine Sartorelli (


Ciceronian studies: rhetoric and oratory

Description: This project aims to study and translate the rhetorical and oratorical works of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Within the research, we seek to read, analyze and interpret the texts according to the precepts that conformed to his writing and reception, i.e., we propose a rhetoric reading of the rhetoric and oratory works of Cicero. Within the translation, we propose elocutive equivalents in the Brazilian Portuguese variant.

Professor in charge: Adriano Scatolin (


Relations among philosophy, rhetoric, and poetics in Latin texts

Description: The aim of this project is to study how the philosophical discourse in Latin relates, in various authors, with rhetoric and poetics. It discusses, in part, how the philosophical prose of Cicero, Seneca, and others, deals with elements normally studied in rhetoric treaties. We intend to investigate to what extent these authors associate the philosophical discourse to the discourse of orators, when they reflect on notions such as ratio, on the one hand, and ethos, pathos and probabile, on the other; elements that they judge will often be constituents of the philosophical discourse. On the other hand, we discuss how the philosophical thought finds poetic expression with Latin authors. It can be an object of clear exhibition, as in the case of Lucretius. However, when forming the background of works that do not clearly present themselves, such as philosophical systematic expositions, as does Horace’s sermones and espistulae, for instance. We also investigate, regarding the relationship between poetry and philosophy, the mimetic structures that serve the authors in texts that discuss, or just mention, philosophical doctrines.

Professor in charge: Sidney Calheiros de Lima (


Greek Discursive Practices

Description: The project aims to map the argumentative and persuasive practices in Greece from, above all, the more effective use of prose as a means of expression in the 5th century B.C. Therefore, it seeks to circumscribe the application of persuasive arguments in political debates in the polis; its moulding in the so-called ‘sophistic’ teaching; its presence in the historiographical discourse; its use in the rhesis of tragedies; its effectiveness in oratory speeches, such as those by Lysias and Demosthenes; its prescriptive formulation in the emergence of the rhetoric tekhne in the 4th century; and its setting in the ‘lexis’ of Isocrates’ ‘philosophy’ regarding the differences in relation to Plato and the Sophists.

Professor in charge: Adriano Machado Ribeiro (


The ancient genres of poetry and their translation into Portuguese

Description: The project has two branches: the first aims to study the epos along with the three alike poetic genres (elegy, iamb, lyric, and epigram) from, firstly, the theorising of ancient poetic and, secondly, from ancient rhetoric. In poetics, we included Aristotle’s and Horace’s poetics, and the respective sections in Quintilian, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Pseudo-Longinus; the relevant sections of the grammarians, metricists, scholiasts, and lexicographers. The second branch includes the theory and practice of translation (poetic and non-poetic) of Greek and Latin authors; the study of the poetic translations to Portuguese performed in the 18th century; and ancient theorising on translation.

Professor in charge: João Angelo Oliva Neto (


The Moral Epistles by Pliny the Young

Description: This Project aims to translate into Portuguese, to annotate and to comment, with an introductory study, the 75 epistles by Pliny the Young that deal with ethics - that is, virtue and vice -, and its particular manifestation – that is, men´s good or bad deed in the private and also public spheres of life.

Professor in charge: João Angelo Oliva Neto (



Greek ethical and political thinking of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.

Description: This thematic project aims to investigate the forms of reflection on the ethical-political nature of men in the diverse genres of writing of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., especially the political satire on Aristophane’s comedy, the ethical and political thought in Thucydides, the ‘sophists,’ the moral and political philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, and the educational model of Isocrates. The main goal of this project is to try to delimit the topics of the ethical-political thought that pervade the diverse genres of writing, highlighting differences and resemblances in their approach, in order to understand the development of the philosophical thought as part of human action.

Professor in charge: Daniel Rossi Nunes Lopes (


Images in Classical Antiquity

Description: Objectives: 1) the terminological and conceptual mapping of pictorial and plastic artistic practices of the Greco-Roman classical antiquity, noting their specific characteristics, differences and similarities, under a diachronic perspective of their applications and linguistic usages; 2) survey and analysis of Greek and Latin texts developed from the homologies between the visual arts and literature; 3) compilation and interpretation of cognitive mechanisms, applied to textual and visual arts supported from the perceptive spiritual or physical display; 4) reading and translation of texts and treaties that guided the physiognomy practices in Greek and Roman Antiquity; 5) descriptivist and ekphrasitic narrative in diverse generic types; 6) reflection and analysis of the historical and poetic discursive figuration.

Professor in charge: Paulo Martins (


Intertextuality in Martial´s poetry

 Description: As usual in the Ancient literature, the work by the Latin poet Martial is constituted under the sign of the imitatio or mimesis. Through this procedure, the author in a way recovered another consecrated by traditional writer´s work, giving his own treatment to the borrowed elements. In an immense amount of epigrams, between the 1555 composed by Martial, we can observe several traces of that imitation, several allusions to other authors´ productions, either writers in prose or, more often, poets. Those allusions, that occur in multiple ways and through diverse mechanisms, can provide many different effects of meaning in the epigrammatist´s work, depending on the author invoked, on the mechanism of allusion adopted, on the context in which the borrowed element is insert, in a word, on the way the poet deals with and incorporates other texts and authors´ voices into his production. Therefore, this Project aims to study the intertextual links established between the epigrams by Martial and the others Greek and Latin writers. Those links produce new meanings, generate new senses in the epigrammatist´s poetry, making it even richer and more surprising.


Professor in charge: Robson Tadeu Cesila (



Greek and Indo-European language and poetics

Description: This project´s object is the study of grammatical and discursive aspects of ancient Greek, to verify, throughout history, how they are used in the diverse poetry and prose genres, including to retrace, based on the comparative method, the possible Indo-European origin of certain rhetorical artifices linked to poetic grammar and to mythological figures in this tradition. Its purpose is to analyze, in specific case studies, how certain linguistic factors (especially syntactic, morphological, pragmatic and rhetorical) are reflected in the works and affect their interpretation. We shall pay special attention, regarding language, to topics such as verbal aspect, particles, discursive consistency, dialect forms etc. As for poetics, the purpose is to design, when possible, a minimum typology of certain poetic devices in various genres (heroic poetry, sacred poetry, magic poetry etc.).

Professor in charge: José Marcos Mariani de Macedo (


Lessons on metaplasms and figures

Description: Object: lessons of Greek and Latin grammarians and rhetors on metaplasms and figures, and also on the corresponding vices, i.e., barbarisms and idioms. Purpose: to investigate the criteria that guide the distinction between metaplasm and figure, and those who uphold the difference between discursive virtues (= metaplasms and figures) and vices (= barbarisms and idioms); to investigate the dependence of a lesson to another.

Professor in charge: Marcos Martinho dos Santos (


Myth and dialectics in the dialogues of Plato

Description: Study of the permanence and transformation of mythical thought on the horizon of technical thought, and structural homologies between the mythical and philosophical thought in the dialogues of Plato.


Professor in charge: José Antônio Alves Torrano (