Marco Vespa

PhD in Classics (Classical Philology and Anthropology of the Ancient World) - University of Pisa - Siena and University of Nice (FR)


Marco Vespa is  Ph.D. in Classics (Classical Philology / Anthopology of the Ancient World), Pisa-Siena-Nice. His Ph.D. thesis examines the cultural construction of non-human primates in the ancient Greek world. He has completed several articles on animals in antiquity (cranes, beavers, Meletean dogs). His interests include ancient Greek myth and Greek drama with particular interest devoted to the mythical figure of the hero Palamedes. He is a member of the international research group Zoomathia sponsored by the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and of the Centre for Anthropology and the Ancient World in Siena. Furthermore, he is an alumnus of the Vatican School of Palaeography, Diplomatics and Archives. He is currently part of the Locus ludi research group of the University of Friborg, where he writes an anthology of texts with revised translations and analyses multiple dossiers related to the ludic culture of the ancient Greek and Roman world (cockfights in Ancient Greece, the invention of play and games, the so-called skirapheia as gambling places etc.).

Research and publications

  • Peer-Reviewed Publications


    2021. Geloion mimēma: studi sulla rappresentazione culturale della scimmia nell'antichtà greca e greco-romana, Brepols, Turnhout, forthcoming.

    Peer-reviewed Articles in Scientific Journals:

    1. 2020 (with A. Zucker) "Imiter ou communiquer : l'intention du singe dans la littérature gréco-romaine", Mètis n.s. 18, accepted and forthcoming.
    2. 2019 "Ierocle Stoico, i castori e l'Egitto. L'etnozoologia e la ricerca filologica: un caso di studio", Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica CXII, s. IV, vol. XVII fasc. 2 (2019), pp. 273-294.
    3. 2019 “Rituale, spettacolo o gioco d'azzardo? Memorie del combattimento di galli in Grecia antica. Considerazioni linguistiche e antropologiche', in L. Floridi, L. Neri, Ch. Torre (ed.), Giochi e giocattoli: parole, oggetti e immaginarioEnthymema, XXIII (2019), pp. 434-460
    4. 2017 “A Voice whitout a Muse: Primates and the Ancient Phonosphere in Greek and Roman Cultures”, Greek and Roman Musical Studies(GRMS) 5.2, Brill Journals, pp. 159-177
    5. 2016 “Uomini e Animali nella Roma dei Severi”, Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica, N.s. 114, 2016 / 3, pp. 155-160.
    6. 2014 “Animali maestri: un sondaggio zooantropologico sul De natura animaliumdi Claudio Eliano”, Quaderni del Ramo d’Oro on-line, n. 6 2013 / 2014, pp. 130-160.

    Peer-reviewed Articles in Conference Proceedings

    1. 2020 "Presentifying the Divine in Ancient Greek Tales: Human Voices in Animal Bodies", in H. Schmalzgruber (Hg.) Speaking Animals in Ancient Literature, Buchreihe Kalliope. Studien zur griechischen und lateinischen Poesie, 20. Band, WinterVerlag, Heidelberg, pp. 401-425
    2. 2020 “La forme animale : maigreur des bêtes et norme esthétique en Grèce ancienne”, dans E. Galbois et S. Rougier-Blanc (éds.), Maigreur et minceur dans les sociétés anciennes. Grèce, Orient, Rome, Ausonius, coll. Scripta Antiqua n. 132, Bordeaux, pp. 95-112.
    3. 2019  “Le ‘tête-de-chien’ (κυνοκέφαλος) des Grecs : l’Égypte au prisme des animaux”, dans S. Porcier – S. Ikram – S. Pasquali (éds.), Creatures of Earth, Water and Sky. Essays on Animals in Ancient Egypt and Nubia.Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Animals in Ancient Egypt – ISAAE 1 (01-04 juin 2016, Lyon), Leiden (Sidestone Press), 331-339.
    4. 2017 “Why avoid a monkey: The refusal of interaction in Galen’s epideixis”, dans Fögen, T. & Thomas E., Interactions between animals and humans in Graeco-Roman Antiquity, Berlin/Boston (De Gruyter), pp. 409-434.