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Martina Russo

Postgraduate Researcher


Email: M dot Russo at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick



I am currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick. My dissertation, supervised by Prof. Victoria Rimell, explores the problem of adulatio in Seneca the Younger. I came to Warwick after having completed a BA plus a two-year Master’s degree in Classics at Sapienza University of Rome with a final thesis on weeping in Seneca, Petronius and Lucan. To complete my master’s dissertation, I was a visiting student at the University of Oxford. Before beginning my PhD, I spent six months at the Institute of Classical Studies in London, thanks to a research grant.


My dissertation, entitled "The theory and practice of adulatio in Seneca" investigates the discourse of flattery in Seneca’s philosophical texts and analyses the extent to which Seneca developed a theory of adulation which is ‘put into practice’ in works like the Consolatio ad Polybium. The project maps a phenomenology of flattery, tracing its external manifestations in Senecan philosophy and discussing the extent to which a fragmented but significant theory of adulation emerges across Seneca’s prose works. In broad terms, my research considers the relationship between intellectuals and power in Imperial Rome. I am also interested in the reception of Seneca’s flattery in the Renaissance.


  • MA in Classics from the University of Rome, La Sapienza (2015)
  • BA in Classics from the University of Rome, La Sapienza (2012)

Prizes and Grants

  • My PhD research is fully funded by The Wolfson Foundation
  • The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies funded my attendance of the Celtic Conference in Classics 2018 at St. Andrews in July 2018
  • In September 2018 I was a Visiting Graduate Scholar at the Charles S. Singleton Center at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA), as part of an exchange between Johns Hopkins and the Warwick Centre for the Study of the Renaissance
  • In May 2018 I was awarded a scholarship to attend the International Conference “Convegno properziano: modelli e fortuna” in Assisi
  • In March 2018 I won a full scholarship to attend Advanced Seminar in the Humanities organized by Venice International University, 12-23 March 2018
  • In 2016 I won a six-month Fellowship at the ICS (Institute of Classical Studies, London) sponsored by Sapienza, University of Rome
  • In June 2016 I was awarded a scholarship to attend “Literary and Cultural Interactions in the Roman Empire: 96-235”, Exeter, 13-14 June 2016
  • In Autumn 2014 I was a visiting student at St Anne’s College–Oxford, UK
  • I was awarded “Percorso d’Eccellenza” in Classics (MA degree) from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (2013) – (2014)
  • I was awarded “Percorso d’Eccellenza” in Classics (BA degree) from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (2011) – (2012)

Papers delivered

  • Philosopher VS Tyrant. Canus in De tranquillitate animi 14, 4-10 “Classics and Ancient History Colloquium” 23rd May 2018, University of Warwick
  • La facondia del balbuziente. Claudio nell’ Ad Polybium “Semi di Sapienza”, Università la Sapienza, Rome, 15-16 February 2018
  • Cicero and Seneca on the Mirror, Work in Progress Seminar, University of Warwick, 25 October 2017
  • Historical exempla in Seneca, Classics and Ancient History Colloquium 2017, 24 May 2017, University of Warwick
  • Flattering with exempla: The Historical exempla in Ad Polybium (14-17), PGWIP, Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London 24 March 2017
  • “L’utilità e l’attualità del latino” in “Scegliere i Classici oggi”, Università la Sapienza, Rome, 23-24 June 2016
  • Exempla of Adulatio in Seneca’s De ira, Director’s Seminars, Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London, 11 May 2016


  • “La Manica e i confini dell’impero nel I secolo D.C.” (Forthcoming in Atene&Roma 2019)
  • “Il pianto di Pompeo in Lucano (5, 737-738; 8, 107-108) in Pan 4 (2015), 67-80
  • “La seduzione del pianto. Echi elegiaci in Seneca epist. 49, 1” in Bollettino di Studi Latini 43, 2 (2013), 540-550
  • “Omnia pontus erat”. Il mare nella letteratura latina: Rome 23, 24 January 2014 in Bollettino di Studi Latini 44, 1 (2014), 259-263
  • “Tradizione vs Innovazione in Età tardo antica”. Letteratura, scuola e traduzione: Rome, Università degli Studi “la Sapienza”, 9 June 2014 in Bollettino di Studi Latini 44, 2 (2014), 654-656
  • “Gli studi classici nel terzo millennio”, Rome, Piazza dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, 16 March 2015, in Bollettino di Studi Latini 45, 2 (2015), 634-637


  • In 2018-2019 I will teach undergraduate students for a seminar on the module “Vulnerable Body” led by Victoria Rimell and for Latin Literary Texts.


  • Russo, M., Tamburella, F. Ipse dixit. La saggezza degli antichi romani: oltre 1000 locuzioni latine e proverbi tradotti in italiano, (Rome, 2015)
  • “In vino veritas: A history of simplicitas” Contribution to the Classical texting of the University of Warwick (December 2017)
  • IntertextualityWorkshop (Peer development Exchange) University of Warwick (May 2019)